Asthma

We help people live their lives without asthma getting in the way

Asthma should not set the tone of your life. Let UW Health help you or your child breathe easier and live better.
shutterstock_334463564

Overview

Asthma facts

Asthma is a chronic lung condition that makes it hard to breathe.

When the airways in your lungs get irritated, they swell. This makes it harder for air to flow between your nose, mouth and lungs.

There is no cure for asthma, but it can be controlled. At UW Health, we teach you how to avoid things that trigger your asthma and provide care when needed. 

2million
emergency room visits in the U.S. are asthma related every year
44percent
of all asthma hospitalizations are for children
4,000+
deaths in the U.S. each year are asthma related

Meet our team

Allergy, asthma and immunology care

Asthma often occurs along with allergies or other immune responses. At UW Health, two specialized teams of doctors treat adults and children with asthma. Our adult and pediatric asthma programs are the largest in Wisconsin.

Symptoms and diagnosis

Asthma triggers

A trigger is something that makes asthma worse. Triggers are different for each person with asthma. They include:

  • Allergies

  • Certain medicines 

  • Changes in temperature and weather

  • Chemicals and strong smells

  • Cigarette smoke

  • Colds and flu

  • Exercise

Signs of asthma

Common symptoms of asthma are:

  • Coughing

  • Shortness of breath

  • Tightness in your chest

  • Wheezing (a high-pitched whistling sound)

You may experience all of these symptoms or only some. 

What causes asthma?

Asthma is the most common persistent condition in children. One in 15 Americans have asthma. 

An asthma episode makes the airways in your lungs get narrow. You feel like you can’t breathe. If not well-managed, asthma can be life threatening. Doctors don’t know exactly why some people get asthma. The condition can run in families.

We do know that smoking is a risk factor for asthma. Children are at increased risk for developing asthma if:

  • Their mothers smoke while pregnant 

  • They live in homes where people smoke 

Treatments and research

Breathe easy with these medicines and tools

Your treatment depends on what triggers your asthma. Your care may change over time, especially as you enter adulthood.

Asthma medicine

Types of asthma medicine include:

You take this medicine as needed for fast relief of asthma symptoms. Rescue medicines like albuterol can prevent and treat an asthma attack.

You may take long-term medicines to keep chronic asthma symptoms in check. These medicines also prevent attacks. There are different types of asthma control medicines. Some are taken by mouth. Some are inhaled.

Tools to monitor, manage and treat your asthma

Your doctor may suggest that you use different tools to monitor, manage and treat your asthma. Options include:

A guide to help manage and control your asthma. Tell people you spend time with, such as school staff or co-workers, about your action plan.

A machine used to give medicine in the form of mist.

This portable, hand-held device measures how well you can push air out of your lungs.

This tube maximizes the amount of medicine an inhaler puts into your lungs.

Access to advanced treatments

At UW Health, we’ve been studying asthma for over 30 years. This means you get the most advanced care available.

Our research team helps develop new medicines and treatment guidelines. We’ve completed more than 400 asthma studies with adults and children.

Asthma clinical trials

Help advance our understanding of asthma treatment by participating in a clinical trial.

Learn more

Locations

Clinics close to home

You can get care from UW Health asthma specialists at locations right in your own backyard. We have clinics in Beaver Dam, Dodgeville, Fort Atkinson, Madison, Mauston, Portage, Richland Center, Sauk Prairie and Watertown.

Loading...
  • 20 S. Park Clinic - Allergy, Asthma and Immunology
    • 20 S. Park St. / Madison, WI
    • (608) 287-2600
    • Closed now
    •  
      View hours, services and more
  • East Clinic - Allergy, Asthma and Immunology
    • 5249 E. Terrace Dr. / Madison, WI
    • (608) 265-1280
    • Closed now
    •  
      View hours, services and more
  • University Hospital - Pulmonary Medicine
    • 600 Highland Ave. / Madison, WI
    • (608) 263-7203
    • Closed now
    •  
      View hours, services and more
  • West Clinic - Allergy, Asthma and Immunology
    • 451 Junction Rd. / Madison, WI
    • (608) 263-6180
    • Closed now
    •  
      View hours, services and more
  • UW Health Pulmonary Clinic and Pulmonary Diagnostics
    • 202 S. Park St. / Madison, WI
    • (608) 287-0999
    • Closed now
    •  
      View hours, services and more
  • American Family Children's Hospital - Pediatric Allergy, Asthma and Immunology
    • 1675 Highland Ave. / Madison, WI
    • (608) 263-6420
    • Closed now
    •  
      View hours, services and more
  • UW Health Specialty Clinic - Portage - Allergy, Asthma and Immunology
    • 2977 County Hwy CX / Portage, WI
    • (800) 489-6008
    • Closed now
    •  
      View hours, services and more
  • UW Health Specialty Clinic - Portage - Pediatric Allergy, Asthma and Immunology
    • 2977 County Hwy CX / Portage, WI
    • (800) 489-6008
    • Closed now
    •  
      View hours, services and more
  • UW Health Specialty Clinic - Fort Atkinson - Allergy, Asthma and Immunology
    • 611 Sherman Ave East / Fort Atkinson, WI
    • (800) 489-6008
    • Closed now
    •  
      View hours, services and more
  • UW Health Specialty Clinic - Fort Atkinson - Pediatric Allergy, Asthma and Immunology
    • 611 Sherman Ave East / Fort Atkinson, WI
    • (800) 489-6008
    • Closed now
    •  
      View hours, services and more
  • UW Health Specialty Clinic - Sauk Prairie - Allergy, Asthma and Immunology
    • 250 26th Street, Suite 120 / Prairie du Sac, WI
    • (800) 489-6008
    • Closed now
    •  
      View hours, services and more
  • Upland Hills Health - Allergy, Asthma and Immunology
    • 800 Compassion Way / Dodgeville, WI
    • (800) 489-6008
    • Closed now
    •  
      View hours, services and more
  • UW Health Specialty Clinic - Mauston - Allergy, Asthma and Immunology
    • 1040 Division St. / Mauston, WI
    • (800) 489-6008
    • Closed now
    •  
      View hours, services and more
  • Beaver Dam Clinic - Allergy, Asthma and Immunology
    • 705 S. University Ave., Suite 200 / Beaver Dam, WI
    • (800) 489-6008
    • Closed now
    •  
      View hours, services and more
  • Richland Hospital Clinic - Allergy, Asthma and Immunology
    • 333 E. Second St. / Richland Center, WI
    • (800) 489-6008
    • Closed now
    •  
      View hours, services and more