The Pennsylvania Department of Health Asthma Control Program
The Pennsylvania Department of Health Asthma Control Program was developed to help people with and without asthma live a healthy and active life. The primary goal of this program was to reduce the impact of Asthma in these people’s lives which will have an end-result of an increase in the quality of life for the individuals who will be exposed to the asthma awareness program that will be introduced later in this paper. The PDHACP served as the primary health program model in the development of the new asthma health program that will be discussed later. The goal of the Australian Asthma Control Program was made similar with PDHACP’s. However, all of the contents starting from the explanation of the pathophysiology of Asthma down to the recommended interventions for Asthma were written differently.
Asthma is a prevalent disease among children. According to the latest statistics, in the United States alone, there are over 25 million current cases of Asthma (Wittich et al., 2006). More than 33 percent of this number belongs to the pediatric age group. One important thing to know about Asthma is that its signs and symptoms usually start during childhood (Aston, 2009). Most parents are not aware of the different possible implications of having their child acquire Asthma (Coffman et al., 2008). There are studies that suggest that Asthma could be hereditary (Bell & Standish, 2005)—a principle which is seldom rejected by published literatures. Knowing that there is a high prevalence rate of Asthma even in some of the most developed countries such as the United States, it would be logical to think that the asthma prevalence rate may even be higher in less-developed places like Australia, and other countries in North and South America, Europe, and Asia. This is basically why it has been considered as one of the major national health issues. The objective of this paper is to discuss information about asthma that could be of great use to the community. The pathophysiology, and treatment and prevention procedures for Asthma shall also be covered in this paper.
It has proven by many studies that Asthma is a chronic lung disorder most commonly diagnosed in individuals who falls under the pediatric age bracket. Therefore, it would be more beneficial to the entire community if the health program will target children regardless whether they already have Asthma or not. The parents of the children should be educated about Asthma as well. The target group would most likely be from Australian-based communities. It has been identified that children and their parents from different communities in Australia lack basic information regarding Asthma. This is why a comprehensive and brief asthma education program for these people has been produced.
What Happens to an Individual with Asthma?
A good starting point for an individual who wants to understand how Asthma affects an individual would be to understand how the body’s airways work. First, the air enters the body through the nasal cavity. The air then goes to the nasal cavity, going to the larynx, then to the trachea—the trachea is where the air and other substances that may pass the throat are separated. The air enters through the trachea while other substances such as food and water enter the esophagus and later on to the other organs of the digestive tract. After going in through the trachea, the air enters the lungs. This is where the oxygenation of the blood occurs (Brown et al. 2005). In a person with asthma, the airways that deliver air to the lungs become inflamed for some reason. In some cases, the airway becomes inflamed because of a certain infection. There are also cases wherein the airway becomes clogged by foreign objects such as nicotine if the patient is smoking, or with food when the closing and opening mechanism of the epiglottis (part of the trachea) jammed (Nelson et al., 2006). In a person with a common asthma however, the main causes are inflammation of the airways and clogging of the airways due to nicotine residues. People who smoke are more prone to asthma and other related lung disorders.
Top Causes of Asthma
- Congenital or Hereditary
Treatment and Prevention of Asthma
Unfortunately, asthma is considered as one of the many chronic lung disorders (Partridge et al., 2008). Meaning, there is no real treatment or medication that could cure asthma. However, there are medications and treatments that have been proven to be effective in its symptoms rather than the disease itself. Inhalants and anti-asthma drugs such as anticholinergic drugs, adrenergic agonists, and salbutamol are some of the most proven and effective medications for asthma (Peterson et al., 2001). There are also treatments that could induce longer lasting symptom inhibition results than medications (Weiss et al., 2002). Examples of such treatments include the use of Glucocorticoids, Long Acting Beta Adrenoceptor Agonists (LABA), Leukotriene Agonists, Mast Cell Stabilizers, and Lifestyle Modification Programs (Watson et al., 2009).
Asthma can never be fully prevented. There is also no vaccine that could give immunity to individuals who do not yet have the disorder because it is highly unlikely for asthma to be caused by a viral infection. Therefore, the best thing that an individual could do is to attend asthma screening programs so that they can make use of the advantages of early detection, and be willing to cooperate should a lifestyle modification program for asthma prevention be prescribed by the health professional in charge of the community. Another good thing to try is to ensure that the asthma-triggering factors in the community such as excessive pollution and dusts are minimized.
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