Programs at the Morial Asthma, Allergy & Respiratory Disease Center are individualized to meet the specific needs of each patient. They are designed to:
- Substantially reduce or eliminate multiple hospitalizations and emergency room visits.
- Provide educational support and telephone consultative services for your doctor whenever needed.
- Simplify your medical regimen.
- Educate you and your family about asthma, to identify and eliminate asthma triggers as well as providing tools for the effective management of symptoms.
- Increase your ability to maintain an active lifestyle, including active participation in sports or exercise.
- Reduce the number of missed school or work days due to asthma.
(From the National Institutes of Health)
What Can I Do?
In 1997, a panel of experts from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI is a U.S. Government center for health research and policy) revised written Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Asthma. These guidelines stress:
- Asthma is a chronic disease. You need to take care of it all the time, not just when you have symptoms.
- The best way to take care of asthma is to work in partnership with your health care team.
- The more you know, the better you can help control your own asthma.
Remember, the best way to control your asthma is to follow your plan.
The Four Parts of Managing Asthma
- Identify and minimize contact with your asthma triggers.
- Understand and take your medications as prescribed.
- Monitor your asthma and recognize early signs that it is worsening.
- Know what to do when your asthma is worsening.
There is a simple, pocket-sized device called a peak flow meter that can detect narrowing in your airways hours, or even days, before you feel symptoms. You simply blow into it, as instructed by your health care professional, to monitor your airways the same way you might use a blood pressure cuff to measure high blood pressure or a thermometer to take your temperature. Also ask your doctor for a spirometry test every one to two years to measure your lung function.
Some people with asthma need to see a specialist in asthma care, usually a specially trained allergist or pulmonologist or occasionally other physicians with additional training a d experience. Those persons with asthma requiring daily long-term control medication who are exposed to year round indoor allergens will probably need allergen testing in addition to medication.
With good management of your asthma you can expect to:
- Be free from severe symptoms day and night, including sleeping through the night
- Have the best possible long function
- Be able to participate fully in any activities of your choice
- Not miss work or school because of asthma symptoms
- Not need emergency visits or hospitalizations for asthma
- Use asthma medications to control asthma with as few side effects as possible
Presently, there is no known cure for asthma. However, medical researchers worldwide are making tremendous progress in learning what causes asthma and how to prevent episodes. With this knowledge, a cure can't be far behind!