Here are some common questions about asthma and resources to learn more.

  • What is asthma?

    Asthma is a chronic lung disease that affects your airway. Two things happen with asthma: muscles get tight around your airway and the airway becomes irritated, swollen and blocked by mucus. Asthma causes the following symptoms: wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and feeling weak and tired. The cause of asthma is not known and there is no cure for this disease. There are ways to try to prevent symptoms and medications to manage the disease. For more information click here.

  • How do I know if my child has asthma?

    The only way to know if your child has asthma is to see a doctor. The doctor can test your child’s breathing and lung function to see if he or she has asthma.

  • If I have asthma will my kids get asthma?

    The cause of asthma is not known. It is shown that there are environmental and hereditary factors that may predispose a person to develop asthma. So if someone in your family has asthma, your child is more likely to have it.

  • Why do I need to use a spacer with my inhaler?

    A spacer is a plastic tube that you can use with your inhaler. The spacer helps by:

    • Holding the medicine inside the tube until you breathe it all in.
    • Delivering more of the medicine into your lungs.
    • It helps stop the medicine from staying on your tongue or the back of your throat.

    For more information click here.

  • Can a person who is diagnosed with asthma outgrow it?

    No. If a person is diagnosed with asthma, they will always have asthma. Asthma is a chronic disease that is episodic, meaning that it can come and go. Symptoms can change or improve over time. Sometimes a person can go years without having any symptoms or having anything trigger symptoms.

  • Can a person with asthma play sports?

    Yes, activity is good for someone with asthma. A doctor will help a person who has asthma come up with a plan to enjoy playing sports. For more information click here.

  • Is there a cure for asthma?

    There is no cure for asthma but with proper management, a person with asthma can live a normal, healthy life.

  • Can you catch asthma from someone else who has it?

    Asthma is not a contagious disease. It cannot be passed on from one person to another.

  • What is an asthma action plan?

    This is a written plan that tells you how and when to use all of your medications and what to do in an emergency. Your family, school and any caretakers should have a copy. If you have asthma, talk to your doctor about an asthma action plan.

  • What are asthma triggers?

    Asthma triggers are things that can set off asthma symptoms. Each person with asthma may have different things that can trigger an asthma attack. For more information click here.

  • Can roaches trigger asthma?

    Yes, roach droppings and body parts are asthma triggers. For more information click here.

  • Can rodents trigger asthma?

    Yes, rodents can trigger asthma. The pee and hair from rodents (including mice and rats) can make your asthma worse. For more information click here.

  • Can cigarette smoke trigger asthma?

    Yes, smoking is very risky to anyone who has asthma because of the damage it does to the lungs. When someone around your child smokes or has been smoking, your child may cough, wheeze, and feel short of breath. Harmful chemicals from smoking are present even if you cannot smell smoke. For more information click here.

  • What medications are used to manage asthma?

    Most asthma action plans include both long term and quick relief medications.

    • Long term controller medications are given to help prevent airway swelling and mucus build up. They have to be taken every day in order to work.
    • Quick relief or rescue medications are given to relax the muscles around the airway. These medications work fast. Always carry this with you.

    For more information click here.

South Side Pediatric Asthma Center (SSPAC)
5841 South Maryland Ave.
MC 1075
Chicago, IL 60637