We offer free asthma education and services for you and your family members. Learn how to identify asthma and asthma-related symptoms and what irritants trigger an attack.
What are the early warning signs of asthma?
Sometimes asthma causes more subtle symptoms that don't interrupt your daily activities. But these can be warning signs that a full-blown asthma attack is imminent. Red flags to watch for include frequent coughing (especially at night), difficulty sleeping, unexplained fatigue, and feeling out of breath.
What are the symptoms of an asthma attack?
Symptoms of an asthma attack include:
Coughing that won't stop
Shortness of breath
Tightness in the chest
In severe cases, an untreated asthma attack can be life-threatening.
When should I call 911?
Some asthma attacks require emergency treatment. Call 911 if:
You are too breathless to walk or talk.
Your lips or fingernails look blue.
Using a quick relief inhaler doesn’t help.
These are signs that your body is not getting enough oxygen. Emergency treatment can help open the airways and restore oxygen levels
Who gets asthma?
Asthma can appear at any age, but it typically develops during childhood. Those most at risk include people with allergies or a family history of asthma. Having a parent with asthma makes children three to six times more likely to develop the condition. Gender also plays a role. Asthma is more common in boys during childhood but in women during adulthood.
How can I tell if I have asthma?
It can be hard to tell if someone has asthma, especially in children under age 5. Having a doctor check how well your lungs work and check for allergies can help you find out if you have asthma.
During a checkup, the doctor will ask if you cough a lot, especially at night, and whether your breathing problems are worse after physical activity or at certain times of year. The doctor will also ask about chest tightness, wheezing, and colds lasting more than 10 days. They will ask whether anyone in your family has or has had asthma, allergies, or other breathing problems, and they will ask questions about your home. The doctor will also ask if you have missed school or work and about any trouble you may have doing certain things.
The doctor will also do a breathing test, called spirometry, to find out how well your lungs are working. The doctor will use a computer with a mouthpiece to test how much air you can breathe out after taking a very deep breath. The spirometer can measure airflow before and after you use asthma medicine.
How can I tell if my child has asthma?
Signs and symptoms to look for include:
Frequent coughing spells, which may occur during play, at night, or while laughing. It is important to know that cough may be the only symptom present.
Less energy during play.
Complaint of chest tightness or chest "hurting."
Whistling sound (wheezing) when breathing in or out.
See-saw motions (retractions) in the chest from labored breathing.
Shortness of breath, loss of breath.
Tightened neck and chest muscles.
Feelings of weakness or tiredness.
Dark circles under the eyes.
Loss of appetite.
Keep in mind that not all children have the same asthma symptoms, and these symptoms can vary from asthma episode to the next episode in the same child. Also note that not all wheezing or coughing is caused by asthma.
In kids under 5 years of age, the most common cause of asthma-like symptoms is upper respiratory viral infections such as the common cold.
If your child has problem breathing, take him or her to the doctor immediately for an evaluation.
Breathe Well, Live Well
Breath Well, Live Well is an adult asthma management program designed to help you learn to control your asthma and reduce symptoms so you can enjoy more activities. The program was developed by the American Lung Association. Any adult can participate in this program. A referral is not required.
What topics are covered?
You will receive a workbook that covers:
Understanding asthma and breathing
Tips for talking to your healthcare providers
Early warning signs of an asthma episode
Recognizing and controlling triggers
Identifying and tracking symptoms
Using a written asthma action plan
What is the cost?
There is no cost to participate. Breathe Well, Live Well is brought to you as a community service of Parkview Hospital.
How much time is involved?
Information is presented in two sessions. Both two-hour sessions are necessary for program completion.
Who should I contact for more information?
Contact Jan Moore, RRT-NPS, Parkview Hospital Community Nursing, at (877) 774-8632 or (260) 373-7540.
2014 Schedule of Breathe Well, Live Well classes
Session 1: Aug. 21, 3 – 5 p.m., Community Nursing Classroom
Session 2: Aug. 28, 3 – 5 p.m., Community Nursing Classroom
Session 1: Oct. 14, 5– 7 p.m., Community Nursing Classroom
Session 2: Oct. 21, 5– 7 p.m., Community Nursing Classroom
Session 1: Nov. 11, 9 – 11 a.m., Center for Healthy Living - Southeast
Session 2: Nov. 18, 9 – 11 a.m., Center for Healthy Living - Southeast