Asthma is a chronic health disorder affecting a substantial proportion of children and adults worldwide. It is characterized by coughing, shortness of breath, chest tightness and wheezing. Asthma symptoms and attacks (episodes of more severe shortness of breath) usually occur after exercise or exposure to allergens, viral respiratory infections, irritant fumes or gases. These exposures cause an inflammation of the airway wall and an abnormal narrowing of the airways, which lead to asthma symptoms. Effective treatment can prevent the onset of symptoms in response to these triggers and can control symptoms once they occur.

  • Asthma accounts for approximately 80% of chronic disease cases in Canada.
  • Asthma is the third-most common chronic disease in Canada.
  • Asthma continues to be a major cause of hospitalization for children in Canada.
  • It is estimated that over 3 million people in Canada currently suffer from asthma.
  • Approximately 600,000 children under the age of 12 have Asthma.
  • Asthma is the most common chronic disease among children.
  • 12 Canadians are diagnosed with asthma every hour.
  • The annual healthcare cost for asthma is estimated at $2.1 billion.
  • Irritants in the air, such as cigarette smoke or other air pollution.
  • Avoiding tobacco smoke.
  • Avoiding pet dander, dust mites, cockroaches, or pollen.
  • Exercise. Ask your doctor about using an inhaler before exercise if this is a trigger for your asthma.
  • Other things like dry, cold air; an infection; or some medicines.
  • Try not to exercise outside when it is cold and dry.