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

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.

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

Your Relationship With Your Physician and the Beating Asthma Twitter Party

Facilitating patient/physician conversation is one of our biggest passions at Beating Asthma.We’re preparing to host another #BeatingAsthma Twitter party on Friday evening at 9pm ET and we’d love to see you there!

This time around, we are continuing our conversation about the importance of an open, honest patient/physician relationship. Here at Beating Asthma, we’re passionate about facilitating healthy communication and a level playing field between doctors and their patients.

We hope to chat with you then!

Twitter Party Recap: Asthma and the Family

Last Friday, we held our third Twitter party to great success! We had more participants than ever which means we’re reaching more people than ever before. It’s so great to watch people connect (with both asthma specialists and fellow asthma sufferers).

As we discussed how asthma affects our families, we touched on a lot of important topics. Our co-host Lillian Cohen-Moore talked about her diagnosis in college, as well as how her parents educated her to be confident in her personal care.

 

 

 

Triggers are another important aspect in your asthma treatment. Dr. Nathan Hare pointed out that asthma patients are very likely to have allergic triggers:

 

 

 

Being confident in your own management of your asthma and knowing your triggers are key to developing your asthma action plan. As pointed out by Lorene Alba, being confident and seeking help when necessary is key, not just to your treatment, but to your life.

 

 

 

We hope you’ll join us June 22nd for our next chat! In the meantime, let we’d love to know: How does asthma affect your family? And how do you manage your triggers?

 

Family, Asthma, and the Power of Twitter

How does asthma affect your family?Asthma doesn’t just affect the individual, it affects the entire family. Whether it’s your child,  your husband, your sister, or your mom: When you have asthma, those around you all feel it in some way.

Tonight we’ll be diving into how asthma affects families on our bi-weekly #BeatingAsthma Twitter chat.

In tonight’s chat we’ll have two guests on board Lillian Cohen-Moore (@lilyorit), a journalist and asthma sufferer, and Dr. Nathan Hare (@AllergyTalk), an asthma specialist and founder of NathanHare.com, a website dedicated to allergy and asthma.

How has asthma affected your family? I hope you’ll join us and share your experiences, as well as your questions.

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.

Posted in asthma, Twitter Chats | Comments Off

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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