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How To Make An Asthma Action Plan

Why Asthma Management Is Important

How to Use an Asthma Action Plan

Medication is essential to manage asthma well. Good asthma care also involves treating other conditions that can affect asthma, such as hay fever.

A healthy lifestyle can help you stay in control of your asthma symptoms and feel well.With good asthma management, you can lead a normal, active life. Following your personal written asthma action plan, developed with your doctor, is the best way to keep your asthma under control.

An action plan provides simple instructions for routinely managing your asthma, plus advice on what to do if your asthma symptoms flare up.The main aims of asthma treatment are to:

  • keep symptoms under control
  • keep lungs as healthy as possible
  • stop asthma from interfering with school or work
  • help you or your child enjoy a full and active life.

Essential Oil Inhaler Blends

Essential Oil Inhalers are a wonderful way to experience the benefits of essential oils when you are away from home or when you are not able to use a diffuser. They are portable, convenient and discreet. This blending and recipe tutorial explains how to make your own inhaler blends. To learn what inhalers are and to learn more about their specific benefits and challenges, please begin by reading AromaWebs Guide to Aromatherapy and Essential Oil Inhalers and also AromaWebs Guide to Eco-Friendly Essential Oil Inhaler Alternatives.

Reliever Medication For Asthma

Reliever medication is used for an asthma flare-up or emergency. It opens the airways quickly and is taken as needed for immediate relief from asthma symptoms.

Reliever medication is sometimes overused. Using too much, or too often, could lead to side effects, including tremors and a rapid heart rate.

These side effects are not likely to cause harm. However, frequent use of reliever medication may be a sign that your asthma is not being well controlled. If you need to use a reliever more than twice a week for asthma symptoms , see your doctor to review your asthma and medication.

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Humidifiers And Air Filters

Wheezing can be triggered and exacerbated by low humidity and airborne particles that cause constriction of the bronchioles. A humidifier adds moisture to the air, particularly during winter months, and can aid with sleep by reducing mouth and nasal dryness .

Some humidifiers are equipped with HEPA filters that can remove pollen, dust, and other irritants from the air. Alternatively, you can buy a separate multifilter air purifier equipped with both a HEPA filter and an activated charcoal filter.

Choose an air purifier thats the appropriate size for the room it will be used in and has a fine particle rating of 2.5 , meaning it can remove some of the finest airborne particles.

What Are Asthma Action Plans

Child Asthma Action Plan

An integral part of asthma management is the development of a written asthma action plan by the person with asthma and/or their carer together with their doctor.

An asthma action plan helps the person with asthma and/or their carer recognise worsening asthma and gives clear instructions on what to do in response.

To view and download templates, go to our Asthma Action Plan Library.

The process of developing a written asthma action plan is important, as this should be a discussion of the persons individual asthma and its management. The written plan is a reminder of that discussion.

  • reduces absences from work or school
  • reduces hospital admissions
  • reduces emergency visits to general practice
  • reduces reliever medication use
  • improves lung function.

Doctors should consider developing a written asthma action plan when discussing asthma management with all people with asthma and/or their carers.

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Action Plans For Anaphylaxis Allergic Reactions And Eczema

The Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy has developed a range of action plans for anaphylaxis, allergic reactions and eczema. Having an anaphylaxis action plan is particularly important for people at risk of serious allergic reactions.

The action plans are available from the ASCIA website:

How Is Asthma Diagnosed

In most cases, asthma can be diagnosed from:

  • a description of your asthma symptoms now and in the past
  • listening to your breathing with a stethoscope
  • checking how your lungs are working with breathing tests, such as a peak flow meter and spirometry .

In some cases, more detailed testing may be required, such as a skin-prick test to test for allergens or, rarely, a chest x-ray to rule out other conditions.

Once a diagnosis is made, your doctor will prescribe the type of medicines you need to take and will set up an asthma action plan. This plan reminds you how to manage your asthma every day and how to recognise and manage your asthma when your symptoms get worse.

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Anticipating And Preventing Asthma Flare

Patients with asthma have long-term or chronic inflammation of their airways. Inflamed airways tend to constrict whenever they are exposed to a trigger . Some children with asthma may have increased inflammation in the lungs and airways every day without knowing it. Their breathing may sound normal and wheeze-free when their airways are actually narrowing and becoming inflamed, making them prone to a flare-up. To better assess a child’s breathing and determine risk for an asthma attack , breathing tests may be helpful, but in your home, health care professionals are more likely now to use a simple color-coded system to help you assess what kind of treatment your child needs.

