By Leslie Terjesen on Tuesday, May 3, 2016

May is Asthma Awareness Month

“Over 22 million people living in the United States have asthma, a chronic lifelong disease that affects the lungs,” stated Ocean County Freeholder Deputy Director Gerry P. Little, Liaison to the Ocean County Board of Health.  He continued, “Asthma can cause wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness, and coughing. Although asthma cannot be cured, it is possible to manage asthma to reduce and prevent asthma attacks, also called episodes. In the United States, approximately half of people with asthma had at least one asthma attack in 2012. More children (55%) than adults (49%) had an attack.”

Daniel Regenye, Ocean County Health Department (OCHD) Public Health Coordinator, said, “Asthma attacks cause adults to miss work and children to miss school. These dangerous and sometimes life-threatening episodes reduce the quality of life for people with asthma. The good news is that we can raise awareness about asthma and how it can be controlled.

People with asthma can prevent asthma attacks if they learn how to avoid asthma triggers like tobacco smoke, mold, outdoor air pollution, and colds and flu. Asthma episodes can also be prevented by using inhaled corticosteroids and other prescribed daily long-term control medicines correctly.

The Ocean County Health Department addresses asthma in various ways: from helping to create smoke free areas and smoke free ordinances to prohibit smoking to addressing air pollution issues.  The Ocean County Health Department also works to prevent the flu by offering flu and pneumonia shots and certainly disseminates flu prevention messages daily.

To raise awareness about the health consequences and personal and financial costs of asthma, the Ocean County Health Department is recognizing World Asthma Day on May 5, 2015, and Asthma Awareness Month throughout May.

Visit the Ocean County Health Department’s website at or follow the Health Department on Twitter@OCpublichealth or like the Health Department on Facebook.