Asthma patients must learn to live with this disease and the earlier they accept and learn how to deal with it the better their overall life style will be. This idea of self management for asthma is not new, but what is new is its proven value in treating asthma. In 1989 The National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBT) started a new program, The National Asthma Educational Preventative Program (NAEPP) to alert youngsters – and adults of course – on how to deal with asthma and how to prevent occurrences.
Essentially what they did was gather facts and information and put together a cohesive program that would be useful to medical clinics and pediatricians and health care workers nationwide where asthma is concerned. Basically, their intentions were to see that children lived lives as normally as possible.
Asthma is a narrowing of the breathing passageway and this causes an insufficient amount of air to enter into the lungs. It can either be mild and only occasionally or can become acute needing emergency room care. It is a frightening experience and children must learn how to manage oncoming attacks by inhalers and by other means of prevention.
Asthma is often outgrown by puberty and another attack may never again occur, or it can be chronic and mild yet persistent. Although there are several medications that relieve the symptoms, the scars of a normal childhood missed, linger for children having been denied a normal life style due to the illness. Compounding that is the fear of the parents, mothers especially, in not allowing normal childhood play time for fear of the increased activity bringing on a dreaded asthma attack. What you would have in later life would be an adult ill equipped to live normally.
Crudely put that is about what education for the whole family including asthma victims is all about. When they learn how to use their inhalers, and other medicines to prevent an attack while at play or at school then their fear is lessened and they have fun and play games and run and jump like other children. In addition to that they learn to assess their activities to see what causes an attack.
This then is the new approach in treating and managing asthma. As each child and new person with this or any other kind of illness is unique, so must be their treatment. Pediatricians are aware today of all the problems of asthma sufferers and are attuned to their needs. Many will schedule programs where they can see the asthma victim when they are well and not simply rely on the emergency visits to treat them. Programs are designed to help these children and their families cope with this disease and if your child has been diagnosed with asthma arm yourself with all the information and learn where you can get the help you need.
Education and being thoroughly saturated with knowledge about the disease from an early age is the only way to live successfully with it. This is the current ongoing effort toward better asthma care. Too, newer methods of treatment and newer discoveries are being made every day. If asthma is stalking you or your children or some other member of your family, get yourself armed against it. How? By educating yourself to what is available. Be as persistent in preventing asthma as it in its takeover of the air your child breathes.