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Indiana State Department of Health

Chronic Disease > Asthma Program > For Consumers For Consumers

Asthma Basics

Asthma is a chronic respiratory disease that affects over half a million children and adults living in Indiana. Asthma can be controlled but not cured. In a person with asthma, airways can swell and tighten making it hard to breathe. When an asthma attack happens, the inside of the airways swell and fill with mucus. The muscles around the airways tighten. This makes the airways smaller. Some of the most common symptoms of asthma include wheezing, shortness of breath, tightness in the chest, and coughing.

People with asthma can help control their symptoms by managing triggers in their environment. Triggers include anything that brings on asthma symptoms, and they differ for each person with asthma. Some triggers include dust mites, cigarette smoke, perfumes and fragrances, mold, pet dander, cockroaches, and stressful or emotional situations.

People with asthma should talk to their doctor about developing an asthma action plan. Asthma action plans help people with asthma to manage their symptoms. Plans include a list of triggers, how to avoid them, information on medications and when they should be taken, and emergency telephone numbers.

Asthma is a serious health condition, but it doesn't have to slow you down! With proper management of triggers and control of symptoms, people with asthma can lead a full, healthy life. Keep reading for more information on managing asthma.

My Asthma Wallet Card

Free wallet size action plan. Provided by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

Burn Wise Program

It is important to protect your home, health, and the air we breathe. The Environmental Protection Agency's Burn Wise Program is designed to raise awareness about the proper ways to burn wood.  

How Well Controlled is Your Asthma?

If you are 12 or older, click here to take a short quiz that will help determine if your asthma symptoms are well controlled. Click here for an asthma control test for children ages 4 to 11.

Breathe Well, Live Well

Breath Well, Live Well is an adult asthma management program designed to help you learn to control your asthma and reduce symptoms so you can enjoy more activities. The program was developed by the American Lung Association. Any adult can participate in this program. A referral is not required. For more information contact the American Lung Association.

Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America

The AAFA is offering three new resources for parents, asthma educators, and Head Start staff. The first is Wee BreathersTM. This program is designed to help educate children under the age of seven about the basics of asthma management. The program is available online free of charge. Secondly, the Asthma Management and Education Online program is designed as a resource for asthma educators and Head Start staff wishing to improve their knowledge of asthma management. The program also allows respiratory therapists and nurses a chance to earn seven free continuing education credits. The third resource being offered is the Asthma Basics or Children curriculum. This set of three books is designed to provide asthma educators and Head Start staff content needed for educating staff and parents about asthma management.

Asthma Study Seeking Volunteers

The St. Vincent Asthma Clinical Research Center (ACRC) invites people with asthma to participate in its clinical trials to test new innovative asthma treatments. Dr. Michael Busk is the principal investigator.

The St. Vincent ACRC is a member of the nation's larges not-for-profit network of clinical research centers that are conducting numerous large clinical trials, which will directly impact patient care and asthma treatment. The ACRC network has secured approximately $21 million in National Institutes of Health funding as well as support from the American Lung Association, industry and foundations.

Most of the studies require clinic visits and include compensation. The St. Vincent ACRC is located at the St. Vincent Health, Wellness and Preventative Care Institute, 8333 Naab Road, Suite 301. For more information, please contact either Kimberly Sundblad, RN, BSN, MPH, CCRC, lead clinical research coordinator, at (317) 338-8032,; or Debra Weiss, clinical research coordinator, at (317) 338-8030,

Asthma Patient Registry

Asthma and Smoking Cohort Study

Differences in smokers and non-smokers with asthma.


Just for Kids!

This website features asthma related crafts, games, activities and information for parents of preschool age children

Website features asthma related asthma and allergy games, activities, stories and videos for children

CDC website features asthma data and links to other online resources for kids aged 6-16


Access this FREE interactive computer game online!

Perfuma, Smokita and General Robo-Roach are pesky villains on a mission…to trick kids into thinking they can’t manage their asthma. It’s up to YOU to put a stop to their master plan.

Featuring the voices of eleven top celebrities and designed in stunning 3-D animation, Quest for the Code was created to help kids ages 7 to 15 learn how to manage their asthma.


Watch a Short Video And Learn About Buster's Asthma!

When Buster has trouble breathing while playing with Arthur he learns he has asthma. When his friends start treating him differently Buster finally decides to tell a story about having asthma and what he does to stop it. His friends understand and start treating him the same as before.

This website has fun games, jokes and songs related to Asthma and Allergies and their Environmental Triggers



Become an Asthma Control Agent!

Lungtropolis is a new, interactive web-based learning game to help teach children ages 5-10 how to manage their asthma effectively—is now available online. In the Lungtropolis Kids game, developed by the American Lung Association in partnership with ORCAS (Oregon Center of Applied Science), children become "Asthma Control Agents" as they fight to defeat the Mucus Mob. Lungtropolis Parents offers caregivers comprehensive information and resources to understand and help manage a child's asthma


A Is for Asthma!
In English:

En Español: ¡A es para asma… y para activo!

Hey kids! Watch this fun video as Elmo and Rosita learn and understand how to help their friends who have trouble breathing from asthma. Learn about what triggers asthma, what you can do to prevent asthma, and how to coordinate an action plan with your doctor, school, caregivers, family and friends.


Environmental Protection Agency: Air Quality Index for KIDS!

Spanish/En Español:

Play games that teach you about how the air you breath makes a difference how you feel! Lots of information describing what "AQI" is and how you can help protect the air we all breathe! Follow the links to find out what the air quality is in your own state!


Information for Parents

American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology: Resources for Patients and Public

Allergy and Asthma Network Mothers of Asthmatics For Parents Allergies and Asthma

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Asthma Information for Parents

Environmental Protection Agency: Asthma

Environmental Protection Agency: Children's Health Protection

American Lung Association

Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America

Children's Environmental Health Network

KidsHealth: Asthma Center

Knozone: At Home

Asthma Alliance of Indianapolis: Information for Patients, Families, and Kids