Author Archives: beatasthma

Asthma: Three Back-to-School Tips for Parents

Seems like just yesterday we were pumped up about school letting out for summer. Where, oh where has the time gone? Vacations, leisure time, and a relaxed schedule are soon to be distant memories. That’s right, summer is just about over, and school is back in session!

There’s no question that this transition takes some getting used to for students, parents and school personnel alike. There are clothes and supplies to be purchased, classrooms made ready, and new schedules to become adjusted to.

When you have a child with asthma, there are a few additional details to attend to!

I have compiled several tips for parents, in an effort to help things go smoothly as you embark upon a new school year.

Get the paperwork done early.

Where would we be without paperwork? In an age of an increasingly digital world we continue to rely upon paper forms. Schools are no exception. Most school require a form on file documenting the medications your child may need to take for asthma during school hours. Some ask for a more detailed asthma action plan. No sense in trying to get around this. I recall a high school student late last year was refused treatment for his asthma during school because the correct paperwork had never been filled out! As unbelievable as this may sound, you do not want to risk this happening to your child. Find out what forms need to be completed and get them done early.

Make certain medications are current.

All medications have an expiration date, beyond which they should not be used. This is a good time to sit down and check your child’s inhaler(s). They may have a counter on them, which tells you how many puffs are remaining. I think it is a good idea to start the school year off with a full new inhaler to be kept at school. Meet with your asthma physician to review your asthma action plan and inhaler technique.

Meet with the teacher and school nurse.

Every child is unique. Relate your child’s asthma story to those watching over them at school. What triggers their asthma, and how they act when asthma worsens are some of the things you may want to communicate. Also, it is a good time to let your school partners know when you would like to be called if asthma should deteriorate.

There you have it, three simple steps to take as school begins for your son or daughter with asthma. They will help pave the way for a productive school year!

Photo creditstevendepolo

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Technology and Asthma: July 29th Twitter Party!

SoundAsthma’s WheezoMeter measures your wheezing!

How are you using technology to make managing your asthma easier? Not only are there lots of devices on the market designed specifically to manage your asthma (like SoundAsthma’s WheezoMeter), there’s many uses of your smart phones, computers, tablets, and more to give you the edge in the fight against asthma.

Join us on Twitter, Friday at 9pm ET, to share how you use technology to beat your asthma.

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In Search of the Silver Bullet in Treating Asthma

Could time spent in these salt mines cure your asthma? Not likely.A silver bullet can be defined as a quick solution to a difficult problem[1]

We all know that asthma is a difficult problem. It can be a nasty disease. Modern day treatment may seem complicated and requires persistent effort to control. It is no wonder therefore that many people are in search of a quick solution to this problem. In effect, they are searching for a silver bullet.

Recently two such solutions have appeared in the news. The first involved an event in India where thousands gathered to swallow live fish covered with a secret coating in promise of curing their asthma. The second is the practice of sitting in Himalayan salt caves. This is said to be beneficial, not only for asthma, but also arthritis, psoriasis as well as nervousness, poor concentration, sleeping disorders, and ADHD among other maladies[2].

Give me a break.

The problem with these and myriad other silver bullets is that they lack hard scientific evidence of their effectiveness. I have no doubt that you can find individuals who will honestly testify to their effectiveness, but anecdotal evidence and testimonials do not make something true. 30% of people given a placebo will report that it is effective. Keeping this in mind, I like to see hard scientific evidence that a therapy is more effective than placebo, and has an acceptable safety profile before recommending its use. This typically involves reproducible results in double blind, placebo controlled clinical trials.

These take time, money, and effort, but are the only way to get the proof needed.



[1] Silver bullet. (n.d.). Dictionary.com Unabridged. Retrieved June 24, 2012, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/Silver bullet

[2] http://www.saltcave.us/halotherapy.html

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