Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Asthma: Cure and treatment

 Asthma effects 25 million Americans, its incidence growing at an alarming rate. Controlling its symptoms can be a frustrating experience, leaving asthma suffers to feel lost as to the causes and frequency of attacks. What’s an asthma sufferer to do? Have a plan!

Know and avoid your triggers

Common triggers identified by your Phoenix Allergy and Asthma Clinic include:
  • Colds
  • Upper respiratory infections
  • Cold weather
  • Exercise
  • Pet dander and other allergens
  • Cigarette smoke and other pollutants effecting air quality
  • Severe heartburn (including GERD - gastroesophageal reflux disease)
Fight flare-ups with the right medications

  • Long term control
    • Inhaled corticosteroids such as fluticasone, budesonide, mometasone and beclomethasone.
    • Combination inhalers such as fluticasone-salmeterol, budesonide-formoterol and mometasone-formoterol.
    • Leukotriene modifiers, such as montelukast .
    • Theophylline
    • Cromolyn
    • And more (a quality asthma specialist will know which one is right for you)

  • Quick relief:
    • Bronchodilators delivered via inhaler or nebulizer.

Recognize the signs of impending attacks

These include an increased need for your rescue inhaler and increased frequency of asthma signs and problems:
  • Shortness of breath/difficulty breathing
  • Chest tightness/pain
  • Whistling/wheezing sounds
  • Difficulty sleeping due to breathing issues
  • Coughing/wheezing worsened by cold and flu
Track it

Always track your asthma symptoms, including flare-ups and how asthma is effecting your normal activities. Note how well medications are managing symptoms, and side effects, making changes with the help of your asthma doctor as needed. The more quickly you act, the less likely severe attacks will occur, reducing your need for medication and emergency medical attention.

Know when to go

Seek emergency treatment when difficulty breathing rapidly worsens, asthma effects minimal physical activity (such as a trip to the bathroom), and symptoms do not improve with the help of your rescue inhaler.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Have You Educated School Staff About Your Child's Allergies & Asthma Needs?

If your child has recently undergone allergy testing in Phoenix, you may feel overwhelmed by the burden of keeping their allergies and asthma under control once the school year begins. Is it possible to control symptoms when your child away from home? Will medication be accessible if it’s needed? When it comes to controlling your child’s allergies and asthma, you need to have a lesson plan.

The ABC’s of asthma and allergy education
For successful control of allergy and asthma symptoms, every person in your child’s life must be informed. Having a plan in place at home, at school, and other places of activity is your best defense against failure. Your lesson plan won’t work if it’s not shared with those who can act on it.

Crib notes: Providing a reference for school staff…
  • Teachers
    Train teachers about your child’s allergy and asthma triggers. Sniffling, sneezing, and wheezing can be reduced when they are kept under control.
  • Staff
    Teach staff, including the principal and the nurse, about how to handle your child’s allergy and asthma emergencies, such as the administration of asthma and anaphylaxis medication. All 50 states protect your child’s access to these medications at school. All staff should know how to administer these medications to your child should they be unable to handle it themselves.
  • Coach
    Help coach, physical education teachers, and playground monitors bone up on how activities can trigger exercise-induced bronchoconstriction (EIB). It is possible to enjoy exercise and activities while keeping symptoms under control, but it is imperative school staff knows how to handle an asthma-related event.
  • Parents
    Other parents should also be informed about your child’s food allergies if your child’s school allows outside treats to be brought in for special occasions. Off-limit items should be made known to your child, other parents, and school staff.
Have you done your homework?
If your child is suffering from allergies or asthma, the care of an allergy specialist is essential. Identifying and avoiding triggers is key to happy, symptom-free life. Treatments such as immunotherapy and allergy shots can reduce and prevent the development of symptoms, keeping your child in school and ensuring a brighter, healthier future.

Unsure what your child is allergic to? Allergy testing in Phoenix can help. Educate yourself and your child for a brighter, more allergy-free future!