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Millions of people all over the world suffer from Asthma, which means that most people know someone that suffers from it. Those who have someone with asthma in their lives are typically familiar with the ‘psst psst’ sound of the inhalers that make a relatively normal day to day life possible for the ones who use them.

World Asthma Day is dedicated to raising awareness about this pernicious disease. And it also seeks to bring awareness and advanced asthma care to sufferers throughout the world.

So now it’s time to learn about and celebrate everything to do with World Asthma Day!

History of World Asthma Day

World Asthma Day was initially established in 1998 by the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA). The day was created to promote awareness of asthma as a condition that is increasing. In fact, it affects at least 14% of children worldwide and seems to be growing in prevalence.

By 2016, the World Health Organization (WHO) recognized asthma as of major public health importance. In fact, the WHO estimated that almost 340 million people in the world were suffering from asthma, and that year there were over 400,000 deaths due to this disease of the lungs.

While almost everyone is familiar with the look and sound of an inhaler for asthma being used, not everyone is as aware of the actual nature and cause of the condition, as well as the fact that there are multiple types of asthma out there.

The truth of the matter is that asthma isn’t entirely understood. But what is known is that there are multiple factors at play in the complex chemistry that creates an asthma sufferer. These include genetic interactions and elements in the environment that can change both the severity and how likely it is to respond to treatment.

The known aggravators of asthma are many and include everything from allergens to air pollution, and other chemicals that can appear in the environment that irritate the lungs. In high enough concentrations, these factors can cause serious asthma attacks in sufferers and can aggravate cases that are otherwise mild.

Asthma is incredibly prevalent in those locations that suffer from low air quality as a result and, incidentally, these types of areas often also tend to be those that house low-income and minority communities. As such, these already disadvantaged individuals are usually the highest sufferers of this pernicious disease. An additional added factor is psychological stress and, again, this element is particularly high in those living on the edge of poverty, increasing its occurrence there further.

Thus, learning more about asthma, raising awareness, and supporting those who have the disease is growing in importance. So now it’s time to observe World Asthma Day!

World Asthma Day Timeline

400 BC

Hippocrates describes asthma as a symptom 

The ‘grandfather of modern medicine’ links symptoms of asthma to environmental triggers and specific trades.[1]


First inhaler is invented 

Created by English physician and astronomer, John Mudge, the first inhaler was based around a pewter tankard where patients could breathe in vapor.[2]


Steam driven nebulizer is invented 

Created in Germany, this machine uses the Venturi principle to atomize liquid medication.[3]


Global Initiative for Asthma is formed 

This non-profit organization works with healthcare professionals and public health officials all over the world to reduce the prevalence, morbidity and mortality of asthma.[4]


First World Asthma Day is celebrated 

Started by the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) the first World Asthma Day takes place this year.[5]

How to Celebrate World Asthma Day

Observing and celebrating World Asthma Day can be tons of fun! Try out some of these ideas to get started:

Get an Asthma Screening

For those who have had trouble breathing for any reason, World Asthma Day would be the ideal opportunity to get a health screening. Or have a health screening for the kids to make sure that they are not at risk for problems with asthma. No matter what, it’s always the wisest idea to check with a doctor right away anytime an adult or child has any problems with breathing!

Learn More About Asthma

For those who already have friends or family members who suffer from asthma, this is the opportunity to take the time to get further educated on it. One good way to begin is by learning a few important facts about asthma, like these:

  • Asthma is not a childhood disease. Although many people think that most people will “grow out of” asthma, that is not necessarily true. In fact, it can occur at any age, including childhood, adolescence, adulthood and even the elderly.
  • Asthma is controllable. Though there is not yet any known cure for asthma, it can often be controlled with low dose steroids that are inhaled.
  • Asthma is not infectious. This is a disease of the lungs that is not contagious and cannot be ‘caught’. However, asthma attacks can be associated with viral respiratory infections or even allergies.
  • People with asthma can exercise and perform sports. Though it is often thought that people with asthma can’t do sports or exercise, this simply isn’t true.

Share About World Asthma Day

Plus, it’s also a time to do what is possible to help other sufferers in the world at large by sharing that information. Perhaps make a post on social media to let people know about World Asthma Day and encourage them to learn more and celebrate also. It might even be a good idea to organize a promotional event at the office to widen the scope of people who are made aware of the day.

Make a Donation

Those who are deeply dedicated to providing support for those suffering from asthma might want to consider making a donation to a charity that supports those with the disease.

Don’t Be Hyper-Clean

Start out by…. Not cleaning quite so thoroughly. Does this seem counterintuitive? It sure does to a lot of people! That is, until they learn that hyper-hygienic environments have significantly higher occurrences than farms and those houses that have pets.

So one way to start is by making sure that those kids spend more time playing in the dirt, and not sanitizing the world to within an inch of its life.

World Asthma Day FAQs

When is World Asthma Day?

World Asthma Day takes place annually on the first Tuesday of the month of May.[1]

What is World Asthma Day?

World Asthma Day is an annual event that is meant for people to raise awareness and advocate for people with asthma living fulfilled lives.[2]

Who started World Asthma Day?

This day was begun by the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA), which is an health awareness organization that dates back to 1993.[3]

What to do for World Asthma Day?

World Asthma Day is the perfect day to raise awareness, learn more, and join together with others.[4]

Why is World Asthma Day important?

This is an important day to remember and observe because asthma affects approximately 340 million people all over the globe.[5]

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