Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic Gives Tips to Control Asthma Symptoms
May is National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month
Over 22 million people living in the United States have asthma, a chronic lifelong disease that affects the lungs. Asthma can cause wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness, and coughing. Although asthma cannot be cured, it is possible to manage asthma to reduce and prevent asthma attacks, also called episodes. In the United States, approximately half of people with asthma had at least one asthma attack in 2012. More children (55%) than adults (49%) had an attack.
To raise awareness about the health consequences and personal and financial costs of asthma, Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic is participating in Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month throughout May.
Asthma attacks cause adults to miss work and children to miss school. These dangerous and sometimes life-threatening episodes reduce the quality of life for people with asthma.
People with asthma can prevent asthma attacks if they learn how to avoid triggers like tobacco smoke, mold, outdoor air pollution, and colds and flu. Asthma episodes can also be prevented by using inhaled corticosteroids and other prescribed daily long-term control medicines correctly.
Studies show that less than half the people with asthma report being taught how to avoid triggers.
Focusing on the inside of an asthmatic's home is still a fairly new concept. Environmental agencies monitor the quality of outdoor air, but people often forget about indoor triggers, which is what the asthma program at Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic is designed to help identify.
“We teach our clients how to define and control triggers in their allergies and asthma,” Adriana Perez, Asthma Program Coordinator, said.
Other tips for those with asthma and allergies include:
- Asthma at night can be caused by allergens in your bed. Showering before bed is important if you have allergic asthma.
- Always carry your rescue inhaler
- Don’t vacuum every day. While vacuuming is good, too often it prevents dust from settling out of the air.
- Close windows and turn on air conditioner when pollen levels are high. Go to www.pollen.com to check pollen levels.
- Wash sheets and blankets weekly in very hot water, and use an allergy proof mattress and pillow covers.
- Switch to less toxic cleaning and hygiene products to avoid flare-ups.
- To avoid mold, run exhaust fan during a bath or shower and up to 20 min after. Always keep areas dry and clean.
- Consider keeping pets outdoors or out of the bedroom.
Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that provides comprehensive medical and social services for more than 149,000 people. We employ 1,482 full-time staff and 705 part-time staff, medical residents, dental residents, administrative fellows, students and volunteers. Facilities: 24 medical clinics, 12 dental clinics, 8 pharmacies, and 59 program sites. Washington locations: Grandview, Granger, Kennewick, Prosser, Pasco, Spokane, Sunnyside, Toppenish, Yakima, Walla Walla, and Wapato. Oregon locations: Astoria, Clatskanie, Hermiston, Newberg, McMinnville, Portland, Salem, and Woodburn. Our Mission: Together we are dedicated to lead, with the courage to care, the determination to promote personal growth, and the compassion to champion the cause of those who have no voice. Visit: www.yvfwc.com