Asthma testing

Asthma testing

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<ul><li><p>Your / now e ge </p><p>A +h e f. </p><p>Below are eight questions about asthma. Each is followed by three answers. Two answers are correct, but one is not. Read each question and cross out the answer that follows it which is not correct. </p><p>1. Which of the following are symptoms of asthma? a. Coughing b. Elbow pain c. Wheezing </p><p>2. For what purpose does a person with asthma use a peak flow meter? a. To see if asthma is worsening b. To see if he or she should take asthma medicine c. To see if cheeks turn red after blowing on it </p><p>3. Which things found outdoors can trigger asthma? a. Intense sunshine b. Cold air c. Air pollution </p><p>4. Which things found indoors can trigger asthma? a. Cigarette smoke b. Pets c. Loud music </p><p>5. What are reasons for taking quick-relief asthma medicine? a. To quickly lower a high fever b. To quickly reduce wheezing c. To take before exercise to keep asthma symptoms from starting </p><p>6. Who may tell you when its time to take asthma medications? a. Your mother b. Your friend c. Your school nurse </p><p>7. What a. </p><p>c. </p><p>should you do when you wake up at night with difficulty breathing? Ignore the problem and try to go back to sleep b. Tell your parents Take your quick-relief medicine </p><p>8. What should you do if you have asthma symptoms during gym class? a. Take a break from the activities b. Keep playing and hope they will get better c. Take your quick-relief asthma medicine </p><p>(see page 32 for answers) </p><p>ASTHMA MAGAZINE to subscr ibe ca l l 1 .800 .527 .3284 21 </p></li><li><p>You Can He|p. Attention clever kids! This Asthma Magazine reader needs your help. Based on your own experience, do you have any suggestions for her? If you do, write them down and send them to us. Suggestions will be chosen to be published in a future issue of Asthma Magazine. </p><p>Asthma Magazine Clever Kids 3 Bridge Street Newton, MA 02458 </p><p>Do you have a problem or ques- tion about your asthma? Would you like some help from other kids who have asthma? If so, write down your question (include your name, age, city and state) and send it to the address above. </p><p>0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 </p><p>Responses to previously printed questions: </p><p>In the September/October issue, Paul, age 9, wrote that he was afraid to go camping with his cub </p><p>scout troop because of his asthma. Here are suggestions from our readers. </p><p>Dear Paul, Dear Paul, </p><p>Maybe you can go camping if you bring your inhaler with you and a flashlight so you can take your medicine at night. Mso, make sure the leaders have training so they know if they need to call your parents during the night. </p><p>Peter Campbell, Age 10 Toronto, Canada </p><p>My friends in boy scouts go camping and sometimes their parents go, too. Maybe one of your parents could go along with you so if anything happens they will know what to do. </p><p>Jack Murphy, Age 11 Buffalo, NY </p><p>In the November/December issue, Leigh wrote that her teacher’s perfume made her asthma worse, </p><p>but she didn’t know how to tell her. </p><p>Dear Leigh, </p><p>Maybe you could have your parents set up a parent/teacher conference. Then your parents can </p><p>explain to the teacher that perfume affects your asthma. She shouldn’t wear it in school. </p><p>Stephanie Rodriguez, Age 12 </p><p>22 ASTHMA MAGAZINE to subscr ibe ca l l 1 .800 .527 .3284 </p></li><li><p>? ASK THE EXPERT </p><p>Lynda G. Kabbash, MD, is an instructor in medicine at Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts. Dr. Kabbash received her med- ical degree from McGill University Faculty of Medicine in Montreal, Quebec and did her residency and Fellowship in Allergy/Immunology at the Montreal General Hospital. Dr. Kabbash is also a Fellow, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons. She has published many articles and three books in the area of Allergy and Clinical Imrnunology. Dr. Kabbash is on the medical staff at New England Baptist Hospital and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts. </p><p>Q N I have been asthmatic for 48 years. </p><p>Because of having to take prednisone off and on over the years, plus being on a corticosteroid inhaler for the last 24 years, my skin has become very thin and I bruise easily. The skin on my arms has become especially fragile and tears easily. Is there anything I can do to «thicken» my skin? </p><p>A B This condition can, in some cases, be an unfortunate effect of prolonged use of oral corti- costeroids. (This effect is not typically seen with inhaled corticosteroids unless it is taken at very high doses.) I am not aware of any solution for this problem of thinning skin, although you may want to consult with a dermatologist to investi- gate this further. If the bruising is persistent, it is advisable to discuss this with your physician. He or she may want to check for any bleeding abnor- malities. </p><p>Q[ 9 I am allergic to mold, and my basement is full of it after flooding many times. I have fixed the leaks and now run a dehumidifier. Will the mold go away on