Caring for Earth
Asthma and Our Environment

Asthma and Our Environment
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   7.09

     challenging words:    asthmatic, asthmatics, bronchoconstrictor, dander, nitrogen, outdoor, pollutant, sufferers, sulfur, susceptible, trigger, vacuuming, vulnerable, factor, medication, mucus
     content words:    Utilize HEPA

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Asthma and Our Environment
By Jennifer Kenny

1     Asthma is on the rise. Doctors expect the number of people who suffer from asthma to double in the next twenty years. The rate of those with asthma already went up by 75% for all people between 1980 and 1994. The increase was even more dramatic among young children. Asthma is the number one reason for children being absent from school.
2     What happens during an asthma attack? Well, something triggers a reaction. Then the bronchi and other airways swell up. The mucus that helps to clean the lungs builds up, gets too thick, and blocks the airways. The muscles tighten. A mild attack makes the asthmatic cough. A more serious attack traps air in the lungs and it becomes impossible to take a deep breath and requires immediate medical help.
3     So what does asthma have to do with our environment? Many of the triggers for asthma attacks are in our environment. In fact, researchers are calling for a war on asthma that focuses on environmental triggers. Our environment is the world around us. This includes the indoors and outdoors.

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