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Asthma Basics

Asthma Basics

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Asthma Basics

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  1. Asthma Basics Utah Asthma Task Force Utah Department of Health Asthma Program

  2. What is asthma? • Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease of the lungs. Source: American Lung Association website: www.lungusa.org

  3. What is asthma? • Three things occur simultaneously to make breathing difficult: • Airways in the lungs fill with mucus • Airway lining swells • Muscles around the airways constrict Source: American Lung Association website: www.lungusa.org

  4. What is asthma? • People who have asthma often experience periods of: • Breathlessness • Wheezing • Coughing • Chest tightness • These periods are called attacks or episodes. Source: American Lung Association website:www.lungusa.org

  5. Signs & Symptoms • Retractions • Nasal flaring • Depressed sternal notch • Shoulders stooped • Nausea/ vomiting • Fatigue • Decreased peak flow value

  6. Signs & Symptoms • More Serious: • Shortness of breath • Unwillingness/ inability to speak or lie down • Anxious look • Stooped body posture

  7. Common Asthma Triggers • Exercise • Upper Respiratory Diseases - Colds or the flu • Laughing or crying hard • Stress

  8. Common Asthma Triggers • Allergens • Pollens from trees, plants and grasses • Animals • Dust • Cockroach • Molds

  9. Common Asthma Triggers • Irritants • Cold air • Chemicals/sprays • Weather changes • Tobacco Smoke

  10. Is there a cure for asthma? At this point, asthma cannot be cured, but it can be CONTROLLED, and someone with asthma should be able to live a normal life.

  11. Medications • Controller Medications • Taken on a daily long term basis to reduce swelling and mucus. • Quick Relief “rescue” Medications (i.e. Inhaler) • Taken in emergency cases or when exposed to triggers

  12. Asthma Action Plan Someone with asthma will discuss with their doctor and develop an asthma action plan, detailing the necessary action steps depending on the severity of their disease.

  13. Resources • Utah Department of Health, Asthma Program • www.health.utah.gov/asthma • 801-538-6141

  14. Resources • American Lung Association of Utah www.lungusa.org 801-485-4484 • Open Airways Program • Smoking Cessation Programs