Asthma Education

  • First, ask the pt if they know what is Asthma? If no, explain the disease:
    • Definition:
      • A chronic inflammatory disease of the lung’s airways which makes breathing difficult
    • What happens in asthma?
      • Inflammation: which thickens the airway walls and creates mucus which blocks the airways
      • Constriction: muscle spasms constricting and narrowing the airways
    • Symptoms?
      • Wheezing: whistling sound
      • Coughing esp at night
      • SOB and chest tightness
    • There are triggers which worsens the asthma symptoms?
      • Dust, animal dander, cold air, cigarette smoke, respiratory infections
      • Try to avoid your triggers

 

  • Management:
    • There is no cure for asthma, but by controlling it, you can have a normal healthy life
    • There are 2 types of asthma medications:
      • Quick-relief\rescue medications: (SABA)
        • Fast-acting -> relieve asthma sx w\in 5-20 mins
        • Used whenever needed based on symptoms
        • If used > 2days\wk -> inform the doctor to adjust controller medications
        • S\E: increased heartbeat, tremor, headache
        • Drug used: albuterol (Ventolin)
    • Controller medications: (ICS\LABA)
      • Work slowly over wks or mos -> reduce inflammation + prevent asthma sx from occurring
      • Don’t provide quick relief
      • Should be taken daily, even when you’re not having sx
      • S\E: hoarseness, mouth infection (oral candidiasis\thrush), easy bruising, wt gain
      • To prevent S\E -> rinse your mouth after using the inhaler
      • Drugs used: Budesonide (ICS), Salmetarol (LABA)

 

  • How to use inhalers?
    • Check expiration date
    • Shake (3-4 times)
    • Remove the cap
    • Breath out all the way
    • Hold inhaler 4 cm\width of 2 fingers in front of mouth
    • Press down on the inhaler once to release 1 puff of medication
    • Breath in slowly and deeply
    • Hold in your breath for 10 secs\as long as comfortable and breath out fully
    • If you need a second dose -> wait 1-2 mins, then repeat the process
    • Rinse mouth afterwards to reduce S\E if ICS
  • W\ spacer:
    • “W\out using a spacer, most of the medication hits back of the throat and doesn’t go down the lungs. A spacer chamber makes it easier for the medication to reach the lungs + less medication gets deposited in mouth and throat preventing S\E”
    • Check expiration date
    • Shake (3-4 times)
    • Remove the cap
    • Attach inhaler to spacer
    • Breath out all the way
    • Bring the mouthpiece and place it between your teeth
    • Close your mouth around the mouthpiece and form a good seal
    • Press down on the inhaler once to release 1 puff of medication
    • Breath in slowly and deeply
    • Hold in your breath for 10 secs\as long as comfortable and breath out fully
    • If you need a second dose -> wait 1-2 mins, then repeat the process
    • Rinse mouth afterwards to reduce S\E if ICS
  • Demonstrate it yourself then ask the pt to do it and observe

 

  • Looking after a spacer:
    • Wash every month and before first use w\ warm water and soap
    • Leave to drip dry (don’t towel dry)
    • Replace spacer every 6-12 mo

 

  • What to do in an asthma attack?
    • Take 2-6 puffs of rescue inhaler w\ 5 min interval
    • If persists or signs of respiratory distress (turning blue, nasal flaring) -> go to the ER!

 


Download the PDF version: here

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