Having asthma does not have to mean living with impairment. If your asthma causes trouble sleeping, frequent chest colds, or breathing problems that keep you from doing what you want to do, make a plan to stop asthma. Well controlled asthma does not interfere with your life or put you at risk for infections. It is true that some people have more asthma than others, the good news is that everyone can expect to control asthma. How?Getting your asthma under control takes the right medications; healthy environments, especially indoor air;special self-care practices; improvements in lifestyle, food and fitness; and you must address related health problems, including those involving your nose and stomach.In this way people with asthma can live free of impairment and risk of future attacks without medication side effects.Just as we expect people with vision problems to see normally with the right corrective lens,we should expect no less than full and normal lives for people with asthma.
A health care professional can help you take steps forward, but you and your family really hold the keys to asthma control. We call this “asthma self-care”. Very young children and others with conditions that interfere with self-care are dependent on others to help, but they too can have well controlled asthma. When asthma is out of control people seek care in emergency rooms and hospitals. When we look at how tens of thousands of Missouri children with asthma are doing, we see on average 30% of asthma care occurs in these frightening settings. However, when health care providers put asthma national guidelines into practice,this number can fall to only 7%. This means far more people are enjoying well controlled asthma and the cost of asthma care drops by 30-50%. To achieve these great results takes everyone working together – families, clinics, schools, and community agencies. Each group has an important role and only together can we help people with asthma breathe well and live well. Asthma Ready® communities is committed to help make this happen. We’re going for a “collective impact” that is only possible when we agree to respect and learn from each other,locking arms to clear the path toward well controlled asthma for everyone. We hope you will join us on this journey. We need you!
Essential asthma control and management components include:
- Assessment and monitoring – an asthma check-up by a health care provider
- Education for self-care
- Control of environmental factors and other contributing conditions (e.g., reflux, sinusitis, weight status)
- Appropriate medication
The goal of treating asthma is to alleviate symptoms, improve quality of life and maintain lung function. Assessing asthma severity and control are defined in terms of impairment and risk. Impairment is the frequency and intensity of symptoms and functional limitations the person with asthma is experiencing. Risk is the likelihood of either an asthma attack, progressive loss of lung function or adverse effects from medication. The goal is for a child with asthma to live a symptom free life and be able to participate in all life activities.