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Help With Managing Conditions Such As Asthma

Contents Of An Asthma Action Plan

Understanding Asthma: Mild, Moderate, and Severe

An asthma action plan includes:

  • how to care for your day-to-day asthma
  • key things that tell you when your asthma is getting worse or a flare-up is developing, and the steps you should take to manage it
  • symptoms that are serious enough to need urgent medical help .

Review your asthma action plan with your doctor every 6 months, or after a severe asthma flare-up.

What Is An Asthma Action Plan

An asthma action plan is created by you and your doctor to help manage your asthma. It includes information about what you must do to stay healthy, and what to do when your asthma is unstable and you need help.There is no standard asthma action plan, as everyones asthma is different. Your plan needs to be developed to deal with your own triggers, signs and symptoms, and medication. It might be based on symptoms, peak-flow readings or both. However, symptom-based plans are more common.

Action plans are available in many different formats, you can also upload it to the Asthma Buddy mobile website.

Complementary And Alternative Therapies

Complementary and Alternative Therapies, sometimes called Complementary and Integrative Medicine, are treatments that are not part of standard medicine, such as acupuncture and chiropractic. It is a term used for a wide variety of health care practices that may be used along with, or instead of, mainstream medical treatment. An example of such therapy is using acupuncture to help reduce nausea after surgery and chemotherapy. For more information on the use of Complementary and Alternative Therapies related to asthma care, visit the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. The Mayo Clinic also has a page about which home remedies are most likely to work for asthma.

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Clinical Trials For Asthma

Most clinical trials related to asthma involve medications, but they may also investigate lifestyle changes and behavioral and environmental factors, like avoidance of triggers, says Williams.

Clinical trials are important because they can help doctors and researchers better understand how and when drugs work, says Grayson. Clinical trials, he says, can pursue these goals:

  • To show if a new drug is as good as or better than current medications
  • To identify people who may do better on a certain drug
  • To reveal biomarkers or environmental factors that will tell us who is more likely to have asthma, and which medications may work better for certain individuals

Complementary And Alternative Medicine For Asthma

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Some complementary or alternative therapies may help with asthma management. They include breathing techniques, yoga, meditation, acupuncture, caffeine, and dietary supplements, such as vitamin D. Theres also some evidence that certain teas, such as licorice, fennel, eucalyptus, and green and black tea, may have some beneficial effects on lung function and may be good for people with asthma.

Other complementary and alternative medicine approaches that have been touted as being helpful for asthma but dont yet have solid scientific evidence to back them up include Himalayan salt lamps, essential oils, and accupressure.

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If you want to try some complementary and alternative therapies for asthma, make sure you talk to your healthcare provider first. Some supplements may interact with your medications or cause health problems, and just because something is promoted as natural, it doesnt mean its safe, advises the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Never use complementary therapies as substitutes for the conventional asthma treatments prescribed by your doctor.

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Asthma Management: A Priority For Schools

Asthma is a long-term, inflammatory disease that causes the airways of the lungs to tighten and constrict, leading to wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness and coughing. The inflammation also causes the airways of the lungs to become especially sensitive to a variety of asthma triggers. The particular trigger or triggers and the severity of symptoms can differ for each person with asthma.

During 2013, children with asthma aged 5-17 missed 13.8 million days of school per year. Because Americans spend up to 90 percent of their time indoors, exposure to indoor allergens and irritants may play a significant role in triggering asthma episodes. Some of the most common asthma triggers found in schools, as well as techniques to mitigate them, are addressed on this page’s section, Control Asthma Triggers.

Each day, one in five Americans occupies a school building. The majority of these occupants are children. Environmental asthma triggers commonly found in school buildings include:

  • Cockroaches and other pests
  • Mold resulting from excess moisture in the building
  • Dander from animals in the classroom
  • Dander brought in on clothing from animals at home.

Secondhand smoke and dust mites are other known environmental asthma triggers found in schools. Children with asthma may be affected by other pollutants from sources found inside schools, such as:

  • Unvented stoves or heaters

Medication Prices For Asthma

In a report from 2017, researchers tabulated the annual medical cost of living with asthma as $3,266 per person. That amount includes costs for prescriptions, office visits, hospitalizations, and emergency room care, based on cost estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

If the cost of your asthma care is a concern, talk to your doctor about your options. Your doctor may be able to suggest ways to help, such as where you can apply for patient assistance programs, how to find manufacturer coupons, and more.

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Asthma Nurse Asthma Nurse Specialist Or Practice Nurse

Who are they and what do they do?

Some GP surgeries have a dedicated asthma nurse who has had specialist training in the treatment and management of asthma.

In some surgeries where there is no dedicated asthma nurse, the practice nurse may see people with asthma instead.

When should you see them?

Your asthma nurse can help support you so you can look after your asthma better by:

  • Making sure youre taking the right medicines
  • Going through your written asthma action plan with you
  • Carrying out your regular asthma review with you
  • Answering any questions you may have about your asthma.

