U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

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Historical breathing assistance apparatusBreath of Life

In different ways, people everywhere in every age have struggled with asthma, but the feeling of breathlessness remains central to the disease. Today, asthma is a serious, widespread problem affecting millions of people in the United States. But what is asthma? Who has asthma and why? Have its prevalence and impact grown dramatically in our time? Can it be managed, prevented, or cured? How do people cope with asthma? To search for answers, Breath of Life examines the medical and human history of asthma.

The online exhibition features a range of resources for educators and students exploring explanations of the illness and cultural works created by artists who live and have lived with asthma.

The American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology supported the publication of an exhibition catalogue.

Last Reviewed: May 5, 2015