Ask Dr. Renee: Managing Asthma

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Managing Asthma

Importance of managing asthma is that it can be a life-threatening illness. Most people are diagnosed with asthma as children so it is extremely important that you teach your child about their triggers and what to do in case they do have an attack.

Everyone diagnosed with asthma needs an Asthma Action Plan. This plan details what measures are taken depending on how the patient is feeling. This plan will also have to include the most important thing, how to AVOID an attack.

Who Is Taking Care Of You?

It is important that you have the right doctor treat you or your loved ones asthma. I suggest an Allergy and Immunologist or a Pulmonologist.

What Are Your Triggers?

The main thing to remember when trying to avoid an attack is to know your triggers. Most doctors will perform an allergy test to let you know exactly what you are allergic to. For example, I have food allergies in addition to my environmental allergies. Most asthmatics have environmental allergies such as :

  • Dust mites
  • Pet Dander
  • Mold and Mildew
  • Cigarette Smoke

There are pillowcase and mattress covers that will help to prevent dust mites. It is recommended people with asthma sleep in a room with no carpet because dust mites can live in the carpet. Filters can be placed over heating vents of the home to cut down on dust mites. Vacuum regularly and wash sheets and blankets in hot water (131 degrees Fahrenheit). It is important to keep the environment of an asthmatic clean (dust free) some will require no carpeting and no stuffed animals.

What Is Your Zone?

The other part of the plan is broken up into zones: Red, Yellow and Green.

Peak Flow Meter – An instrument that monitors the peak expiratory flow rate of air from a person’s bronchi; used to manage asthma

Green Zone – (safety zone) how to manage you or your child’s asthma on a daily basis when he or she is feeling good.

Yellow Zone – (caution zone) how to look for signs that you or your child’s asthma is getting worse. It also instructs you on which medications to add to bring the asthma back under control.

Red Zone – (DANGER ZONE) what to do when a flare-up is SEVERE.

The color system helps you and/or your child understand exactly what to do according to the person’s peak flow meter. Before you can put this plan in action you must know your personal best. This plan can include emergency phone numbers as well as list of triggers.

If you have any other questions please Ask Dr. Renee