Awareness and education activities planned for World Asthma Day

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asthmaAsthma Experts Say Most Patients Can Achieve Good Asthma Control

 EL CENTRO –  Events oriented around the theme “You Can Control Your Asthma” will take place in dozens of countries around the world Tuesday, May 3rd as “World Asthma Day” is recognized globally. Asthma experts are calling for increased efforts at asthma diagnosis, education, and treatment to enable more asthma sufferers to reach the goal of controlling their disease.

Locally the Imperial Valley Child Asthma Program (IVCAP) in Partnership with Sunflower Suns School and Friends will be hosting the “Go for the Gold Track and Field Games 2016. The event will be held on Friday May 13, 2016 from 4:00-8:00 pm at the Southwest High School track located at 2001 Ocotillo Drive, in El Centro.

Approximately 200 children Kindergarten thru 8th grade are expected to register to the different race divisions such 100,200,400 meter run for as well as soft ball throw and long jump. The event is in observance of world asthma month, as well as the promotion of physical activity for the improvement of lung capacity, healthy lungs, fit people and healthy lives.

During the observance of World Asthma Month, IVCAP encourage all patients with asthma to take a positive outlook towards their disease, study their symptoms, avoid known triggers and use their peak flow meters to monitor the progress of their disease, said Aide Fulton director of IVCAP.

Asthma is one of the most common chronic diseases in the world, affecting more than 300 million people worldwide. Asthma is characterized by recurrent breathing problems and symptoms such as breathlessness, wheezing, chest tightness, and coughing. Asthma symptoms vary over time, and also from individual to individual. In Imperial County, Asthma is one of the most common illnesses in Imperial Valley resulting in a high incidence of hospitalizations. The problem of asthma among children in the Imperial Valley has received state and national attention. Statistics indicate that approximately 23,000 Imperial County residents have been diagnosed with asthma, 7,000 of those are children (birth to 17years).

Almost all people with asthma, including those with severe asthma, can lead normal lives, early detection, effective treatments, control of the factors that contribute to symptoms, and coordinated education with patients’ families can enable people who have this common respiratory disease to live full, active lives.

A person’s asthma is under control when he or she has:

  • No (or minimal) asthma
  • No waking at night due to
  • No (or minimal) need to use “reliever”
  • The ability to do normal physical activity and
  • Normal (or near-normal) lung function test results (PEF and FEV1).
  • No (or very infrequent) asthma

A strategy for achieving and maintaining asthma control is set out in the 2007 revision of the Global Initiative for Asthma’s (GINA) Report – Global Strategy for Asthma Management and Prevention. The strategy requires four interrelated components of therapy:

  • Develop patient/doctor
  • Identify and reduce exposure to risk
  • Assess, treat, and monitor
  • Manage asthma

Under this strategy, asthma is treated in a stepwise manner to achieve and maintain control of the disease. Medication is increased – “stepped up” – when asthma is not controlled, and gradually “stepped down” once good control is achieved and maintained for a period of time. According to the GINA experts, following this strategy will lead to better asthma control and reduce the burden of this disease on patients, families, and societies.

World Asthma Day is an annual event, held the first Tuesday in May, organized by GINA. GINA was launched in 1993 to work with healthcare professionals and public health officials around the world to reduce the burden of asthma. Guidelines for the diagnosis and management of asthma prepared by GINA have been adapted for use in a variety of settings around the world and are available, along with other GINA documents, at www.ginasthma.org.