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Asthma is a chronic inflammation of the lungs with reversible episodes of obstruction, caused by an increased reaction of the airways to various triggers
Breathing problems usually happen in “ attacks ” but the inflammation underlying asthma is continuous.
(American Lung Association [ALA], 2007)
Prevalence Asthma is the most common chronic disorder in childhood, currently affecting an estimated 6.8 million children under 18 years; of which 4.1 million suffered from an asthma attack or episode in 2006. (ALA, 2007)
An asthma attack is a series of events that results in narrowed airways. These include: swelling of the lining, tightening of the muscle, and increased secretion of mucus in the airway. The narrowed airway is responsible
Asthma and Exercise 1. Pre-medicate as prescribed by physician 2. Ensure that rescue medication is readily available 3. Ensure long warm-up and cool-down 4. Monitor the environment for potential triggers (change environments if necessary) 5. Permit student to monitor breathing status using a Peak Flow Meter (AFSI, 2007)
Long term controllers - do not provide relief right away, but rather help to lessen the frequency and severity of episodes over time (ie. Singulair, Advair)
2. Quick relievers (rescue inhalers )- used to control the immediate symptoms of an asthma episode (ie. Albuterol )
(Asthma Overview, 2005)
Summary Asthma is a chronic illness that is a growing problem in America. In a classroom of 30 students, two are likely to have asthma. Asthma can be life-threatening; it causes breathing problems called asthma “ attacks ” or “ episodes ” that range from mild to serious. Asthma affects absenteeism and productivity, and it demands an immense amount of time and attention of our school nurses. With your help, we can better recognize and reduce the symptoms of asthma in our students. (ALA, 2007) Thank you!