Health & Safety

June 22, 2012

Asthma: Serious but controllable

by Dr. Christopher Coop and Marian Budnik RN, CCP
56th Medical Group

Asthma is a serious condition that can surface without warning. But, asthma can be controlled, thus eliminating dangerous symptoms.

Asthma causes inflammation or swelling of the airways in the lungs. Often the person with asthma does not feel this inflammation, but the lungs do. Uncontrolled inflammation (swelling) makes airways more sensitive to asthma triggers such as dust, pollen, cold, smoke and exercise.

Things that trigger asthma are different for everyone. Exposure to asthma triggers can cause constriction of the muscles around the airways, which can lead to asthma symptoms like shortness of breath, wheezing, tightness of the chest and coughing. Lung function declines for people with asthma, particularly with people who smoke.

Asthma control is about more than just treating sudden asthma symptoms. It’s also about managing asthma daily so sufferers have fewer or no asthma symptoms in the first place.

The key to managing asthma is to take control of the inflammatory process that causes airway obstruction. This requires daily treatment with an anti-inflammatory medication which will reduce both inflammation and airway hyper-responsiveness. This type of medication should be taken daily as prescribed by the member’s provider.

Another type of asthma medication is called bronchodilators; they are faster acting and will quickly open the airways by relaxing the bronchial muscles.

When considering an asthma diagnosis, the provider will attempt to rule out possible causes of the symptoms experienced. The provider will take a thorough history, perform a physical exam and order diagnostic testing which may include laboratory testing, lung function tests and a chest x-ray. Asthma that is triggered by allergies may require skin testing, which requires a referral to the allergy and immunization clinic.

Every patient needs to follow an individually developed asthma management plan to control symptoms. Members who have been diagnosed with asthma but have not received a personal written asthma action plan should request one. An asthma action plan is a road map describing how to control asthma on a day-to-day basis and, most importantly, how to handle worsening asthma or attacks. The plan also explains when to call the doctor and when to go to the emergency room.

With education and the right asthma management plan, patients and families can learn how to manage and control symptoms and confront asthma exacerbations with confidence. Achieving better control of asthma can make breathing easier and foster a better quality of life for sufferers.

The 56th Medical Group provides programs and services for the diagnosis and treatment of asthma. For more information and resources, call a primary care provider or health care coach at (623) 856-2273.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Center ‘brings it’ with stellar programs

The Luke Air Force base youth and teen centers offer a wide range of educationally enhanced programs, instructional classes, and events providing a safe and fun environment supervised by caring and well-trained staff. The center is also affiliated with the Boys & Girls Club of America and the 4-H Club, which provide various youth programs...
 
 

Street Beat

The 56th Security Forces Squadron handled the following incidents Feb. 16 through 22: Tickets Security forces issued citations for nine moving violations and one nonmoving violation. Traffic-related incidents Feb. 17: Security forces received a report of a civil arrest for DUI from Goodyear police involving an active-duty Airman. The Goodyear police initiated a traffic stop...
 
 

Street Beat

The 56th Security Forces squadron handled the following incidents Feb. 9 through 15: Tickets Security forces issued citations for seven moving violations and one nonmoving violation. Traffic-related incidents Feb. 12: Security forces responded to a report of a gate runner at North Gate involving a nonmilitary affiliated civilian. Security forces initiated a traffic stop, detained...
 

 

Street Beat

The 56th Security Forces Squadron handled the following incidents Feb. 2 through 8: Tickets Security forces issued citations for four moving violations and three nonmoving violations. Traffic-related incidents Feb. 2: Security forces responded to a report of a minor two-vehicle accident in base housing. Both vehicles sustained damage. There were no injuries. Feb. 3: Security forces...
 
 

Street Beat

The 56th Security Forces Squadron handled the following incidents Jan. 26 through Feb. 5: Tickets Security forces issued citations for 10 moving violations and one nonmoving violation. Traffic-related incidents Jan. 26: Security forces responded to a report from an individual of damage to private property in the base exchange parking lot after returning from the...
 
 

Street Beat

The 56th Security Forces Squadron handled the following incidents Jan. 19 through 25: Tickets Security forces issued citations for six moving violations and three nonmoving violations. Traffic-related incidents Jan 22: Security forces responded to a report of a weapon identified during a random vehicle inspection at North Gate outbound lane. The nonmilitary driver self-identified as...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin