Donate to Asthma Research, Patient Care and Education

Asthma affects both adults and children alike. It is estimated that 25 million Americans— about one in 12 — suffer from asthma, and the number continues to grow. Children ages 5 to 17 are particularly vulnerable to developing this condition. The need for further research into the treatment of, and a possible cure for, asthma has never been greater. By generously supporting Northwestern Medicine, you will help our scientists and physicians to meet this need and to achieve important breakthroughs that will benefit countless people with asthma.

Asthma is a chronic illness in which the airwaves become obstructed, resulting in difficulty in breathing. There are three primary types of obstruction most typically associated with asthma:

  • Swelling: Swelling occurs when the airway lining becomes inflamed and swells, narrowing the airway and causing difficulty breathing.
  • Bronchospasm: Triggers such as allergens, smoke, exercise or even cold air cause the smooth muscles around the airway to tighten in response.
  • Mucus: The body produces additional mucus during an asthma attack; these mucus plugs cannot be cleared by coughing.

Northwestern Medicine scientists who would benefit from your support believe that genetics, infections, the environment and body chemistry all can contribute to the development of asthma, which can be an everyday condition or can be triggered by specific situations. A variety of triggers in the atmosphere can cause an asthma attack. While the combination of triggers is completely unpredictable, scientists at Northwestern Medicine are tirelessly studying which particular combinations lead to specific reactions. Asthma attacks are different for everyone, but commonly include wheezing, coughing and shortness of breath. Symptoms can range from mild to debilitating but can be controlled through proper management.

Detecting asthma may be challenging, but it is essential — and your financial support will help physicians at Northwestern Medicine determine the appropriate level of care for every patient. Physicians on the medical staff detect asthma through tests such as spirometry, which measures the quality and speed of the air you exhale; and a peak flow meter, which is a device that measures how hard you can exhale. A physician also might order an x-ray or CT scan, a methacholine test, or simply allergy testing of the skin or blood. Your support will help Northwestern Medicine maintain and expand upon these resources for current and future asthma patients.

The multidisciplinary staff at Northwestern Medicine creates individual plans for patients who suffer from asthma. A plan may include avoiding known triggers and taking long-term, quick-acting medications to keep symptoms under control. Our asthma specialists also guide patients and their families toward making certain lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking, staying away from secondhand smoke, medically determining allergies, and keeping dust, pet dander, mold and mildew under control in the home. In order for a patient to receive the proper medications, he or she must have access to the proper physicians.

Asthma Research, Patient Care and Education Donation

By supporting Northwestern Medicine with a donation to Northwestern Memorial Foundation, you will help to ensure that more asthma sufferers will be linked to the appropriate care.

Unfortunately, there is no cure for asthma — but, even as the number of asthma cases continues to grow, with no known cure on the horizon, you can help to bring about important breakthroughs. Your donation to Northwestern Memorial Foundation will provide vital support to Northwestern Medicine scientists and physicians who are working tirelessly to improve the daily lives and overall health of people with asthma. From lending support to our care teams, to accelerating laboratory research, every dollar that you contribute will help to make asthma a more manageable condition for both adults and children.

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