World Asthma Day: Every Breath Matters - Saskatchewan Voices speak out about asthma and why every breath matters.
Saskatoon, April 30 – The Lung Association of Saskatchewan and the other Voices of Asthma in our province want everyone to know that their asthma can be controlled. There are over 96,000 people in our province that are affected by asthma, a chronic lung disease that makes it hard to breathe. Asthma can't be cured, but it can be managed. With proper treatment, people with asthma can lead normal, active lives.
The Researcher’s Voice: Dr. Josh Lawson
“Approximately, 15 to 20 percent of children in Saskatchewan have asthma,” says Dr. Josh Lawson, an Assistant Professor at the Canadian Centre for Health and Safety in Agriculture, located at the University of Saskatchewan. “Asthma is reported to be lower in rural regions but the reason for this is not yet known.” For the next five years Dr. Lawson’s research will investigate asthma in rural settings with a focus on the indoor environment, including tobacco smoke and mould in homes and the role that obesity, health behaviours, and environmental exposures contribute to asthma development. What he discovers will have implications for future asthma prevention and management programs across Saskatchewan and Canada.
The Expert’s Voice
In Canada, uncontrolled asthma is the leading cause of hospital visits for children. “This is a strong signal that their asthma is not well managed,” says Dr. Darryl Adamko who was recruited to Saskatchewan in 2011. Paediatric respirologists, like Dr. Adamko, specialize in treating children’s lung diseases, including asthma, the most common chronic disease of children. Dr. Adamko returned to Saskatoon last fall after spending the last ten years at the Edmonton’s Stollery Children’s Hospital. Dr. Adamko reports that, “it was as a result of the pivotal study conducted by Dr. Joe Reisman and commissioned by the Lung Association that made it possible for him to return to Saskatchewan.”
The Respiratory Educator’s Voice
“Each kind of inhaled medicine device has its own set of instructions,” states Jaimie Peters who is a Registered Nurse and Certified Respiratory Educator for the Lung Association. “Most people don’t use their inhaler correctly and it is an essential aspect of having good asthma control.” With good asthma control individuals have fewer hospitalizations, emergency room visits, missed days at work or school, and days of restricted activity.
Learn more about asthma control.
The Mother’s Voice
As a child, Zachary Dawson was fortunate to attend an asthma camp conducted by the Lung Association. Campers learned about asthma in a safe environment with other children from across Saskatchewan. “I never wanted people to think that asthma would hold Zach back from doing things that other children do,” says Dawn, Zachary’s mom. “You are only limited by your own education; the more you educate yourself, the more you can manage your asthma.”
While Zach controlled his asthma and continued to play hockey and football, he unfortunately died of a game that shouldn’t be played, one that can take your breath away. The choking ‘game’ is dangerous; the idea is to choke the player or themselves to the point of almost passing out in order to get a drug-free high.
Learn to stop the choking game before it hits too close to home.
The Professional Athlete’s Voice
Neal Hughes is in his ninth season with the Saskatchewan Roughriders and hasn’t let his asthma affect his career. “I have been able to manage my asthma with the help of inhalers and I also think that being active and exercising my lungs helps as well,” says Neal. He is a strong believer that asthma should not be an excuse to fail at something. “Self-motivation is the only motivation, and it is up to you to access the services of the Lung Association to learn about asthma, identify your triggers, and learn how to use your medications properly,” Neal adds.
Learn more about Neal Hughes.
About The Lung Association
Established in 1911, The Lung Association is Saskatchewan’s oldest health charity. You have come to know and trust The Lung Association as the premier source for lung health in our province. All of our quality educational materials, programs, services and treatment guidelines are based on current evidence-based research. You will find The Lung Association active in communities across Saskatchewan conducting lung disease prevention and management programs that include asthma, COPD, sleep apnea, lung cancer and smoking cessation. The Lung Association also provides training for health care professionals, delivers health education in schools, facilitates patient support groups, and lobbies for clean air.
World Asthma Day is an annual event organized by the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) to improve asthma awareness and care around the world. World Asthma Day is Tuesday, May 1, 2012.
For more information, please contact:
Jaimie Peters, RN, BSN, Certified Respiratory Educator (CRE)