More than 34 million Americans have been diagnosed with asthma sometime during their life, of which roughly one-third are under the age of 18. Of the many individuals who live with asthma, few really have it under control, leading to further health complications and death. Important basics of asthma care can empower people with the information needed to take full control of their own, or a loved one’s asthmatic condition.
When questioned about their asthma, 71% of patients say it is well or completely controlled. When these same patients were analyzed using objective measures of control, only 29% were well controlled, so 71% were, in fact, poorly controlled. When not in control, patients’ quality of life is greatly reduced, and they are faced with potential emergency room visits, poor sleep, missing school or work, medication overuse, and depression
The lack of knowledge and understanding of asthma is coupled with the fact that there are simply not enough allergists and other asthma specialists to care for all those who deal with the condition. Raising awareness of the standard of care needed for asthma sufferers is needed, so they will come to expect nothing less – and hopefully combat the nearly 4,000 deaths that asthma causes each year.
Asthma sufferers and their caregivers can gain better control over their condition by paying attention to the 7 P’s:
Problem – understand how asthma works and know the basics of the condition
Prevention – avoid those things in your environment that trigger asthma
Pulmonary function tests – Know how well your lungs are functioning and use this information to guide your treatment plan
Pharmaceuticals – know that medication is an essential part of keeping your asthma under control
Plan – set your asthma action plan, a roadmap that tells you when and what to do when things go wrong
Patient-Physician – having open communications with your physician is a crucial part of treating asthma
Positive mindset – remaining optimistic, taking ownership of your responsibilities to treat asthma, and becoming dedicated to keeping control over the position will increase quality of life amongst asthma sufferers
I have believed for years that people with asthma and any other chronic condition are best served by being empowered and developing a great relationship with a good, empathetic, and caring physician.
Dr. Stephen J. Apaliski has been a practicing physician for over 30 years. He first trained as a pediatrician at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh and later as an allergist at Wilford Hall United States Air Force Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas. In 1990, he served as a flight surgeon in the first Gulf War.
Dr. Apaliski is Board Certified in Pediatrics, as well as Allergy and Immunology. In addition, he is a Fellow of the American College of Allergy and Immunology and a Board Member of the Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America—Texas chapter. He is also certified by the Association of Clinical Research Professionals as a Certified Physician Investigator. In addition to seeing patients in his medical practice at the Allergy & Asthma Centers of the Metroplex and conducting Clinical Trials as the Medical Director of Discovery Trials-Arlington, Dr. Apaliski is on the medical staff at THR Arlington Memorial Hospital in Arlington, Texas. Dr. Apaliski is also a speaker for various pharmaceutical companies, helping to educate physicians and other health care providers about the diagnosis and treatment of asthma and allergic diseases. For more information, visit http://www.beatingasthma.com