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Is Asthma A Serious Medical Condition

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Asthma in Children – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment Options

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    Personal Asthma Action Plan

    As part of your initial assessment, you should be encouraged to draw up a personal asthma action plan with your GP or asthma nurse.

    If you’ve been admitted to hospital because of an asthma attack, you should be offered an action plan before you go home.

    The action plan should include information about your asthma medicines, and will help you recognise when your symptoms are getting worse and what steps to take. You should also be given information about what to do if you have an asthma attack.

    Your personal asthma action plan should be reviewed with your GP or asthma nurse at least once a year, or more frequently if your symptoms are severe.

    As part of your asthma plan, you may be given a peak flow meter. This will give you another way of monitoring your asthma, rather than relying only on symptoms, so you can recognise deterioration earlier and take appropriate steps.

    Want to know more?

    Who Is At Risk For Asthma

    Asthma affects people of all ages, but it often starts during childhood. Certain factors can raise your risk of having asthma:

    • Being exposed to secondhand smoke when your mother is pregnant with you or when you are a small child
    • Being exposed to certain substances at work, such as chemical irritants or industrial dusts
    • Genetics and family history. You are more likely to have asthma if one of your parents has it, especially if it’s your mother.
    • Race or ethnicity. Black and African Americans and Puerto Ricans are at higher risk of asthma than people of other races or ethnicities.
    • Having other medical conditions such as allergies and obesity
    • Often having viral respiratory infections as a young child
    • Sex. In children, asthma is more common in boys. In teens and adults, it is more common in women.

    Also Check: What’s An Asthma Attack Feel Like

    Fmla Leave : What Qualifies As A Serious Health Condition

    Managing leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act has its challenges. Employers need to ensure that all HR staff and all managers who deal with employee leave requests are well-versed in the finer details of FMLA-related leave. They should understand who is eligible for leave, how much theyre eligible for, how you track FMLA absences, and how intermittent FMLA leave is managed.

    One of the first steps when administering any individual case of FMLA leave is ensuring eligibility. There are several key criteria that must be met in order for an employee to be eligible to take FMLA leave:

    • The employee must work at a location that qualifies for FMLA. In order for an employer to be subject to FMLA requirements, a private employer must have at least 50 employees. And the employee must work at a location in which the employer has at least 50 employees within a 75-mile radius.
    • The employee has to have worked for that employer for at least 12 months.
    • The employee has to have worked at least 1,250 hours for the employer during the preceding 12 months.
    • The leave must be for one of the following:
    • Birth of a child or placement of a foster child or adopted child
    • Caring for an immediate family member with a serious health condition
    • The employees own serious health condition

    If all criteria are met, the employer must grant up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave to the employee.

    Medical History And Physical Exam

    Asthma is a serious condition that can be dangerous when a ...

    Your doctor will ask about your risk factors for asthma and your symptoms. They may ask also about any known allergies. This includes how often symptoms occur, what seems to trigger your symptoms, when or where symptoms occur, and if your symptoms wake you up at night.

    During the physical exam, your doctor may:

    • Listen to your breathing and look for symptoms of asthma
    • Look for allergic skin conditions, such as eczema

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    Keep A Diary Of Your Childs Symptoms

    Keep a diary of symptoms to discuss with your doctor. The diary could include:

    • a video or audio recording of the wheezing you could use your mobile phone
    • when the symptoms occur such as during the day or worse at night
    • how bad the symptoms are and how often they happen
    • how long the symptoms remain and whether they change with time
    • whether the symptoms are worse after exercise, playing or after an infection
    • whether the symptoms are worse after exposure to animals, pollens or mould.

    Asthma Emergencies In Children

    Symptoms of an asthma attack can worsen and develop into an asthma emergency. To prepare for an asthma emergency, make sure your childs doctor has written an asthma action plan for your child.

    Have a copy of your childs asthma action plan pinned up somewhere easy to access at home, and send a copy to anyone who cares for your child, including their school, kinder, childcare service, family members and friends. You may like to take a photo of their asthma action plan so you always have a copy with you.

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    What To Expect When You Visit The Doctor

    Your doctor may ask whether you have any family history of asthma, eczema or hay fever.

    In children, doctors assess the severity of the asthma based on the pattern and frequency of the symptoms.

    Lung function tests are difficult to perform in children younger than 5 years and so are usually only used to diagnose and assess severity in children 5 years and older.

    It is recommended that a paediatrician or paediatric respiratory specialist diagnose and manage asthma in infants under 12 months. If your infant is wheezing your doctor should refer to you one of these specialists.

    What Types Of Asthma Are There

    What Is Allergic Asthma?

    Healthcare providers identify asthma as intermittent or persistent . Persistent asthma can be mild, moderate or severe. Healthcare providers base asthma severity on how often you have attacks. They also consider how well you can do things during an attack.

