By Sara Malik (asthma patient studying to go to medical school)
After getting diagnosed with severe asthma at the tender age of three, friends and family often reassured my parents that I would “eventually grow out of it” and that it was probably just “seasonal allergies.” Yes, it is true that seasonal changes can trigger asthma and that many people may outgrow this condition once they reach or pass adolescence. However, it is crucial to recognize that once an individual has developed a sensitive respiratory tract, their airways remain susceptible to asthma triggers for life.
The World Health Organization defines asthma as a long-term disease in which the “air passages in the lungs become narrow due to inflammation and tightening of the muscles around the small airways.” Asthma is a chronic disease that I have never grown out of it, and at this point, I do not know if I ever will. But, I now recognize this is okay because I have learned to accept this reality. I instead direct my energy toward finding ways to achieve and maintain my definition of a “normal” lifestyle. As a patient dealing with this condition for nearly two decades, I have learned a lot about my body and mind, which have played a significant role in helping me control my asthma.
Continue reading “Better Asthma Control Starts with Correct Inhaler Use”
Proper inhaler use can prevent many instances of respiratory compromise. In a recent survey, “The Role of Inhalation Delivery Devices in COPD: Perspectives of Patients and Health Care Providers,” researchers from the American College of Chest Physicians surveyed 513 healthcare providers managing COPD and 499 patients with COPD across the United States and found that both patients and healthcare providers place less importance on inhaler devices than medication in the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and concluded:
Continue reading “Proper Inhaler Use Can Prevent Many Instances of Respiratory Compromise”
Recent survey points to the need for better education for COPD patients on how to use inhalers.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a respiratory disorder that affects millions of patients and leads to substantial morbidity, mortality, disability, impaired quality of life, and increased health care costs. As the COPD Outcomes-based Network for Clinical Effectiveness & Research Translation (CONCERT) explains:
“Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a respiratory disorder that affects about 300 million patients worldwide and 30 million patients in the US alone. COPD carries a substantial burden in human suffering. Dyspnea and other respiratory symptoms are common and can be disabling. Respiratory infections and exposure to environmental triggers lead to episodic deteriorations (acute exacerbations of COPD; AE-COPD) and result in over 700,000 hospitalizations and 100,000 deaths each year in the U.S. alone.
Continue reading “Are You Using Your COPD Inhaler Properly?”