Did you know that May is Asthma Awareness Month? Asthma is a chronic disease that affects your airways (your airways are tubes that carry air in and out of your lungs). If you have asthma, the inside walls of your airways become sore, swollen, and sensitive, they may react strongly to things that you are allergic to or find irritating. When your airways react, they get even narrower and your lungs get less air.
Symptoms of asthma include;
- Coughing, especially early in the morning or at night
- Chest tightness
- Shortness of breath
Not all people who have asthma have these symptoms, and having these symptoms doesn’t always mean that you have asthma. Your doctor will diagnose asthma based on lung function tests, your medical history, and a physical exam. When your asthma symptoms become worse than usual, it’s called an asthma attack. Severe asthma attacks may require emergency care, and they can be fatal. Asthma is treated with two kinds of medicines: quick-relief medicines to stop asthma symptoms and long-term control medicines to prevent symptoms.
We have been busy this month spreading the word about asthma and helping our patients better manage their asthma. Here are some of the things we have been doing in our stores and pharmacies;
- Asthma Control Tests – A quick assessment of how well someone’s asthma is being managed
- Asthma Action Plan reviews – Making sure patients know what to do when not feeling well
- Immunization Screenings – Patients with asthma should have flu and pneumonia vaccines
- Wellness Wednesday events – Hosted by our Pharmacists and Dietitians
- Peak Flow Meters on sale – A tool to help assess asthma control
- Promoting “Camp We-No-Wheeze” – Camp in central MN for kids with asthma age 7-13
As always, stop by any of our pharmacies if you have questions about any of your inhalers or medications. Our Pharmacists are dedicated to your health and wellness and are a trusted resource for advice, support, and information. Thanks!
Pharmacy Clinical Program Mgr
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