    Asthma can be:

    • Allergic: Some peoples allergies can cause an asthma attack. Molds, pollens and other allergens can cause an attack.
    • Non-allergic: Outside factors can cause asthma to flare up. Exercise, stress, illness and weather may cause a flare.

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    Not Every Disability Counts As A Serious Health Condition That Qualifies For Medical Leave Under The Family Leave Act

    By Lisa Guerin, J.D.

    The Family and Medical Leave Act allows eligible employees to take time off work for a “serious health condition” as defined in the act. If you have a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act , you might assume that it automatically counts as a serious health condition for which you can take FMLA leave.

    But even though the terms seem pretty similar, they are not identical. Not every disability counts as a serious health condition under the FMLA, and not every serious health condition is a disability. Below, we explain how the Family Medical Leave Act defines a serious health condition.

    How Is Asthma Treated In A Child

    Treatment will depend on your childs symptoms, age, and general health. It will also depend on how severe the condition is.

    Your childs healthcare provider may refer you to a pulmonologist. This is a doctor with special training to treat lung conditions. Your child may also be referred to an asthma and allergy specialist. Your childs treatment is based on how severe his or her symptoms are and how easily they are controlled. Treatment includes finding triggers and ways to avoid them. It will also include medicines.

    Asthma medicines include:

    • Bronchodilators. These medicines are used to help open the narrowed airways. They may relieve coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, or difficulty breathing.
    • Anti-inflammatory medicines. These medicines help decrease the inflammation in the airways.
    • Anti-leukotrienes. These medicines help decrease the narrowing of the airways. These are usually given by mouth.
    • Immunotherapy. This can be used for severe asthma attacks in children ages 12 and older.

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    Spacers And Asthma Medication

    For all people with asthma, it is recommended that a spacer device is used when asthma medication is delivered via a puffer . A spacer is a specially designed container that attaches to a puffer and has its own mouthpiece to breathe through.

    Using a spacer helps the medication to go where it is supposed to into the small airways in the lungs rather than ending up coating your childs mouth, tongue and throat. It is much more effective than using a puffer on its own. Using a spacer with a puffer can reduce or prevent side effects from inhaled medication.

    Babies and young children may need a spacer with a special face mask attached to inhale asthma medicines effectively. These fit tightly around your childs mouth and nose to make sure none of the medicine leaks out. Talk to your pharmacist for advice and to have your technique checked.

    Watch this Asthma Australia video which shows you how to use a spacer with a face mask.

    Diagnosis Of Asthma In Children

    Asthma Isnt Nerdy

    Diagnosing asthma in children younger than 5 years can be difficult because children cough or wheeze for many different reasons. Take your child to the doctor if:

    • the wheezing happens more than once with or without an illness
    • constant coughing or bouts of coughing become worse at night
    • you are concerned about any breathing problems in your child.

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    Latest Treatments For Severe Asthma

    In recent years a new type of treatment has been developed using monoclonal antibodies, known as mAbs or biologics therapies.

    These treatments can dramatically improve the lives of people with certain types of severe asthma and can cut down the dose of steroids they are taking and lead to a better quality of life.

    Signs You Actually Have Severe Asthma

    Breathing is just one of those things you take for granted until it feels like every inhale or exhale is a struggle. Unfortunately, people with severe asthma have to deal with breathing issues way more often than anyone should, and it can be completely terrifying.

    Asthma is a respiratory condition that affects the airways that extend from your nose and mouth to your lungs, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute . When youre exposed to triggers like animal fur, pollen, mold, exercise, and respiratory infections, these airways can narrow, restricting your airflow. This can then make the muscles surrounding your airways constrict, making it even harder to breathe, and cause your airways to produce more mucus than normal, further compounding the problem. All together, this can lead to asthma symptoms like shortness of breath, coughing, wheezing , and chest tightness or pain, according to the NHLBI.

    Like most health conditions, asthma severity runs along a spectrum, Emily Pennington, M.D., a pulmonologist at the Cleveland Clinic, tells SELF. Some people have cases where they experience minor symptoms here and there . Others can have asthma that is basically an ever-present problem and might result in scary asthma attacks, which is when symptoms ramp up in severity and can even become life-threatening.


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    Flu Vaccines For People With Asthma

    • Injectable influenza vaccines are approved for use in people 6 months and older regardless of whether or not they have asthma or other health conditions. Flu shots have a long-established safety record in people with asthma.
    • The nasal spray vaccine is an option for use in people 2 through 49 years old who are not pregnant, but people with certain chronic medical conditions should generally not receive LAIV.
    • People of any age with asthma might be at increased risk for wheezing after getting the nasal spray flu vaccine and should talk to their health care provider before getting the nasal spray vaccine.
    • Children 2 to 4 years old who have asthma or who have had a history of wheezing in the past 12 months should not get the nasal spray vaccine.