How To Get An Asthma Action Plan

Learn How to Use an Asthma Action Plan

If youre not using an asthma action plan yet, its easy to get started:

  • If you can, print out a copy to take to your GP or asthma nurse.
  • Book an asthma appointment with your GP or asthma nurse.
  • At the appointment, talk through the plan with your GP or asthma nurse and fill it in together. You can do this by telephone or video call too if your appointment isnt in the surgery. Ask them to save a copy onto your notes and send it to you on email, SMS or WhatsApp.
  • You can also get an asthma action plan in Welsh.

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    What Do I Need To Know

    Since the action plan is meant to assist your child and the people around him or her about how to respond when an asthma attack happens, you need to make sure the plan goes wherever your child goes.

    You can also keep a copy of the plan in a well-known spot at home, give a copy to the school, or provide one for teachers or anyone else who cares for your child. Be sure to discuss the content of the action plan to them so theyll be comfortable following it. You may also like employee action plan examples.

    Additionally, meet up with your doctor at least every six months to review the plan. Ensure that it stays current at all times, as possible changes, such as a change in medicine dosage, may affect the outcome of the treatment. You may also check out budget action plan examples.

    How Do I Use My Child’s Asthma Action Plan

    Asthma action plans are designed to be simple to read and user-friendly. Most utilize a color-coded system that is divided into three zones, just like a traffic light, with green, yellow, and red.

    The green zone is known as the safety zone and is the best zone for your child to be. When your child is in the green zone, they feel good and have no asthma symptoms. It is crucial that your child continues to take their control medications even while in the green zone, as this will help to prevent a flare-up of their symptoms.

    The yellow zone is known as the caution zone and means that your child is experiencing symptoms. The yellow zone of your childs asthma action plan explains how to recognize symptoms that indicate your childs asthma is becoming worse. It will also state which medications your child should use to bring their asthma back under control. During the yellow zone, you should encourage your child to slow down and follow the steps in their action plan.

    The red zone is known as the danger zone and means that your childs asthma symptoms are severe. Your asthma action plan provides advice about what to do when your childs flare-up is severe. It is crucial that you follow all of the steps and seek emergency medical treatment if their symptoms do not get better.

    If your child is old enough to read and understand, they should also be encouraged to learn about their plan and how to use it.

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    Alistair’s Story: Ironman & Asthmatic

    10 Ways to Help Your Child Manage Asthma

    Alistair is a chronic asthmatic, but hes also an Ironman. Hes had a few health challenges but hes learned ways to manage his condition so he can compete at a high level in a triathlons.

    “My childhood was punctuated with time in and out of hospital, although my parents were proactive in sourcing the best treatments available, including my very own nebuliser,” he says.”My asthma is at the worst end of the scale: its severe, especially if I dont do my best to control it. Many things cause my asthma and even when its managed well, there are certain triggers that all the control in the world wont stop an attack from coming on.

    In late 1999 I was introduced to triathlons. It was not long before I was hooked and in 2005 I made the NZ Age Group Team for the Triathlon. In 2006 I took time out from sport. By 2009 I was struggling to do anything in the way of activity that lasted longer than 20 to 30 minutes, without the need for my reliever inhaler. After having a lot of time off I was 25 kg heavier and much older. I realised then my triathlon training had helped me take control of my asthma in a way no other sport had ever done. I knew I had to get back into it, which meant I had to build up my training slowly and steadily.

    Given how severe my asthma is, its crucial I manage myself well. Additionally, the sport I do has me actively engaging with asthma triggers on a daily basis. The key stages to my successful management have been:

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    Criteria For Considering Studies For This Review

    Types of studies

    Randomised clinical trials including open and blinded study designs.

    Types of participants

    Children under 18 years with acute exacerbations of wheezing or asthma presenting to an ED or equivalent care setting.

    Types of interventions

    Intervention: Rapid acting beta 2agonists via MDI given attached to homemade spacers. Combination treatment with anticholinergic agents was permitted. Controls: The same bronchodilator therapy delivered with commercially produced spacers. Combination treatment with anticholinergic agents was permitted.

    Types of outcome measures

    The primary outcome measure was the need for hospital admission.

    Secondary outcomes

    Secondary outcomes measures were changes from baseline in peak expiratory flow rate , forced expiratory volume in one second , oxygen saturation , respiratory rate , clinical scores, and physical signs, such as dyspnea, accessory muscle use, and wheezing. Other secondary outcomes measures were intensive care unit admission rates, emergency department length of stay, need for additional treatment upon completion of the intervention protocol, and adverse effects such as heart rate , dysrhythmia, tremor, and nausea.

    How To Make Your Own Essential Oil Inhalers

    Inhalers are really easy to make.

    Just purchase these and add the essential oils to the cotton piece in the nasal tube.

    Add 2-10 drops of oil to the tube depending on the strength you want.

    The great thing about making these inhalers is thatyou can refresh them at any time.

    Simply open the tube and add more oils.

