Tips to help alleviate asthma
August 22, 2012
This column appears in the Nevada Appeal Wednesday health pages. It addresses topics related to the health of our community.
Asthma is a disease that affects the lungs, causing repeated episodes of wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness and coughing. The exact cause of asthma is unknown, and asthma cannot be cured. However, it can be controlled by receiving ongoing medical care and education about how to manage asthma and asthma attacks, and by avoiding asthma triggers.
Triggers for asthma can include mold, tobacco smoke, outdoor air pollution, pet dander, strenuous physical activity and infections linked to influenza, colds, and other viruses. Recognizing and avoiding these triggers, along with using medicines as prescribed by your doctor, are the keys to preventing an asthma attack.
For people with asthma, an asthma attack can be a scary experience. Triggers for asthma attacks can be different for different people, but the symptoms are similar: coughing, chest tightness, wheezing, and trouble breathing. The airways that carry air to the lungs become smaller, less air gets in and out of your lungs, and mucous that your body makes clogs up the airways even more.
Recently, the level of air pollution in Carson City has been high because of wildfires burning in the region. The smoke drifting over the city has led some asthma sufferers to notice difficulty breathing. Even though the fires are far away, those with asthma or other chronic lung disease who may be sensitive to the smoke can take steps to reduce their symptoms:
• Limit your exposure to smoke outdoors and indoors.
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• Stay inside and use your air conditioner. If you do not have an air conditioner or smoke is likely to get inside your house, leave the area until the smoke is completely gone.
• Avoid activities that put extra demands on your lungs and heart, such as exercising or physical chores, both outdoors and indoors.
• Make sure you take all your medications according to the doctor’s directions. Contact your doctor if your health gets worse.
Special Event: Join Carson City’s Public Health Officer, Dr. Susan Pintar and other speakers for an important public forum about the Patient Protection and the Affordable Health Care Act. Ask questions and get the facts about how the new health care law affects you. The event will take place at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 28, at the Plaza Conference Center, 211 E. 9th St.
Carson City Health and Human Services,
900 E. Long St.
Hours: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Wednesday and Friday; call for appointment.
Well-child visits: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays.
Men’s clinic: 4-6 p.m. Mondays.
Immunization Day: 8:30-11:30 a.m.; 1-4:30 p.m. Thursdays.
Douglas County Community Health,
1538 Highway 395 North (Corner of Spruce Street and Cemetery Lane)
Clinic hours: 8:30 a.m. to noon Monday; 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday-Friday.
Monday is Immunization Day: No appointment needed, 1-4:30 p.m.