Keeping Asthma Under Control

A new nationwide telephone survey of 1,001 asthma patients found that while most patients with asthma understand the risks associated with uncontrolled asthma, they don't always act accordingly.

"This finding demonstrates a serious disconnect between the perceived consequences of uncontrolled asthma and the necessary steps people should take to achieve better control," explains Dr. Shailen Shah, an asthma expert with PA Allergy and Asthma Consultants. "Some people believe that asthma goes away when their symptoms do but asthma is a chronic disease. The good news is that with the appropriate treatment regimen, the inflammation that causes the symptoms may be properly managed."

Additionally, there are simple steps patients can take to avoid unnecessary complications, beginning with an open discussion with a physician and taking advantage of such free patient programs like My Measures For Success (www.JoinMeasuresToday.com), where patients choose the offerings they want, the way they want them, from a menu of free resources.

Understanding Asthma

People with asthma suffer from chronic lung inflammation, with symptoms ranging from coughing and wheezing to chest tightness and shortness of breath. Additionally, asthma triggers such as air pollution, smoke, pet dander, pollen and mold can set off an asthma episode.

"Some asthma triggers that people may not initially think of are seasonal weather changes and air pollution," says Shah. "If allergens like pollen or mold trigger your asthma, or you live in an area with smog, take simple steps to limit your exposure by signing up to receive daily air quality alerts or pollen counts -- delivered right to your phone or e-mail -- at www.JoinMeasuresToday.com."

It's important for patients to understand that when their asthma is under control with the help of their physicians, through lifestyle modifications and the proper use of appropriate controller medication, they should exhibit few asthma symptoms.

Simple Steps to Asthma Control

A physician can help create an asthma action plan and determine if a controller medication, in addition to a rescue medication, is appropriate.

"To complement an asthma action plan, patient programs like My Measures for Success offer patients tools and resources to better help manage their disease," says Dr. Shah. "I recommend patients utilize such features as the automated doctor appointment reminders and medication reminders, to help them stay on top of their treatment program."

In addition to these unique tools offered through My Measures For Success, members also receive Success Points, awarded for regular participation in the program that can be redeemed for various health-related items.

"Using an asthma action plan in conjunction with a patient program can help patients stay in the know and in control of their asthma," Shah stresses. "By understanding proper asthma management and appropriate use of medications, patients can help maintain control over their asthma symptoms and minimize the risks associated with uncontrolled asthma."

To help make living with asthma easier, sign up for free resources at: www.JoinMeasuresToday.com.

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