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    The Action Plan Zones

    Your child’s doctor will help you create a plan that’s right for them. Most use a simple system that’s set up like a traffic light: green for “go,” yellow for “caution,” and red for “stop — danger!” See how your child fits into each color zone, and you’ll know how to respond.

    The green zone

    This is where you want your child to be. You’ll know they’re in the green zone when they:

    • Are breathing easy
    • Can do their regular activities
    • Sleep through the night without coughing

    If you can say “yes” to those four items, they’re doing well. No need to hold them back from their usual routine. Let them enjoy school activities and playtime, too.

    Even when theyââ¬â¢re doing well, keep up their regular medication. Your doctor may call it “controller” medicine because it keeps their asthma in check over the long haul. Make sure you follow the instructions for the dose and when to take it.

    The yellow zone

    Think of this category as a big yellow “caution” sign. You’ll know your child belongs here when they:

    • Coughs
    • Looks like they’re short of breath
    • Wheezes
    • Has some trouble doing their usual activities
    • Has a tight feeling in their chest
    • Wakes up at night with breathing problems

    If they have some or all of those, make sure they’re taking their regular treatment plus any additional medications their doctor recommends. They might prescribe some that give quick relief when your child has symptoms, called rescue medicines.

    The red zone

    Here’s what to watch for:

    Identifying And Controlling Asthma Triggers

    Creating an Asthma Action Plan – Mayo Clinic

    Children with asthma have different sets of triggers. Triggers are the factors that irritate the airways and cause asthma symptoms. Triggers can change seasonally and as a child grows older. Some common triggers are cigarette smoke, allergens like dust, dust mites, and pet dander, viral infections, irritants like strong perfumes, exercise — which is often the most common asthma trigger — breathing cold air, and weather changes.

    Identifying triggers and symptoms can take time. Keep a record of when symptoms happen and how long they last.

    Once you spot patterns, you can avoid some of the triggers. Talk with your doctor about starting environmental control measures that will limit those allergens and irritants. Remember that allergies develop over time with continued exposure to allergens, so a child’s asthma triggers may change.

    Others who provide care for your child, such as babysitters, day care providers, or teachers, must be informed about your child’s asthma treatment plan. Many schools have programs for their staff to learn about asthma and recognize severe symptoms.

    Here are some suggested environmental control measures for different allergens and irritants:

    Indoor controls

    To control dust mites:

    To control pollens and molds:

    To control irritants:

    • Do not smoke at home, even when a child is not present.
    • Do not burn wood fires in fireplaces or wood stoves.
    • Avoid strong odors from paint, perfume, hair spray, disinfectants, chemical cleaners, air fresheners, and glues.

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    Asthma Action Plans For Children

    If you are a parent or carer of a child with asthma, it is important to obtain a clear, written summary of how to manage your childs asthma. This is called an asthma action plan and is an important tool for anyone caring for your child.

    It provides up-to-date, detailed information to help manage your childs asthma. Give a copy of the plan to your childs school, kindergarten, childcare centre and anyone else caring for your child.When your child is old enough to understand, make sure that you explain asthma to them and encourage them to be aware of their symptoms and how to treat them.

    This Asthma Group Suggests Making Your Own Spacer With A Plastic Bottle

    Asthma is a global disease, but its impacts arent.

    For one thing, its linked to a variety of factors, including air pollution, smoking, and insufficient medical care, that are more severe in poorer countries.

    The effects can be seen in mortality rates. According to the Global Asthma Network, age-standardized asthma mortality is highest in Fiji, the Philippines, and South Africa. While asthma deaths are low overall, these are preventable.

    One reason people, mainly older adults, are still dying of asthma is that in resource-strapped places, its hard to access preventers. So these medical systems are likely to focus on relievers instead. Thus, in low-income countries, according to the Global Asthma Report 2018, the huge majority of asthma patients are being treated only on an emergency basis. At that point it may already be too late. One policy implication is that preventive medicines and care should be provided for free or at subsidized rates to affected people who couldnt otherwise afford them.

    But while asthma inhalers themselves are complicated to manufacture, and heavily marketed, one accessory doesnt need to be costly. In fact, according to the Global Asthma Network it can be made using commonly found and discarded objects.

    The Able Spacer

    With these caveats in mind, how can you actually turn a .5-litre plastic bottle into a spacer?

    The Global Asthma Report 2018 gives the following steps:

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    When To Go Back To Your Doctor

    • Keep an eye on your symptoms. If you are getting wheezy more than 2 times a week, it may mean your asthma is not well controlled. See your doctor for a check-up.
    • If you have symptoms of hay fever , such as nasal congestion, runny nose, sneezing and itchy eyes, talk to your doctor about medicine to treat these symptoms, such as antihistamines or nasal steroid sprays. Treating hay fever can improve your asthma symptoms.

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