Ontario Lung Association urges people with asthma to take control

OTTAWA, May 3 /CNW/ - Take control.  That's the message from the Ontario Lung Association to the 1.7 million Ontarians living with asthma, a chronic lung disease that can be potentially life threatening if not well managed.  Recent research indicates that nearly 50 percent of Ontarians with asthma do not have their disease under control1, which places nearly one million people at everyday risk in the province.  On the occasion of World Asthma Day (May 3, 2011), the lung health organization is giving extra encouragement to adults and children with asthma, backed by the launch of the newest edition of its asthma management handbook, appropriately called, "Taking Control."  For the first time, the highly regarded book is now available as a mobile application available for download from on.lung.ca/mobile.  Both the book and mobile application are free to Ontario residents.

"With so many people affected by asthma, and only half of them keeping it under control, the importance of seeking out proper asthma education should not be underestimated," says Dr. Itamar Tamari, a family physician based in Ontario.  "We know how to keep asthma under good control.  We have very effective asthma medications, and very good information on how to avoid asthma triggers that lead to symptoms.  We need individuals to work with their primary care providers to take control of their asthma."

The Ontario Lung Association recommends that people with asthma use a written asthma action plan. An action plan is a tool that helps people to monitor their symptoms and take steps to keep their asthma under control.  Working with their healthcare provider, people with asthma can use their action plan to recognize symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, airway tightness and increased mucus production, and take steps to get it back under control.

"A written asthma action plan is an important tool for people with asthma.  It can help guide you to quickly take action when you start having asthma symptoms, so that it doesn't get out of control.  Too many people let asthma negatively impact their life.  It's time to take control and an action plan is a vital tool that can help," says Dr. Tamari.

Taking Control - Ontario Lung Association's newest publication
Everyday management of a chronic disease like asthma is a necessary challenge.  The Ontario Lung Association's newest publication, "Taking Control", offers consumer-friendly education about how adults can best control their asthma.  The 32-page book covers everything from exercising with asthma to travel considerations, and complements the Ontario Lung Association's spectrum of educational materials that are available to children and adults of all ages who are living with asthma.

Ways to reach the Ontario Lung Association
The Ontario Lung Association operates a province-wide toll-free Helpline for Ontario residents, available by calling 1-888-344-LUNG (5864).  All calls are answered by Certified Respiratory Educators who are specially trained in the management of lung diseases such as asthma.. As well, free resources and information are available through www.on.lung.ca.  You can also stay connected through our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/OntarioLungAssociation) and by following us on Twitter (@OntarioLung)

About the Ontario Lung Association
The Lung Association is a registered charity that provides information and funding for research to improve lung health. We focus on the prevention and control of asthma, chronic lung disease, tobacco control as well as healthy air and the effects of pollution on lung health. For information on lung health, call 1-888-344-LUNG (5864) or visit www.on.lung.ca.   Asthma Action resources are also available in French.

1 FitzGerald JM, Boulet LP, McIvor RA et al. Asthma control in Canada remains suboptimal: the Reality of Asthma Control (TRAC) study. Can Respir J 2006; 13(5):253-259.

SOURCE Ontario Lung Association

For further information:

Karen Petcoff
Ontario Lung Association
416-864-9911 ext. 283/ cellular 416-275-6844


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