Sunday, May 1, 2011

May "Asthma and Allery Awareness Month"

     Today we all know of at least one person who has Asthma or Allergies.  The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) has designated May the month of Awareness, and to teach everyone on how to prevent these problems. 

     Asthma is one of the most common lifelong chronic diseases. There are about 25 million Americans living with asthma. The disease affects the lungs, causing repeated episodes of wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness, and coughing. Although asthma cannot be cured, it is possible to manage asthma successfully to reduce and prevent asthma attacks, also called episodes. Successful asthma management includes knowing the warning signs of an attack, avoiding things that may trigger an attack, and following the advice of your health care provider. Using what you know about managing your asthma can give you control over this chronic disease.When you control your asthma, you will breathe better, be as active as you would like, sleep well, stay out of the hospital, and be free from coughing and wheezing. To learn more about how you can control your asthma, visit CDC's asthma site.

    Most of us as children had a friend who had asthma and though we did not understand it all I knew was that they could not do some of the same things that I did.  Even now I have a niece that is11 years old and does nothing.  It is because of her that I am joining in on the May Awareness programs to see how I can help her and get more involved.  And when I say she does nothing I literally mean, she sits in the house, eats all day, and watches TV or plays on the computer.  If you ask her why she doesn't go outside she uses her Asthma for an excuse.  So I am going to take the month of May to learn more about the Disorder to see how I can help her have a more productive life with other children her age.  She is already over weight because she is not active in any way!  I am interesting in learning the signs of an Asthma attack and how to control them.  In the up coming month we will be learning something together!

    

     Do you know someone who suffers from Asthma? Please feel free to share your stories with us, or anything you know about the disorder! 

Asthma Awareness Month Event Planning Kit

Download the Asthma Awareness Month Event Planning Kit (revised March 2011) to kick off your activities. The Kit includes tips for:
  • Holding an asthma awareness event at a school, local hospital or clinic, library, or your state’s capitol building;
  • Distributing asthma materials (flyer's, newsletters, etc.) and educating parents on the risks of second-hand smoke;
  • Partnering with local organizations to pool resources and increase publicity for your event;
  • Collaborating with local leaders/celebrities to boost awareness for your campaigns;
  • Garnering media attention for your event; and Much more
Download the Event Planning Kit (PDF) (14 pp., 799 K, about PDF).

People with asthma experience symptoms when the airways tighten, inflame, or fill with mucus. Common asthma symptoms include:
  • Coughing, especially at night
  • Wheezing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest tightness, pain, or pressure
Early warning signs are changes that happen just before or at the very beginning of an asthma attack. These signs may start before the well-known symptoms of asthma and are the earliest signs that your asthma is worsening.
In general, these signs are not severe enough to stop you from going about your daily activities. But by recognizing these signs, you can stop an asthma attack or prevent one from getting worse. Early warning signs include:
  • Frequent cough, especially at night
  • Losing your breath easily or shortness of breath
  • Feeling very tired or weak when exercising
  • Wheezing or coughing after exercise
  • Feeling tired, easily upset, grouchy, or moody
  • Decreases or changes in lung function as measured on a peak flow meter
  • Signs of a cold or allergies (sneezing, runny nose, cough, nasal congestion, sore throat, and headache)
  • Trouble sleeping

All information contained in this blog are from the CDC website on Asthma and the EPA website.