its own or do I have to take fur- ther steps to get rid of the mold that is existing? </p><p>A m When you have a wet basement, it is important to have a dehumidifier running on a constant basis to decrease the mold growth. There are also other measures you can put in place to </p><p>help limit mold growth, such as installing a sub- flooring between carpet and the concrete floor (which will help keep the carpet from absorbing moisture) and using mold retardants in any paint used in the basement. Even with the best efforts, however, basements are difficult to keep dry and mold-free. If the mold continues to be a problem for you, you may want to speak to an allergist regarding immunotherapy («allergy shots») for mold allergy. </p><p>Q N With the extreme cold this winter, my 6 year-old son’s asthma has been terrible. I can’t send him out to play without his having a cough- ing fit and needing to come in for his inhaler. Is there anything we can do? We will all have cabin fever at this rate. </p><p>A m Yes. Clearly your son’s asthma is not well-controlled given his intense reaction to the cold air that is a trigger for him. However, it is unrealistic in his current environment for him t avoid exposure to it. You should consult with your pediatrician about the problem, and your son may need to see an asthma specialist. There are a host of medications that may be helpful fc your son. It sounds as though he should be on: anti-inflammatory «controller» medication on a regular basis, at least through the winter. Also, before going out into the cold, you may want t, premedicate with a bronchodilator to prevent t] anticipated extreme reaction. </p><p>ASTHMA MAGAZINE to subscr ibe ca l l 1 </p></li><li><p>Mouse A l le rgen Can be a Potent As thma Tr igger , Espec ia l l y in the Inner C i ty </p><p>It has long been known that people living in the inner city face many environmental conditions that can trigger asthma. In fact, it is estimated that inner-city residents are twice as likely to develop asthma as those living outside of the city. Pollution and cockroaches are two asthma triggers that get much of the blame, but there is now evi- dence that another trigger may play a key role—mice. </p><p>According to a new study published in the December 2000 issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, people who tend to have allergies are very likely to develop a sensitivity to mouse allergen when exposed to it. And when living in the inner city, exposure is common. (The aller- gens of mice are their dander as well as their urine.) According to the researchers, using a data base of inner-city pediatric asthma patients, 95 percent of homes in eight cities had mouse allergen in at least </p><p>one room of the home. About one in five of the children living in these homes were found through testing to be allergic to mouse allergen. In homes where the mouse allergen was present in the kitchen, about a quarter of the children were allergic. Among children who tested positive to other allergens (who, therefore, had a ten- dency to be allergic), more than half were allergic to mice. With such a high number of people sensitive and so many homes con- taining the allergen, it is believed that this allergy may play a significant role in the problem of inner-city asthma. </p><p>When mice are present in a home, it is important for people with asthma to take steps to rid the home of them. Unfortunately, this can be more difficult when living in a multi-unit building. Mice can move from one unit to another, so extermination efforts may have to encom- pass the entire building in order to be effec- tive. </p><p>I nha led Cor t i cos tero ids Don ‘ t He lp COPD Pat ients Long-Term Corticosteroid inhalers that are such a boon to people with asthma are also often pre- scribed for people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), due to the inflammatory component of this disease. However, according to a new study in the New England Journal of Medicine, although inhaled corticosteroids do provide patients with COPD some short-term benefits, these medications do not impact the long- term deterioration of the airways associated with the condition. </p><p>COPD is a broad term that includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis. It is a progressive condition, usually found in peo- ple who have smoked for many years. It leads to extreme shortness of breath and can eventually be fatal. Especially with older COPD patients, it is not unusual for them to have asthma as well. </p><p>The researchers in this study looked at </p><p>MA MAGAZINE to subscr ibe ca l l 1 .800 .527 ,3284 </p></li><li><p>two groups of patients with COPD. The first group of 559 participants received an inhaled corticosteroid regularly, and the second group of 557 volunteers received an inhaled place- bo. They found that the medication did pro- vide a short-term reduction in symptoms, resulting in fewer trips to the hospital for emergency care. There was no difference, however, in the long-term deterioration in lung function between the two groups. The inhaled corticosteroids did not slow the pro- gressive obstruction of the airways. </p><p>This study provides