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.


 
 

 
Staff Sgt. 
STACI MILLER

CMS aircraft fuel systems provides push for pilot

Staff Sgt.STACI MILLER Airman 1st Class Gary Esposito, 56th Component Maintenance Squadron aircraft fuel systems apprentice, prepares to inspect a 370-gallon external fuel tank on Luke Air Force Base. Esposito inspected the tan...
 
 
Senior Airman 
GRACE LEE

Latest F-35 has fastest induction to ALIS

Senior AirmanGRACE LEE The 14th F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter to arrive at Luke Air Force Base is shown Dec. 5 on the flightline. Airmen at the 61st Aircraft Maintenance Unit worked quickly to get the aircraft ready to...
 
 

Gratitude cultivates exceptional leadership

Several months ago I was inspired by the phrase “cultivate an attitude of gratitude.” The topic was presented in a religious context; however, I found these words significant and profound when considered as a tenent of exceptional leadership. Cultivate is an action verb. The word brings to mind images of an experienced gardener patiently tending...
 

 

Leadership vs. management

Have you ever had a boss or someone that made you want to come to work every day, someone you would do anything for without question? Then you were probably working beside a leader, not a manager. The biggest difference between managers and leaders is the way they motivate people who work for or follow...
 
 

Decking the halls …

Staff Sgt. Timothy Boyer Andrea Mathis, 56th Force Support Squadron Fighter Country Inn accounting clerk, decorates a Christmas tree Dec. 4 in the lobby at the Fighter Country Inn at Luke Air Force Base. Base lodging is available to active-duty service members, retirees and dependents on a space-available basis. For more information, call 623-856-3941.
 
 

Safety begins with asking ‘What could go wrong?’

I’m sure most of us have been told to “be safe” at some point either by a commander, supervisor or even a co-worker. This holiday season will probably not be any different. Someone will use this simple phrase in the next few weeks, and it will feel like a cliché to you, but what does...
 




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