More than 25 million Americans suffer from asthma, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Health Interview Survey. This chronic condition is so common that even if you don’t have it yourself, you probably know someone – a friend, colleague, or child – who does. Health care providers and patients have many tools for managing asthma, but keeping the disease under control can still be challenging.

According to Chet Fox, M.D., Medical Director of G-Health Enterprises, “Asthma symptoms result from inflammation, or swelling, that narrows the airways and makes them more sensitive than usual. The most common symptoms are coughing, wheezing, chest tightness, and shortness of breath. These symptoms can be brought on by triggers such as tobacco smoke, dust, chemicals, and pollen, which may worsen the inflammation of the airways.”

Consider these three things to know about the condition from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute’s Learn More Breathe Better program, which provides information and resources on asthma, COPD and other lung diseases and conditions to people living with the diseases, their caregivers, and the health care providers who help treat them.

Asthma is a serious lung disease. While symptoms can range from mild to severe, a person can die during an asthma attack. It’s important for someone with the condition, as well as his or her family members, to know how to manage particular symptoms, and when to get emergency medical help.

Asthma doesn’t go away, and it can’t be cured. Once a person develops asthma, he or she is likely to have it for a lifetime. In other words, children rarely outgrow asthma. Even when symptoms aren’t present, the condition is still there and can flare up at any time.

Asthma can be managed. Like diabetes and high blood pressure, asthma takes ongoing monitoring and management to keep it under control. Managing the disease effectively means working closely with a health care provider, taking medications as prescribed, avoiding asthma triggers – like exposure to allergens, poor air quality, or tobacco smoke – and watching for any changes in symptoms. These steps can help anyone with asthma gain – and keep – control of his or her health.

Dr. Fox says, “It is currently not known if people with asthma are at higher risk of getting infected with COVID-19, but if you do get infected you may be at higher risk of getting very sick.” He adds, “COVID-19 can affect your respiratory tract (nose, throat, lungs), cause an asthma attack, and possibly lead to pneumonia and acute respiratory disease.”


G-Health Enterprises is a health care organization encompassing The Greater Buffalo United Accountable Healthcare Network (GBUAHN), The Great Buffalo United Accountable Care Organization (GBUACO), Urban Family Practice (UFP), and The Greater Buffalo United Independent Physician’s Association (GBUIPA) facilitated by CEO and President Raul Vazquez, MD. G-Health Enterprise’s mission is to cultivate hope and quality healthcare in children, families, and communities. Learn more at or call 716-247-5282. For more information and resources on asthma, visit To listen to Dr. Chet Fox talk more about asthma, tune into WUFO MIX 1080AM or POWER 96.5 FM radio on Saturday, June 20 at 7am.