Millions of Americans may be letting asthma take their breath away and many don’t even know it, according to the College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI). To help adults and children find out if asthma might be the cause of their chronic coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath, the ACAAI is conducts an annual Nationwide Asthma Screening Program, supported in part by AAFA and other health care groups.
AAFA joins forces with the ACAAI and local allergists to conduct the free screenings at more than 300 locations across the country beginning in May during National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month. Supported by a grant from AstraZeneca, so far the program has screened more than 80,000 people since it first launched in 1997.
Allergists, who are asthma specialists, will conduct the free asthma screenings at shopping malls, civic centers, health fairs and other accessible locations throughout the country. During a screening, adults who are experiencing breathing problems complete a 20-question Life Quality (LQ) Test developed by ACAAI for the program. Children under the age of 15 take a special test called the Kids’ Asthma Check that enables them to answer questions themselves about any breathing problems. Another version of the Check is available for parents of children up to 8 years of age to complete on their child’s behalf.
In addition to the LQ Test or Kids’ Asthma Check, participants take a lung function test that involves blowing into a tube, and meet with a physician to determine if they should seek a thorough examination and diagnosis. Those who already know they have asthma can talk with a specialist about their disease and how to keep symptoms under control.
To obtain asthma screening dates and locations or to take online versions of the LQ Test and Kids’ Asthma Check, visit the ACAAI Web site at or call AAFA’s toll-free information line, 1-800-7-ASTHMA.