Keep careful watch of asthma symptoms in Spring

Many asthma episodes are triggered by allergens such as pollution, mold and pollen. Spring weather invites exposure to these allergens as well as the triggers of increased exercise, mold, humidity and extreme temperature changes. Patients with asthma have sensitive airways that become irritated and inflamed. The airways can become clogged with mucous and spasm due to muscle tightening.
 
OMH Respiratory Care Practitioners (RCPs) can help your provider with an official asthma diagnosis by performing spirometry. This testing measures the amount of air one can breathe in and out and the rate of flow. This testing can also be done after medication therapy also to help determine the medication benefit. RCPs can provide the appropriate care and help educate patients so they can achieve better self-management.
 
Asthma does not affect everyone the same.
 
Possible indicators of asthma include: wheezing, persistent coughing, short rapid breaths or shortness of breath, chest heaviness or tightness, inability to sleep or rest due to breathing leading to extreme exhaustion.
 
It is important to learn your risk factors and note your triggers and how best to avoid and/or manage them. Individual asthma action plans made with your medical provider will help guide individual treatment.
 
- Nancy Scott, RRT RCP