Together We Can Control Asthma Now!!!
What is Asthma?
- A condition in the lungs that makes breathing difficult.
- It is a physical condition, not an emotional illness.
- A condition that runs in families and is not contagious.
- Almost 5 million kids in the United States have Asthma.
- Asthma cannot be cured, but IT CAN BE CONTROLLED
AND WE CAN DO IT WORKING TOGETHER!
What Happens with Asthma?
Three changes happen inside the airways of the lungs:
- Swelling (inflammation), which makes the airways smaller and harder for air to go through.
- Tightening (constriction) of the muscles around the airways, making them smaller.
- Too much mucus is made, trapping the air.
These three things make it hard to breathe!
Triggers are things that may bother the airways, making it hard to breathe or cause Asthma signs. When Asthma is triggered and you don’t act right away, an Asthma attack may occur. Avoid your triggers whenever possible.
Here are some triggers:
- Allergies to:
- Dust, dust mites
- Pollen-grass, trees, plants, and weeds
- Pest-cockroaches and mice
- Certain foods
- Colds and the flu
- Untreated sinus infections or allergies
- Changes in weather
- Strong emotions
- Strong odors
- Here are some common signs that an Asthma attack is beginning or getting worse:
- Coughing day, night, or with exercise
- Trouble breathing
- Wheezing (whistling noise)
- Tightness in chest
- Trouble sleeping/walking at night
- Drop in peak flow meter
Knowing what the triggers and warning signs are can help keep Asthma under control!
Asthma Medications and What they do
1. Quick-relief (bronchodilators)
- Opens the airways fast to stop an Asthma attack once there are Asthma warning signs.
- Sometimes your doctor will have you take it before exercise or if you know you will be around one of your Asthma triggers.
- Common quick relief medications include: Albuterol, Proventil, Ventolin and Xopenex.
If you need to use this more than 2 times a week let your doctor or nurse know.
- Decreases swelling and mucus.
- Must be taken everyday, even when you feel good and have no Asthma signs!
- Don’t give up! The medicine may take up to 2 weeks to work.
- Common long-term-control medicines include Flovent, Azmacort, Pulmicort, Vanceril, Advair, Serevent (shouldn’t be taken alone), Singulair and Intal.
If you do not have an Asthma Action Plan, Ask your health care provider!!!
See your physician regularly even when you are feeling well and remember we are your partners in health!
What happens when Asthma is controlled:
- Normal physical activity
- You use your quick relief medicine 2 times or less or have asthma symptoms 2 or less times a month
Signs of an Asthma Emergency
- Extreme difficulty breathing walking and talking due to shortness of breath
- Persistent or worsening of Asthma signs
- Lips and/or fingernails turning blue
What To Do In An Asthma Emergency:
- Do not leave the child alone
- Follow the Child’s Asthma Action Plan
- Administer quick-relief medicine (Albuterol) immediately
- Call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room if Asthma signs do not improve immediately after quick-relief medicine.
- Repeat albuterol and administer CPR if necessary.
**Funding for LBACA’s Community Asthma Education Intervention provided by:
British Petroleum and South Coast Air Quality Management District
The Miller Foundation