RHHD Observes Asthma Awareness Month

RICHMOND, VA — The Richmond and Henrico Health Districts (RHHD) observe Asthma Awareness Month in May and encourage residents to connect with a physician for diagnosis and care if they or their children are experiencing the symptoms of asthma, including chest tightness or pain, wheezing when exhaling, and/or trouble sleeping caused by shortness of breath, coughing, or wheezing. These symptoms may be worsened by a cold or the flu. The American Lung Association emphasizes the connection between asthma and climate change:

Climate change is causing extreme heat, contributing to poor air quality, increased allergens, extreme weather events, and more frequent and intense wildfires. Hot, humid air can cause asthma symptoms such as wheezing, coughing, and shortness of breath. Heat can trigger asthma symptoms because high temperatures and humidity can trap pollutants that can irritate the airways. Humidity helps common asthma triggers, like dust mites and mold to thrive. Air pollution, ozone, and pollen also increase when the weather is hot and humid.

American Lung Association

“We know that where a person lives can greatly impact their health,” said Becca Bruhl, RHHD Children’s Health Advisor. “Unfortunately, Richmond is one of the most challenging cities in the US to live in when you have asthma, according to the Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America. At RHHD, we’re working together with local school and health systems to implement asthma education and intervention programs, advance policies and improvements to improve indoor and outdoor air quality and improve access to primary and specialty care to help people with asthma get the treatment and support they need to thrive.”

“Local governments have a lot of tools at their disposal to protect residents from extreme heat and improve local air quality at the same time,” said Peter Braun, RHHD Built Environment Policy Analyst. “Investing in tree planting, growing parks and greenspaces, and prioritizing active transportation have significant public health benefits.”

RHHD encourages residents experiencing the symptoms of asthma to reach out to a primary care or other physician to receive diagnosis and treatment. Residents can get help connecting to a primary care physician, regardless of insurance status, by visiting rhhd.gov/connect-pc. RHHD encourages residents with school-aged children to use the month of May to make sure their child’s asthma action plan is in place for the coming school year. Parents can find more information at RHHD’s school health hub, rhhd.gov/school-health-hub.

Richmond and Henrico Health Districts (RHHD) are sister public health agencies serving our connected communities. Our mission is to protect health, champion equity, and partner to address local needs.

rhhd.gov | henrico.us/health | RCHD Facebook | HCHD Facebook | IG: @richmondcity_hd

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