This World Asthma Day (May 6) and during May, the Asthma Awareness Month the National Asthma Education and Prevention Program (NAEPP) encourages you to discover how.
One of the first steps—whether you have asthma or know someone who does—is to develop a written asthma action plan (AAP) in partnership with your healthcare provider. AAPs that meet the specific needs of a patient include details ranging from how to take medication to reduce airway inflammation, to ways to reduce environmental triggers of asthma such as dust mites or tobacco smoke.
But AAPs don’t stand alone.
They are part of a comprehensive approach needed to improve asthma care and control. Like diabetes or high blood pressure, managing asthma symptoms requires daily attention and ongoing education.
An APP is just one of the following six key actions, recommended by the NAEPP, that clinicians, patients, and all others who touch the life of someone with asthma can work together on to seize control of asthma so that asthma doesn’t seize control of asthma patients.
- Use inhaled corticosteroids to control asthma if you have persistent asthma. Your doctor will help you choose the best treatment.
- Use a written asthma action plan to highlight two things: 1) what to do daily to control your asthma, and 2) how to handle symptoms or asthma attacks.
- Assess asthma severity at the initial visit to determine what treatment to start to get your asthma under control.
- Assess and monitor how well controlled your asthma is at follow up visits. Your doctor may need to increase, or decrease your medicine to keep asthma under control.
- Schedule follow-up visits at periodic intervals, and at least every six months.
- Control environmental exposures such as allergens or irritants that worsen your asthma.
It takes an entire community—people from all sectors—to help create the type of care and environments that will make it easier for the one in 12 Americans who has asthma to breathe more easily and live life more fully.
Join the NAEPP and its partners in working toward this goal in May and beyond, by using and sharing the resources in the box above.
Join the Asthma Awareness Twitter Chat
Join the “Get Asthma Aware” Thunderclap
Join the NHLBI’s “Get Asthma Aware“ Thunderclap by May 6 to pledge your voice to learning more about asthma. Thunderclap is an online action site where users can share the same message at the same time on social media.
Watch “Respirar es vida” (“A Breath of Life”)
Watch the video “Respirar es vida” (“A Breath of Life”) to learn how Jose’s parents build up their asthma team. Jose, his parents, a doctor and a nurse, a promotora (community health educator), a teacher, a school nurse, and a coach join forces to help Jose control his asthma. The video is recorded in Spanish and captioned in English and Spanish.
View video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pGUo-3-R8wk
Source: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, “World Asthma Day and Asthma Awareness Month” http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov website. Accessed December 2, 2015. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/prof/lung/asthma/naci/news/world-asthma-day.htm
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