What is Asthma?
- A breathing problem that is able to be controlled with medicine called “inhalers”
- When your lungs are exposed to certain triggers, you will experience breathing problems called an “asthma attack”
- Asthma is more common in children over 3 years old, but can occur at any age
- Dry hacking cough
- Shortness of breath, especially with activity
- Chest tightness
What are triggers?
Triggers are particles in the air you breathe and/or medicines that can cause symptoms of asthma.
Examples of Triggers:
- Air Pollution like gas fumes or smoke
- Chalk dust
- Dust mites (little bugs that live in bedding)
- Pet dander
- Medicines (aspirin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicine –NSAID)
- Emotions like stress and anxiety
- Acid reflux from stomach
Things to know:
Asthma Control Test: questions about my asthma symptoms in the past 4 weeks.
Asthma Action Plan: instructions from my doctor if I have an “asthma attack” and what I need to do.
Peak Flow Meter: a breathing tool to help me know when my asthma is getting worse. It is used like a traffic light – “Green” means I am doing good, “Yellow” means I need to proceed with caution, “Red” means I need to get help RIGHT AWAY!
Quick-Relief Medicine: an inhaler that will help “open” my lungs quickly when I am having asthma symptoms.
What should I do?
- Take the Asthma Control Test with every doctor visit
- Identify what triggers my asthma symptoms
- Discuss an Asthma Action Plan with my doctor
- Carry my Quick-Relief Medicine with me at all times
- Take my medicine as indicated by the doctor
- Discuss regular screening with my doctor – a Pulmonary Function Test
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