More than 6 million children in the U.S. have asthma. If you are an adolescent or teen with asthma, you probably have a lot of questions. (Your parents probably have questions, too!) You both want to know what you can do to feel better.

What is asthma?

Asthma is a lung disease that makes airways in the lungs extra-sensitive to certain things, called "triggers." Triggers can cause the airways in the lungs to narrow and make it hard to breathe.

Asthma is a chronic disease. Teens or adolescents with asthma will always have it.

Key points to help you breathe easier

Sometimes it might feel like you don't have much control over your asthma. But there are things you can do. You are the most important part of successfully treating your asthma. You should take an active role. You parents are there to help. But as you grow up, you need to understand how treatment can help you breathe easier and have fewer asthma symptoms.

Successfully treat your asthma with these tips:

  • Take asthma medicines every day, exactly as the doctor says.
  • Keep track of your asthma symptoms.
  • Use a peak flow meter to track how well you are breathing.
  • Go to all check-ups with your doctor.
  • Talk to your doctor if your asthma symptoms get worse.
  • Get active. Walking, swimming and hiking are good exercise for people with asthma.
  • Make sure your adolescent or teen avoids asthma triggers as much as possible.

Want more information about breathing easier with asthma? Here are some websites for you and your parents to visit:

Also visit Health Programs for more information on our CareSmart® Program for Asthma.