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Asthma, take action, take control!

Asthma, take action, take control!

According to the Centers for Disease
Control approximately 25 million Americans suffer from asthma and
nearly 10 percent of these patients
have severe asthma and yet they may not even
realize it. For
these patients severe asthma can have a
profound impact on their everyday lives
from limitations of daily activities, to
simply taking a deep breath. Joining me
today with some new resources and advice
is the President and CEO of Allergy and
Asthma Network Tonya Winders. Welcome
back to the show! Thank you,
thanks for having me. Thanks for being
here. Now you
know I wanted to define again, we know what
asthma is but we know that there is
severe and difficult to control asthma. What’s the difference? So they
are slightly different. Difficult to
control can be any severity of asthma
mild, moderate, or severe but severe
asthma is not just asthma. You know a lot
of people think oh it’s just asthma, just
take your inhaler. Not in severe asthma
these are patients who are on very high
doses of two or three meds and yet still
having significant symptoms every day. They’re
going to the ER, they’re using oral
steroids, they have significant limitations to their activities
of daily living maybe not even walking up
a flight of stairs. So this is a
much different type of asthma. So
someone is diagnosed with severe asthma how
can they be proactive in their
health care? So the key to being proactive is
to have a conversation with your
physician and actually developing what
we call an asthma action plan or an
asthma management plan. This is
a communication tool that actually
helps you to know what type of asthma
you have, to ensure that you’ve gotten the
appropriate diagnostic tests, and that
you’re on the right medication and
treatment plan. Also how you can
control your environment and reduce your
exposure to different triggers for
asthma and so it’s that kind of communication plan that’s a
really proactive tool to help you
manage asthma more effectively at home. Which
makes you more aware of the situation
where you can deal with it better and
maybe live for that matter. Speaking of awareness you have a
new awareness campaign that I think
is fantastic tell me about it. Yeah
so Allergy and Asthma Network has
partnered with the Chest Foundation to
develop an asthma awareness campaign
specifically around severe asthma because
what we find is that no one wants the
label of severe anything. And yet when patients are using
oral steroids more than two or three
days a year which is a lot, if they’re
going to the ER, the hospital if they’re
refilling their Albuterol quick relief
inhaler more frequently than they should. These are all signs of severe
asthma and so having those awareness tools
in place can really help that patient
have a better dialogue with their
provider and get to the appropriate treatment
for them. And what tools and
resources do you provide to to empower patients? So the
Chest awareness campaign that we’ve
partnered on actually has public relations efforts it also has a
new website asthma take action take
control and there you can find a variety
of different tools. One is a
control assessment tool which is five or
six questions that actually helps
the patient to determine how well
controlled they truly are. So they realize
maybe something they don’t have. Exactly because most
of the time we think oh I’m just doing
fine right, I adapt, I just believe this is my life,
this is part of my life. Right but then we also have a
severity assessment tool and the severity
assessment tool is five or six questions
to determine exactly how severe your
asthma truly is, not what you may have
been originally diagnosed or what you
may perceive but objectively what is
that level of severity. And then
the final tool we have is a shared
decision-making tool and this is a tool
that really does guide that discussion
between patient and healthcare professional or provider to
determine which is the best, most
appropriate treatment for you. And I can
only imagine that for many people who finally
use those tools and resources they
have maybe an aha moment and it makes
such a difference maybe even a
life-saving moment. It truly does I mean we get to
hear from hundreds and hundreds of
patients each and every year at Allergy and
Asthma Network and one particular
severe asthma patient that I just had a
conversation with over the last month really
comes to mind here. So she was a
grandmother who quite honestly had late onset
asthma in middle age and it had gotten so
severe that she actually wasn’t leaving
her home. She couldn’t work, she
couldn’t go to her grandchild soccer games,
and she was living a very limited life
because of asthma. And now she’s gotten
to the appropriate treatment she’s more
aware of her condition, she’s more
educated she’s living life to the
fullest, going to those soccer games enjoying
those grand
babies and you know this this is really
why we do what we do at Allergy and
Asthma Network. Great stuff,
thank you so much for what you do. I
appreciate your time. Thank you. And if you’d
like more information on all the resources
we’ve discussed today you can visit
asthma dot chestnet dot org or you can
go to our website the balancing act dot
com. Well-controlled patients should
be experiencing symptoms no more
than once a month and should experience no
limits to everyday activities. Signs
that your asthma may be difficult to
control include, you have asthma
symptoms more than two days a week, your
asthma wakes you up two or more times a
month, you refill your quick relief
medication more than two times a year.

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