Tag Archive: asthma


A late spring and high pollen count could have many people suffering from both allergies and asthma like never before.  Allergic reactions could develop at any age and, in the most severe cases, turn into asthma.  Let’s talk about the differences.

ALLERGIES

Tree pollen allergies are the most common trigger of breathing difficulties.  Pollen triggered asthma can be treated using an inhaler. Other long-term asthma-control medications, such as steroids go a long way in helping to keep symptoms under control.

FAST FACTS

  • There are no cures for allergies. Allergies can be managed with proper prevention and treatment.
  • Allergies have a genetic component. If only one parent has allergies of any type, chances are 1 in 3 that each child will have an allergy. If both parents have allergies, it is much more likely (7 in 10) that their children will have allergies.
  • More Americans than ever before say they are suffering from allergies. It is among the country’s most common, yet often overlooked, diseases. [1]

ASTHMA

What is it exactly?

Asthma (AZ-ma) is a chronic (long-term) lung disease that inflames and narrows the airways. Asthma causes recurring periods of wheezing (a whistling sound when you breathe), chest tightness, shortness of breath, and coughing. The coughing often occurs at night or early in the morning.

Asthma affects people of all ages, but it most often starts during childhood. In the United States, more than 25 million people are known to have asthma. About 7 million of these people are children. [2]

SYMPTOMS of ASTHMA

Asthma symptoms can differ for each person, but here are some of the most common:

  • Wheezing. You may notice a wheezing sound when you breathe.
  • Frequent Cough. This may be more common at night. You may or may not cough up mucus.
  • Shortness of Breath. This is the feeling you can’t get enough air into your lungs. It may occur only once in a while, or often.
  • Chest Tightness. Your chest may feel tight, especially during cold weather or exercise. This can also be the first sign of a flare-up.

 

How is Asthma Diagnosed?

If you experience any of the symptoms above, it is important to see your healthcare provider to determine if you have asthma. There are several breathing tests your physician may perform. The most common test is called spirometry. (Spirometry uses a device called, a spirometer, to measure the amount and speed of the air you blow out.) This will help your healthcare provider to see how well your lungs are working. [3]

 

What you need to tell your healthcare provider:

  • What symptoms you are having or your peak flow reading.
  • How long your symptoms have lasted.
  • What you think triggered your symptoms.
  • What medicines you have taken.
  • Whether or not you think your asthma medicines are working.
  • Whether or not your medicines are causing side effects.

 

Make it a habit to start writing down the things you want to talk about with your healthcare provider. You can write down problems you are having or note any questions you want to ask about your medicines.  [3]

 

Talk to your Valley Healthcare provider if you are experiencing any of these symptoms. The sooner you begin treating your asthma and maintaining control, the less damage you will cause to your lungs in the long run. There are many resources available for people living with asthma and their loved ones.

[1] http://www.aafa.org

[2] http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/

[3] http://www.Lung.org


Jennifer Bell

Jennifer Bell has managed many specialty areas of healthcare including, kidney transplant, physical therapy and surgery.  She combines her expertise in patient relations with her love of writing to bring awareness of health related issues.   In her blog, Dreamlife Moments, she writes about mindfulness of time and recognizing more of the positive moments happening around us every day that creates a more positive life experience. Jennifer and her husband Byron are recent empty-nesters who enjoy traveling with their bichon Aissa, geocaching and volunteering wherever they go. Who is this chickie anyway? Connect with Jennifer on her Facebook Page, Blog and Twitter to find out more.

Valley Healthcare

Spring Flares-up Asthma and Allergy Awareness

Along with the sunshine and new life, spring has brought allergies and asthma flare-ups. So, it’s understandable why May would be Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month.

Almost all of us knows someone who has asthma or have seen the geeks on TV with their inhaler taking puffs, but asthma is not a nerd disease. This chronic lung disease affects 20 million Americans. Knowing which type of asthma you or your loved one has, allergic (extrinsic) asthma or non-allergic (intrinsic) asthma, is important for identifying symptoms and getting proper treatment.

With an effective asthma management plan, you can still live a healthy active live. Four important steps to take in your management plan for you or your loved one are:

  • Identifying and minimizing contact with your specific asthma triggers.
  • Taking your medications as prescribed.
  • Monitoring your asthma and recognizing early signs that it may be worsening.
  • Knowing what to do in case of an asthma episode or an emergency.

Allergies, unlike asthma, are grouped together by the kind of trigger, time of year, and where the symptoms appear on the body.

For example, there are:

  • indoor and outdoor allergies ( called “hay fever”, “seasonal”, “perennial”, or “nasal” allergies),
  • food allergies,
  • latex allergies,
  • insect allergies,
  • skin allergies,
  • eye allergies, etc.

These diseases of the immune system, aka. Allergies, are extremely common and can be prevented by taking a few simple steps like:

  • dusting to control mites
  • vacuuming as often as possible
  • reducing contact to pet dander
  • shutting window to keep pollen outside
  • avoiding mold spores

To learn more, please visit The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America website at http://www.aafa.org/
If you or your loved one is suffering from severe allergy or asthma symptoms, please call (706)322-9599 to schedule an appointment with one of our physicians at Valley Healthcare System.

Valley Healthcare System, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) Non-profit, Charitable Organization.

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), in accordance with the Federally Supported Health Centers Assistance Act, as amended, sections 224(g)-(n) of the Public Health Service (PHS) Act, 42 U.S.C. 233(g)-(n), deems Valley Healthcare System, Inc. to be an employee of the PHS which provides liability protection under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA)

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