How to access them

Ask your GP or GP receptionist about what asthma nurse support is available to you and how best to access it.

Tips For Parents And Carers Of Children With Asthma

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All the above tips also apply to children, but useful tips to help your child manage their asthma include:

  • Generally, your child can take their preventer medication before and after school.
  • As your child gets older, involve them in decisions about their asthma medications and management.
  • Linking asthma medication to your childs own goals can help. For instance, a child who loves sports may take asthma medication more readily if they know it helps them participate.

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Asthma And School: A Simple Protocol

Children with asthma benefit from a protocol to manage asthma and to guide care.

  • Set up a medication system for maintenance and emergency medications.
  • Meet with parents to build a trusting relationship and obtain:
  • Medication orders
  • Communicate with faculty, school nurses, and staff to alert them to student health needs.
  • Provide asthma education to staff as needed.
  • Review symptoms of asthma with all staff and post signs of symptoms in classrooms.
  • What Are Common Asthma Attack Triggers

    You can have an asthma attack if you come in contact with substances that irritate you. Healthcare providers call these substances triggers. Knowing what triggers your asthma makes it easier to avoid asthma attacks.

    For some people, a trigger can bring on an attack right away. For other people, or at other times, an attack may start hours or days later.

    Triggers can be different for each person. But some common triggers include:

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    Deterrence And Patient Education

    Patient education about the disease and modifying behavior is vital. The patient should also be encouraged to change lifestyle and control the environmental trigger factors.

    Patients should be asked to maintain healthy body weight as evidence reveals that the disorder is more difficult to control in overweight individuals.

    Patients should avoid tobacco and use of beta-blockers, aspirin, and sulfites.

    Finding Doctors For Asthma

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    Which healthcare professionals are on your asthma treatment team may depend on factors like what your insurance covers and what services are available where you live. Depending on the severity of your asthma, your individual needs, and what you have access to, your asthma care team may include the following experts:

    • Primary care physician

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    Minimizing Environmental Asthma Triggers At Home And Work

    You can take measures to keep your home asthma-friendly by identifying and minimizing common indoor asthma triggers, such as pet dander, mold, dust mites, chemical irritants , and cigarette smoke, advises the Environmental Protection Agency. Some smart strategies for managing asthma triggers include designating pet-free zones in the house , washing bedding and mopping and vacuuming frequently , and putting dust-mite covers on pillows and mattresses.

    If youre experiencing asthma symptoms at work, speak with your supervisor and coworkers to try to identify the triggers it could be anything from moldy carpets to dust to industrial cleaning chemicals and then figure out a way to minimize your exposure.

    Side Effects Of Relievers And Preventers

    Relievers are a safe and effective medicine, and have few side effects as long as they are not used too much. The main side effects include a mild shaking of the hands , headaches and muscle cramps. These usually only happen with high doses of reliever inhaler and usually only last for a few minutes.

    Preventers are very safe at usual doses, although they can cause a range of side effects at high doses, especially with long-term use.

    The main side effect of preventer inhalers is a fungal infection of the mouth or throat . You may also develop a hoarse voice and sore throat.

    Using a spacer can help prevent these side effects, as can rinsing your mouth or cleaning your teeth after using your preventer inhaler.

    Your doctor or nurse will discuss with you the need to balance control of your asthma with the risk of side effects, and how to keep side effects to a minimum.

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    Other Medication And Asthma Triggers

    Some medication for other health conditions can make asthma symptoms worse and trigger an asthma flare-up or attack.

    It is very important that you inform your doctor and pharmacist that you have asthma when a new medicine is prescribed to you or when you are buying over-the-counter medication or complementary therapies.

    If you feel a particular medicine is making your asthma worse, treat your symptoms and contact your doctor immediately.Some medicines known to trigger asthma symptoms in some people include:

    • aspirin contained in some medication, such as pain relievers
    • non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen and naproxen
    • beta-blocker tablets often used to control high blood pressure
    • beta-blocker eye drops to treat the eye condition glaucoma
    • ace inhibitors often used to control high blood pressure.

    Will I Always Have To Take The Same Amount Of Medicine


    Not always. You will probably take more medicine when you begin treatment to get control of your asthma. Work with your doctor to learn which medicine control your asthma best and how much you need. Once your asthma is well-controlled, your doctor may be able to reduce the amount of medicine you take. The goal is to gain control of your asthma as soon as possible and then control it with as little medicine as possible. Once long-term anti-inflammatory therapy begins, your doctor should monitor you every one to six months. This is to see how your asthma medicines are working and if your asthma is well controlled.

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    Use An Asthma Action Plan

    How do you keep track of your medicines, when to take them and what to do when your symptoms are flaring up? Your provider should work with you to develop an asthma action plan , also called an asthma management plan . An AAP is a written document that is developed with your provider and individualized for each patient. Some AAPs use a green, yellow and red zone format. Each zone tells a patient when their asthma is green – doing well, yellow – getting worse and needs to be treated with rescue medicines or red รข emergency and you need to call 911 or get to an emergency room right away.