    There are several flu vaccine options available this season. Your doctor or other health care professional can answer any questions you might have about flu vaccine.

    Get pneumococcal vaccines.

    • Pneumococcal pneumonia is an example of a serious flu-related complication that can cause death.
    • People who have heart disease should also be up to date with pneumococcal vaccination to protect against pneumococcal disease, such as pneumonia, meningitis, and bloodstream infections.
    • You can get either Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine or Pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine when you get a flu vaccine.
    • Talk to your health care provider to find out which pneumococcal vaccines are recommended for you.

    Not Every Illness Or Ailment Counts As An Fmla


    By Lisa Guerin, J.D.

    Under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act , eligible employees have the right to take time off to care for a family member with a serious health condition or to recuperate from their own serious health condition, among other things. Colds and other minor health concerns don’t typically qualify for FMLA leave the law is intended to provide time off only for more serious ailments. As you’ll see, however, the rules about what does and does not qualify as a serious health condition can get a bit complicated.

    Also Check: How To Get Rid Of Asthma Without Inhaler

    Global Alliance Against Chronic Respiratory Diseases

    The Global Alliance against Chronic Respiratory Diseases contributes to WHOs work to prevent and control chronic respiratory diseases. GARD is a voluntary alliance of national and international organizations and agencies from many countries committed to the vision of a world where all people breathe freely.

    Key Points About Asthma In Children

    • Asthma is a long-term lung disease that causes the airways to swell and make more mucus, and the muscles around the airways to tighten.
    • Asthma symptoms include trouble breathing, wheezing, chest tightness, and coughing.
    • Staying away from those things that cause asthma symptoms is an important part of asthma treatment.
    • Medicines are used to prevent and control symptoms during flare-ups.
    • Asthma can cause serious complications if it is not well-controlled.

    Read Also: Does Ibuprofen Make Asthma Worse

    How Do You Treat Asthma

    Although theres no cure for asthma, many people maintain normal, happy lives by managing their symptoms. The team at Gruene Lake Medical works with you to discover your unique triggers and set of symptoms so you can do your best to avoid a full-on asthma attack.

    In addition to helping you identify and avoid asthma triggers, Gruene Lake Medical may recommend medications or an asthma inhaler to reduce your symptoms and help control asthma attacks.

    If you or a loved one is experiencing symptoms of asthma, call Gruene Lake Medical or request an appointment online today.

    Health Conditions Requiring Inpatient Care

    10 of the Worst Diseases Smoking Causes

    You have a serious health condition under the FMLA if you need to stay overnight at a hospital, residential care facility, or hospice. You can take time off under the FMLA for the time you spend in the facility and for periods of time when you need treatment or are incapacitated in connection with your stay.

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    Scope And Organization Of This Report

    In the remainder of , alternative operational definitions of “serious and complex” medical conditions are examined, including discussions of their relative strengths and weaknesses. outlines the challenges of ensuring timely access to high-quality health care services and resources for patients with serious and complex medical conditions. presents the committee’s overarching conclusions and recommendations in response to specific elements of the charge. Together, these chapters suggest an approach to understanding the implications of defining serious and complex medical conditions for managed care and other types of health plans and make recommendations in eight areas. Finally, there are five appendixes to this report. provides a summary of the workshop proceedings. Appendixes , , and , respectively, include brief biographical sketches of the workshop panel members, the workshop agenda, and a list of workshop participants. contains brief biographical sketches for each of the seven members of the committee.

    Chronic Lung Diseases Including Copd Asthma Interstitial Lung Disease Cystic Fibrosis And Pulmonary Hypertension

    Chronic lung diseases can make you more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19. These diseases may include:

    • Asthma, if its moderate to severe
    • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease , including emphysema and chronic bronchitis
    • Having damaged or scarred lung tissue such as interstitial lung disease
    • Cystic fibrosis, with or without lung or other solid organ transplant
    • Pulmonary hypertension

    Get more information:

    Having HIV can make you more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19.

    Get more information:

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    Asthma Information For Childcare Kinder Or School

    To assist childcare and preschool workers and school teachers in the care of your child with asthma:

    • Tell them that your child has asthma .
    • Provide them with a copy of your childs asthma action plan, including emergency contact details. Make sure you provide an updated plan every year, or if your childs medication changes.The school or childcare centre will require this for enrolment.
    • Show staff members how to use the medication devices, such as spacers and puffers.
    • Make sure your child has an up-to-date supply of medication and a spacer at the centre or school.
    • Notify staff if your childs asthma changes.
    • Tell the staff about any concerns you may have.


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