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.


 
 

 

Report released: Luke drinking water

The Luke Air Force Base 2014 Annual Consumer Confidence Report on drinking water quality was released March 12 by the 56th Aerospace Medical Squadron Bioenvironmental Engineering. The Environmental Protection Agency requires this report be available to the consuming public. The CCR describes the presence of the contaminants that may be in the drinking water and...
 
 

Street Beat

The 56th Security Forces Squadron handled the following incidents March 16 through 22: Tickets Security forces issued citations for 22 moving violations and one nonmoving violation. Emergency responses March 17: Security forces responded to a report of a medical emergency near Bldg. 913. Two Airmen fell from a golf cart when the driver made a...
 
 

Message to medical group enrollees seeking urgent care

Deciding to seek urgent medical treatment at an urgent care clinic deserves careful consideration. Following the right steps before seeking urgent care ensures patients will get coordinated attention at the lowest out-of-pocket-cost possible. If you are assigned to a Primary Care Manager at the 56th Medical Group, you should follow these steps before going to...
 

 

Winter sports still risk for sun damage

Winter sports enthusiasts spend ample time outdoors, often hitting the slopes for skiing and snowboarding. Despite cold temperatures, clouds and dreary weather, winter sports lovers are still at risk for sun damage and skin cancer. In fact, about 86 percent of melanomas and 90 percent of nonmelanoma skin cancers are associated with exposure to the...
 
 

Justice Report

The 56th Security forces Squadron handled the following incidents March 9 through 15: Tickets Security forces issued citations for 14 moving and three nonmoving violations. Traffic-related incidents March 10: Security forces responded to a report of a minor vehicle accident involving two privately owned vehicles at Bldg. 859 parking lot. There were no injuries. March...
 
 

St. Patrick’s Day: time for celebration, safety

People all around the world will be celebrating Tuesday the life and contributions of the patron Saint of Ireland, Saint Patrick. Also known as the Feast of Saint Patrick, the day is celebrated on the day of his death. The day not only celebrates St. Patrick, but the culture of Ireland. In the U.S., the...
 




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