Definition of "asthma."
It is an intermittent, reversible lung disease.
Spasm, edema, and inflammation cause obstruction of the airways.
Asthma can be chronic or acute.
Asthma can occur in children or at any age.
Factors that increase the risk of asthma.
Allergens (dust, feathers, pollens, certain medicines, certain foods, etc.).
Signs and symptoms of asthma.
Shortness of breath.
Fast heart rate.
Pale, sweaty skin.
Measures to manage asthma.
Identify and avoid irritants such as smoke, air pollution, etc.
Identify and avoid precipitating factors such as certain foods, animals, hot or cold air, etc.
Take medication as ordered.
Avoid aspirin and over-the-counter drugs that contain aspirin.
Prevent upper respiratory infections .
Avoid exposure to persons with upper respiratory infections.
Avoid crowds and poorly ventilated areas.
Obtain immunization against influenza.
Report early signs of infections.
Eat well-balanced meals with adequate fluids. (Provide "Daily Food Guide" handout.)
Get adequate rest.
Learn stress management techniques. (Provide "Relaxation Techniques" handout.)
Exercise regularly. (When exercising, covering face with a mask to allow rebreathing air that has been warmed and moistened will decrease possibility of an asthma attack).
Possible complications of asthma.
Status asthmaticus (severe prolonged symptoms of asthma).
Right-sided heart failure.