Asthma is a health condition that effects the lungs, and can make it difficult to breath. Asthma flare-ups are characterized by three mechanisms; swelling/inflammation of the airway, increased mucus production, and tightening of the muscles around the airway. The links below are provided to assist you in learning more about asthma, and we have highlighted three key points. If you have further questions, we encourage you to contact your child's physician or the Nurse's Office for discussion.
1. Understand Asthma Medications
"Quick-Relief" ("Short-Acting", "Rescue", "Emergency") medications are typically for short-term use to open up narrowed airways and help relieve the feeling of tightness in the chest, wheezing, and breathlessness. They can also be used to prevent exercise induces asthma. These medications are taken only on an as-needed basis. The most common quick-relief medication is albuterol.
"Control" ("Long-Acting") medications are used on a daily basis to control asthma and reduce the number of days or nights that your child has symptoms. Controller medications are not used for relief of symptoms.
2. Manage Asthma to Minimize Symptoms
If your child has been diagnosed with asthma, it is important for you to be proactive in identifying their triggers, monitoring for symptoms, and managing their health. The goal of treatment is to minimize symptoms and avoid attacks resulting in Emergency visits or Hospital admissions. If your child is using a quick-relief medication (albuterol) to relieve asthma symptoms more than twice per week, then you should be contacting their pediatrician to discuss possible addition/adjustment of control medications, and the use of a peak flow meter to monitor the lungs.
3. ECS Nurses Love SPACERS with Inhalers
It is important for inhaled medicine to get deep into the lungs. Poor technique will hinder this. Spacers and masks significantly improve the delivery of inhaled medicine. If your child is prescribed an inhaler, please discuss with the physician the inclusion and use of a spacer (and possibly a mask).
American Academy of Pediatrics - healthychildren.org
Kids Health from Nemours
American Lung Association
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)