Hours of Operation

Monday - Friday: 9 am to 6 pm
Saturday: 9 am to noon
Closed Sundays and holidays

Please follow & like us!
Follow by Email
Facebook
Twitter
RSS Feed
Subscribe by email
Get new posts by email:
Archives

Posts Tagged ‘Asthma’

Asthma Attacks! By Our August Student Pharmacist, Joshua Kretzer.

With school back in session, fall is just around the corner. Autumn brings changing, colorful leaves, crisp air, football season, harvest festivals, and allergies of course!

Many of us suffer from seasonal allergies with one of the most common times being in the fall. These allergies are usually triggered by ragweed. It is estimated that up to 75% of North Americans are sensitive to ragweed. For most of us, exposure to ragweed results in itchy, watery eyes, sneezing, coughing, and runny nose. All of these symptoms are easily treated with an anti-histamine. However, for millions of others, these symptoms can trigger something much more deadly: asthma.

Asthma affects up to 25 million Americans and the numbers are growing. Asthma is caused by the constriction and inflammation of airways in the lungs. Not only do the airways become smaller, but they also produce excess mucus, clogging the airways. The combination of reduced airway size and clogged airways makes it extremely difficult to breathe.

Symptoms of asthma include:

  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Chest tightness
  • Shortness of breath

There are two main classifications of asthma: intermittent and persistent.

Intermittent asthma only occurs occasionally and/or under special circumstances. Persistent asthma happens frequently. Persistent asthma can be further broken down into severity of symptoms. Classifications of asthma are dependent on age, type, and frequency of symptoms.

The table lists some of the criteria for asthma classification:

  • Intermittent Asthma
    • Daytime Symptoms occur in all ages two or less days per week.
    • Nighttime Awakenings occur in children 0-4 years old with no real frequency.
    • Nighttime Awakenings also occur in children 5 and older two times or less per month.
    • Usually no interference with normal activity.
  • Mild Persistent Asthma
    • Daytime Symptoms occur in all ages more than 2 days per week (but not daily).
    • Nighttime Awakenings occur in children 0-4 years old 1-2 times per month.
    • Nighttime Awakenings also occur in children 5 and older 3-4 times per month.
    • There are minor limitations on normal activity.
  • Moderate Persistent Asthma
    • Daytime Symptoms occur in all ages daily.
    • Nighttime Awakenings occur in children 0-4 years of age 3-4 times per month.
    • Nighttime Awakenings also occur in children 5 and older more than once a week.
    • There is some limitation on normal activity.
  • Severe Persistent Asthma
    • Daytime Symptoms occur throughout the day for all ages of asthma sufferers.
    • Nighttime Awakenings occur in children 0-4 year of age more than once a week.
    • Nighttime Awakenings also occur in children 5 and older 7 times a week.
    • Normal Activity is extremely limited.

A person can increase or decrease in severity of asthma classification throughout their lifetime, but they will never be cured. Asthma is a life long disease that requires frequent monitoring.

Though there is no cure for asthma, there are several treatments such as: inhalers, nebulizers, and tablets, which can reduce and almost eliminate symptoms. The type of treatment varies based on the severity of the asthma.

If left untreated, asthma can be extremely debilitating, even deadly. This is why it is extremely important to have a rescue inhaler available at all times. A rescue inhaler can be used when someone is suffering from an asthma attack to temporarily relieve the symptoms. So as children head back to the classroom this fall, make sure they not only have a rescue inhaler at home, but one at school, as well.

References:

http://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/asthma/

https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-pro/guidelines/current/asthma-guidelines/

http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/eczema/ss/slideshow-eczema-overview

http://www.thegeminigeek.com/what-causes-cough/