Asthma is a chronic respiratory disease that affects over half a million children and adults living in Indiana. Asthma can be controlled but not cured. In a person with asthma, airways can swell and tighten making it hard to breathe. When an asthma attack happens, the inside of the airways swell and fill with mucus. The muscles around the airways tighten. This makes the airways smaller. Some of the most common symptoms of asthma include wheezing, shortness of breath, tightness in the chest, and coughing.
People with asthma can help control their symptoms by managing triggers in their environment. Triggers include anything that brings on asthma symptoms, and they differ for each person with asthma. Some triggers include dust mites, cigarette smoke, perfumes and fragrances, mold, pet dander, cockroaches, and stressful or emotional situations.
People with asthma should talk to their doctor about developing an asthma action plan. Asthma action plans help people with asthma to manage their symptoms. Plans include a list of triggers, how to avoid them, information on medications and when they should be taken, and emergency telephone numbers.
Asthma is a serious health condition, but it doesn't have to slow you down! With proper management of triggers and control of symptoms, people with asthma can lead a full, healthy life. Keep reading for more information on managing asthma.
Asthma Medication Assistance Programs
The Children's Health Alliance of Wisconsin's asthma medication assistance website has been recently updated! As of June, there are now additional coupons and patient assistance websites to assist patients receiving free or reduced cost asthma medications. To download a coupon or apply for a prescription assistance program visit www.chawisconsin.org/meds/, find your asthma medication, click on ‘coupon’ or ‘prescription assistance’, and then follow instructions to receive your reduced cost or free medication!
Asthma Action Plans
Free full size action plan. Provided by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
Free wallet size action plan. Provided by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
Breathe Well, Live Well
Breath Well, Live Well is an adult asthma management program designed to help you learn to control your asthma and reduce symptoms so you can enjoy more activities. The program was developed by the American Lung Association. Any adult can participate in this program. A referral is not required. For more information contact the American Lung Association.
Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America
The AAFA is offering three new resources for parents, asthma educators, and Head Start staff. The first is Wee BreathersTM. This program is designed to help educate children under the age of seven about the basics of asthma management. The program is available online free of charge. Secondly, the Asthma Management and Education Online program is designed as a resource for asthma educators and Head Start staff wishing to improve their knowledge of asthma management. The program also allows respiratory therapists and nurses a chance to earn seven free continuing education credits. The third resource being offered is the Asthma Basics or Children curriculum. This set of three books is designed to provide asthma educators and Head Start staff content needed for educating staff and parents about asthma management.
Asthma Study Seeking Volunteers
The St. Vincent Asthma Clinical Research Center (ACRC) invites people with asthma to participate in its clinical trials to test new innovative asthma treatments. Dr. Michael Busk is the principal investigator.
The St. Vincent ACRC is a member of the nation's largest not-for-profit network of clinical research centers that are conducting numerous large clinical trials, which will directly impact patient care and asthma treatment. The ACRC network has secured approximately $21 million in National Institutes of Health funding as well as support from the American Lung Association, industry and foundations.
Most of the studies require clinic visits and include compensation. The St. Vincent ACRC is located at the St. Vincent Health, Wellness and Preventative Care Institute, 8333 Naab Road, Suite 301. For more information, please contact either Kimberly Sundblad, RN, BSN, MPH, CCRC, lead clinical research coordinator, at (317) 338-8032, firstname.lastname@example.org; or Debra Weiss, clinical research coordinator, at (317) 338-8030, email@example.com.
- Asthma Patient Registry
- Asthma and Smoking Cohort Study
- Differences in smokers and non-smokers with asthma.
The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NILBI) is conducting studies that focus on children's health and developing treatments , drugs, and devices to improve the clinical care of children.
- American Academy of Allergy Asthma &Immunology (AAAAI) Just for Kids-Website features asthma related asthma and allergy games, activities, stories and videos for children
- CDC-Website features asthma data and links to other online resources for kids aged 6-16
- Quest for the Code-Access this FREE interactive computer game online! Perfuma, Smokita and General Robo-Roach are pesky villains on a mission…to trick kids into thinking they can’t manage their asthma. It’s up to YOU to put a stop to their master plan.Featuring the voices of eleven top celebrities and designed in stunning 3-D animation, Quest for the Code was created to help kids ages 7 to 15 learn how to manage their asthma.
- Lungtropolis-Become an Asthma Control Agent! Lungtropolis is a new, interactive web-based learning game to help teach children ages 5-10 how to manage their asthma effectively—is now available online. In the Lungtropolis Kids game, developed by the American Lung Association in partnership with ORCAS (Oregon Center of Applied Science), children become "Asthma Control Agents" as they fight to defeat the Mucus Mob. Lungtropolis Parents offers caregivers comprehensive information and resources to understand and help manage a child's asthma
- A Is for Asthma!
- ¡A es para asma… y para activo!- Watch this fun video as Elmo and Rosita learn and understand how to help their friends who have trouble breathing from asthma. Learn about what triggers asthma, what you can do to prevent asthma, and how to coordinate an action plan with your doctor, school, caregivers, family and friends.
Information for Parents
- How Lung Friendly is Your Workplace?
- The Pathway to Managing Your Asthma
- Family Asthma Guide
- You Can Control Your Asthma
- Kids With Asthma Can!...Asthma Management Campaign
- Asthma Management Plan Training for Parents
- American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology: Resources for Patients and Public
- Allergy and Asthma Network Mothers of Asthmatics
- Healthychildren.org: Allergies and Asthma
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Asthma Information for Parents
- Environmental Protection Agency: Asthma
- Environmental Protection Agency: Children's Health Protection
- American Lung Association
- Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America
- Children's Environmental Health Network
- KidsHealth: Asthma Center
- Asthma Alliance of Indianapolis: Information for Patients, Families, and Kids
- Improving Kids Environments' (IKE)
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Basics
COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, is a progressive disease that makes it hard to breathe. Progressive means the disease will get worse over time. COPD is the name for a group of diseases that restrict air flow and cause trouble breathing. COPD includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Chronic lower respiratory disease, including COPD, is the third leading cause of death in the United States.1 Fifteen million Americans have been diagnosed with COPD.2 Two decades ago, more than 50% of adults with poor pulmonary function were not aware that they had COPD, therefore millions more may have it.3
In the United States, tobacco smoke is a key factor in the development and progression of COPD, although exposure to air pollutants in the home and workplace, genetic factors, and respiratory infections also play a role. A rare genetic condition called alpha-1 antitrypsin (AAT) deficiency can also cause the disease.
According to the Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the following groups were more likely to report COPD in 2013:
- People aged 65–74 years and ≥ 75 years.
- American Indian/Alaska Natives and multiracial non-Hispanics.
- Individuals who were unemployed, retired, or unable to work.
- Individuals with less than a high school education.
- Individuals who were divorced, widowed, or separated.
- Current or former smokers.
- People with a history of asthma.