All About Asthma

Take a Breath, and Let's Talk Asthma

The winter season is upon us, and with it comes cooler weather. This may trigger an asthma flare-up. You might be asking yourself, what is asthma? How can we prevent it? Read on to learn what asthma is, and what you can do prevent asthma attacks from happening.

By Rachel Crockford, BSN, RN, TJS School Nurse

Header image by Freepik

Asthma is a condition that makes breathing difficult and is the leading cause of absenteeism in school. When the airway becomes inflamed and mucus accumulates, it becomes hard to breathe. There are many triggers that may start a flare-up. Some triggers are easier to avoid than others. The most common triggers are listed below:

  • Allergies
  • Pollutants
  • Cold/Flu
  • Weather Conditions
  • Exercise

  • A flare-up, or attack, may come on gradually or spontaneously. For example, when a child is getting sick, an asthma attack may take a few days to present itself. With exercise, asthma usually has a quick response and presents immediately. Symptoms of an attack often include:

  • Difficulty Breathing
  • Difficulty Talking
  • Tightness in Chest
  • Cough
  • Increased Heart Rate
  • Wheezing (whistle noise)

  • Diagnosing Asthma

    Only a doctor can diagnose asthma. When a diagnosis is made there are a variety of medications that your doctor may prescribe to help prevent, manage and recover an asthmatic event. An asthma action plan is a helpful tool for you to determine what symptoms require action and what actions to take for each symptom.

    Asthma is manageable. Remembering what triggers Asthma is the key to being proactive. So as we creep into the cooler temperatures, keep in mind that Asthma could flare up. And if you think your child is showing symptoms of Asthma, be sure to talk with your doctor.

    This blog was originally shared in Nurse's Notes, a monthly newsletter by Nurse Rachel Crockford, BSN, RN.

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    Rachel Crockford

    About the Author

    Rachel is a registered nurse who earned her Bachelor of Science from Drexel University in Pennsylvania. She has extensive nursing experience in pediatric care, and previously worked at an elementary school in Virginia Beach. Rachel's family moved here from the east coast, and her husband is pursuing his MBA at Rice University. She has two children, Duke and Colt.

    Degrees Held
    Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Drexel University
    Bachelor of Arts in History & Political Science

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