    An AAP will include:

    • What daily control medicines to take, when to take them and how often.
    • What symptoms indicate your asthma is flaring up, how severe that symptom might be and what to do when having symptoms.
    • What rescue inhalers or nebulized medicine you should use, how much and when.
    • What typically triggers your asthma.
    • When your asthma is out of control and you need to call 911 or get to an emergency room.
    • Some AAPs will also include Peak Flow Meter readings which measures how well/poorly your lungs are working. A very low peak flow reading is an emergency.

    What Are The Different Types Of Delivery Devices For Asthma Medicines

    You take most asthma medicines by breathing them in using an inhaler or nebulizer. An inhaler or nebulizer allows the medicine to go directly to your lungs. But some asthma medicines are in pill form, infusion form, or injectable form.


    There are four types of asthma inhaler devices that deliver medicine: metered dose inhalers , dry powder inhalers , breath actuated inhalers, and soft mist inhalers.

    • Metered dose inhalers have medicine plus a propellant. The propellant sprays the medicine out of the inhaler in a short burst.
    • Dry powder inhalers do not have a propellant and do not spray the medicine out of the inhaler. The medicine is released from the inhaler when you breathe it in.
    • Breath actuated inhalers have a dry powder or aerosol medicine. The medicine does not spray out of the inhaler. The medicine is released from the inhaler when you breathe it in.
    • Soft mist inhalers do not have propellant, but they do spray the medicine out of the inhaler. They create a cloud of medicine that sprays out softly.

    Different types of asthma devices

    For inhalers to work well, you must use them correctly. But 70 to 90% of people who use inhalers make at least one mistake when using their inhaler.1 Inhaler mistakes can lead to uncontrolled asthma. Ask your doctor or nurse to watch you use your inhaler to make sure you are using it correctly.

    Spacers and valved holding chambers



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    Cold Weather And Asthma

    Cold weather is a common trigger for asthma symptoms.

    There are things you can do to help control your symptoms in the cold:

    • carry your reliever inhaler with you at all times and keep taking your regular preventer inhaler as prescribed
    • if you need to use your inhaler more than usual, speak to your doctor about reviewing your treatment
    • keep warm and dry wear gloves, a scarf and a hat, and carry an umbrella
    • wrap a scarf loosely over your nose and mouth this will help warm up the air before you breathe it
    • try breathing in through your nose instead of your mouth your nose warms the air as you breathe

    Preventer Medication For Asthma

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    Preventer medication makes the airways less sensitive and reduces inflammation and swelling. It needs to be taken as prescribed, over the long term, to be most effective in reducing the risk and severity of any flare-ups.Most preventer medication for asthma is inhaled corticosteroid. Because the medication goes straight to your lungs where it is needed, the risk of side effects from taking inhaled steroids is very low.

    Most adults with asthma can achieve good control of their asthma symptoms with a low dose of inhaled corticosteroid.

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    How A Family Doctor Can Help Manage Asthma

    Asthma is a chronic condition that can cause chest pain, difficulty breathing, and wheezing. One of the most common causes of asthma is allergies, usually due to environmental factors such as dust, smoke, and pollution. A respiratory illness can also trigger asthma symptoms.

    While there is no cure for asthma, you can keep your asthma symptoms under control with the help of your family doctor. A primary care doctor can coordinate your healthcare with other medical specialists and help you maintain your quality of life.

    Asthma is one of the most commonly treated conditions by family medicine providers. It may surprise you to know that even if you are already seeing an allergy doctor for your asthma, the allergy specialist may recommend that you also see a primary care provider.

    Lets talk about why you need to have a primary care physician, how a family doctor can help you manage your asthma, and where you can go in Wellington and Royal Palm Beach for top-notch medical care for yourself and your whole family.

    There Are Four Key Symptoms That You Should Monitor To Help You Keep Your Asthma Under Control:

    How often do you have asthma symptoms during the day, such as coughing, wheezing, chest tightness or shortness of breath?

    Do you wake up at night with asthma symptoms, such as coughing, wheezing, chest tightness or shortness of breath?

    How often do you use your quick-relief or rescue inhaler to relieve asthma symptoms?

    Do you have difficulty performing normal activities, such as walking, climbing stairs, daily chores or playing with the kids?

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    Family Planning With Asthma

    If youre planning to start a family, the most important thing to remember is that you need to control your asthma during pregnancy, says Williams. About one-third of women say their asthma becomes worse, one-third say it gets better, and one-third say its the same, says Williams.

    If asthma is not controlled in a pregnant woman, it could reduce the amount of oxygen in that womans blood. And since a fetus needs a constant supply of oxygen for normal growth and development , its imperative that an expectant mothers asthma is treated, according to the AAFA.

    Some women may worry that taking medication during pregnancy could cause harm to their baby, says Williams. But most studies show that many asthma medications are safe in pregnancy and breastfeeding. Talk to your obstetrician if you have concerns.


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