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.


 
 

 

DUI in Arizona: You can’t afford it

Arizona has some of the toughest drunken driving laws in the United States. The average overall cost of a DUI in the state of Arizona is around $10,000. Crazy, right? Ten thousand dollars may seem hard to swallow at first, but first time offenders often find themselves paying considerable unforeseen expenses throughout the course of...
 
 
7-140709-F-EC705-001

Physical therapy heals mind, body …

Senior Airman Devante Williams Airman 1st Class Atreyu Key, 56th Medical Group physical medicine technician, assists Angelina Mariani, Glendale Recruiting member, during her physical therapy session July 9 at Luke Air Force Bas...
 
 

Street Beat

The 56th Security Forces Squadron handled the following incidents July 8 through 14: Tickets Security forces issued citations for three moving violations. Traffic-related incidents July 13: An active-duty member was arrested for extreme DUI and hit and run on Litchfield and Greenway roads. Surprise police notified SFS the individual’s blood alcohol level was unknown and...
 

 

Street Beat

The 56th Security Forces Squadron handled the following incidents June 23 through July 5: Tickets Security forces issued citations for 16 moving violations. Traffic-related incidents June 23: An active-duty member was arrested by Glendale police on Glendale Avenue for driving under the influence with a BrAC of .084 percent. The individual was later released to...
 
 
Staff Sgt. C.J. Hatch

New rules for safety during monsoon season

Staff Sgt. C.J. Hatch Lightning strikes over the White Tank Mountain Range Aug. 26, 2013, during a thunderstorm as seen from the end of the runway. Residents of Luke Air Force Base and the surrounding area were treated to natur...
 
 

Street Beat

The 56th Security forces Squadron handled the following incidents June 16 through 22: Tickets Security forces issues citations for 16 moving and one nonmoving violation. Traffic-related incidents June 17: Security forces responded to a report of a minor vehicle accident involving a government-owned vehicle and a fixed object near Bldg. 909. There were no injuries....
 




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