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Managing Asthma, May 2018

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According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, asthma affects close to 25 million Americans. Asthma is a chronic disease that causes airway obstruction in the lungs. The Physician Alliance is working with our physician practices to better manage and close gaps with asthma patients.

It is a chronic disease that causes your airways to become inflamed, making it hard to breathe. Asthma can be managed by avoiding triggers, taking medications to prevent symptoms and being prepared to treat asthma episodes should they take place.

Common asthma symptoms include:

  • Wheezing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Coughing
  • Chest tightness

Click here for information on the Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management on asthma report.  To date, there is no cure for asthma. 

Different ways of testing for asthma include:

  • Taking a detailed medical history
  • A physical exam
  • Lung function tests
  • Chest or sinus X-ray

Asthma triggers include: mold, outdoor air pollution, tobacco smoke, and colds and flu. Asthma can lead to a potential medical emergency, so it’s key to know the signs of a severe asthma episode/attack.  Medications can help to control asthma, but it is important to note that patient action plans along with regular healthcare can be valuable components of treatment.

Asthma Action Plan Stages1

Green Zone: Doing Well

No cough, shortness of breath, wheeze, or chest tightness; can do all usual activities. Take prescribed long-term control medicine such as inhaled corticosteroids.

Yellow Zone: Getting Worse

Cough, wheeze, chest tightness, or shortness of breath; waking at night; can do some, but not all, usual activities. Add quick-relief medicine.

Red Zone: Medical Alert!

Very short of breath; quick-relief medicines don't help; cannot do usual activities; symptoms no better after 24 hours in Yellow Zone. Get medical help NOW.  Full Action Plan1  

Physicians can help patients better manage asthma through initiating and educating patients on how to avoid triggers along with implementing personal asthma action plans.  Did you know that patient asthma self-management forms are available on The Physician Alliance website?  Click now to download forms.   

Sources: Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, Centers for Disease Control, American Lung Association

This blog is for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice. Please consult your doctor for more information or if you have a medical concern.

To read additional blog articles, please visit our Blog archives page.

 

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