Calgary COPD & Asthma Program

Asthma, what is it?

What is asthma?

  • A chronic lung disorder that causes the airways to become tightened, narrowed, and swollen.
  • The airways are twitchy when exposed to triggers such as cold air, exercise or allergens.
  • Those with controlled asthma will be able to live an active, normal life, doing the things they like to do, including exercising.

It is important to ensure the proper diagnosis of asthma.  If asthma is suspected it is important to see your doctor to review your symptoms, your medical history, your family history, and to complete a lung function test (breathing test).


Do I have asthma?

Some common symptoms of asthma may include:

  • shortness of breath
  • cough
  • wheeze
  • tightness in the chest

It is important to ensure the proper diagnosis of asthma.  If asthma is suspected see your doctor to review your symptoms, your medical history and your family history, and to schedule a lung function test (breathing test).

What triggers my asthma?

Common asthma triggers include:

  • allergens such as: animal dander, pollen             
  • tobacco smoke
  • air pollutants
  • strong odours such as sprays, perfume, paint
  • certain drugs: Aspirin, ibuprofen
  • strong emotions such as crying, laughing
  • certain weather conditions
  • food additives/preservatives
  • cold, dry air
  • physical activity/exercise
  • infections/colds/viruses
  • mold

Managing my Asthma

Well managed asthma includes:

Remember, the best asthma control is when you have... 

  • no daytime or nighttime asthma symptoms.
  • no need for reliever medication.
  • no limitations to daily activities.
  • no missing school or work due to asthma.
  • normal lung function (breathing tests).

If you have any of these symptoms, your asthma is not controlled.

How can we help?

Our team can:

  • accept referrals from health care providers.
  • provide asthma education led by one of our Certified Respiratory Educators.
  • conduct spirometry (breathing test) which is reviewed by a Respirologist.
  • help with the diagnosis of asthma, achieve control of symptoms and then  maintain good control.
  • educate on asthma medications and demonstrate proper asthma inhaler technique, provide patient self management guidance.
  • provide consistent follow up if necessary.

Resources

Tools and resources for asthma

 

 


Message to our website visitors

Material on this website has been designed for information purposes only. It should not be used in place of medical advice, instruction and/or treatment.
If you have specific questions, please consult your doctor or appropriate health care professional.