valuable informa- tion to guide physicians in the appropriate use of inhaled corticosteroids with COPD patients. Although inhaled corticosteroids may be useful for managing symptoms as the condition worsens, they appear to be ineffec- tive in the early stages of the disease as a pre- ventive treatment to keep it from worsening. </p><p>In Rare Cases the Asthma Drug Acco la te Can Cause L iver P rob lems </p><p>AstraZeneca, the manufacturer of the popu- lar asthma drug Accolate, has revised its labeling based on post-marketing reports of patients having liver problems while taking the drug. Although very rare, the manufac- </p><p>turer has received some reports of liver dys- function, mostly in females taking the med- ication. </p><p>Since the drug’s approval in 1997, there have been precautions in the labeling regard- ing liver problems. With these additional reported cases, however, the company has revised the label to make more specific rec- ommendations. The manufacturer has sent these revised recommendations to physicians through the publisher of the Physician’s Desk Reference. </p><p>Clinical signs of liver dysfunction include right upper-quadrant abdominal pain, nausea, fatigue, lethargy, jaundice and flu-like symptoms. If you have any of these symptoms and are taking Accolate, you should contact your health care provider immediately to have liver function testing. </p><p>ASTHMA MAGAZINE to subscr ibe ca l l 1 .800 .527 ,3284 25 </p></li><li><p>~, 0 </p><p>The Effects of </p><p>By Ellie Goldberg </p><p>Carpeting in Our Schools </p><p>M any of us remember the highly pol- ished linoleum or wood floors in the schools we attended as children. This is, in large part, a thing of the past. Today many classrooms are carpeted, as are many of the schools’ high-traffic areas, such as hallways. Over the last 20 years or so, carpets have been sold to schools as a way to achieve cost savings and noise reduction. However, carpets bring with them a host of issues that were not foreseen; carpets create main- tenance nightmares and the potential for serious health problems. </p><p>Chemica l I r r i tants and A l le rgens </p><p>Carpets may seem an attractive floor cover- ing, but they are, in fact, a source of irri- tants and allergens that trigger inflammato- ry diseases, such as asthma, rhinitis and sinusitis for students and staff. Chemicals used in the manufacture of carpets and car- pet backings can emit irritating fumes into the air. Carpets also off-gas fumes from fire retardants, pesticides and anti-fungal treat- ments, and the glues and adhesives used during installation. </p><p>People with allergies and asthma are particularly sensitive to the chemicals used in carpet manufacturing and installation. They are also affected by the potent aller- gens that carpets harbor—mold, dust mites, and even cat dander that comes into the school on children’s clothing and gets deposited into the carpets. </p><p>Mold Allergens When carpets become wet or damp (which they often do as a result of leaks, floods, spills, high indoor humidity levels, or when installed directly on concrete floors), they become the ideal breeding ground for mold. Once mold begins to grow in the </p><p>2S I ASTHMA MAGAZINE to subscr ibe call 1.800.527.3284 </p></li><li><p>n d, T t Part 2 carpets, there is little that can be done to remove it; the carpets must be taken out. This was the experience recently in a Connecticut elementary school. The school experienced a flood due to some roofing work that was being done. Carpets were soaked, leading to rampant mold growth. According to news reports, following the flood two children were hospital- ized with severe allergic reactions and dozens of people were ill. School offi- cials at first closed only the library and one classroom. When this failed to solve the problem, however, fur- ther investigation found high mold levels throughout the building. The school had to be closed and classes relocated. </p><p>Dust Mites Dust mites also thrive in moist envi- ronments, and carpets are one of their favorite habitats. Once carpets become infested with dust mites, the mites’ waste and dead bodies accu- mulate. These are extremely potent allergens for people with asthma and allergies. </p><p>In many cases, when people suf- fer health effects from indoor pollu- tants, such as those in carpeting, they don’t realize the source of their prob- lems. They may attribute headaches, nose-bleeds or skin rashes to other causes. They may attribute episodes of dizziness, fatigue or irritability to stress, lack of sleep, or «whatever is going around.» The cause of asthma flares and other allergic symptoms may not be immediately apparent. Another reason the source of the problem may be elusive is that all occupants are not affected the same way by the contaminants. Some may be highly affected, with various severe symptoms, while others in the same environment may not be affect- ed at all, or their symptoms may </p><p>have delayed onset. </p><p>Maintenance Cha l lenges </p><p>Most schools are poorly ventilated and inadequately maintained. Even with the best intentions, few schools…</p></li></ul>


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