The Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) is partnering with the Indiana Joint Asthma Coalition (InJAC) and Indy Lights racecar driver T.J. Fischer to increase Hoosiers’ knowledge about asthma and the importance of asthma action plans during the month of May, which is national Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month.
Asthma is a chronic disease of the lungs that affects more than 17.7 million adults and 7.4 million children in the United States. In Indiana, an estimated 429,000 adults and 108,000 children have the disease, which claims the life of one Hoosier every five days.
“Asthma can cause dangerous and sometimes life-threatening episodes for those affected by the disease,” said InJAC Coalition Coordinator Roni Ford. “That’s why it’s so important to raise awareness about asthma and how it can be effectively controlled.”
Fischer was diagnosed with asthma at age 10 but has not let the disease stop his athletic career. He played high school football and launched a racing career while living with asthma. He started Project O2 in 2016 to increase awareness of asthma and inspire others to pursue their dreams, regardless of their diagnosis.
“I’m very excited to be working with InJAC and ISDH to celebrate Asthma Awareness Month,” Fischer said. “This is a great opportunity to further the goal of what Project O2 has set out to do — inform, inspire and innovate a new path to asthma awareness.”
People with asthma are urged to work with their healthcare providers to identify and avoid triggers and complete an asthma action plan that lists the individual’s daily treatment regimen, how to control asthma and what to do if it worsens or an attack occurs. These plans are especially important for children and their caregivers. To see a sample asthma action plan, go to http://www.cdc.gov/asthma/actionplan.html
“As someone who lives with asthma, I can’t stress enough how important it is to have a plan before an attack occurs,” said State Health Commissioner Jerome M. Adams, M.D., M.P.H. “Making sure that people with asthma and those around them know when to call the doctor or go to the emergency room could save a life.”
For important health information and updates, follow the Indiana State Department of Health on Facebook at www.facebook.com/isdh1 and Twitter at @StateHealthIN.