Respiratory illnesses are pervasive, chronic conditions that exist quietly in millions of Americans. Patients manage their breathing with varying degrees of success, since the ability to keep on top of symptoms depends heavily on a patient’s personal circumstances.
Paradoxically, respiratory health rarely gets the policy attention it deserves. The current health care paradigm is one of disease treatment, rather than disease prevention. Though prevention is the cornerstone of good respiratory health, the United States has fallen behind in addressing health care delivery for day-to-day treatment of chronic conditions.