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Pat Bass, MD



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Do You Just Like Smoking?

Thursday April 24, 2014

Some people just find smoking enjoyable.

Whether it is the boost you get or that it gets you away from the stress of your day,  a number of people smoke despite knowing how bad its effects. You may just find it pleasurable.

Smoking Gives Me pleasureIf any of the following apply to you, you enjoy smoking and the associated positive experiences:

  • I find smoking a pleasant and enjoyable experience.
  • Good times are better when I smoke.
  • I am most likely  to smoke when when I am calm, comfortable, and enjoying myself.

There are a number of things that you can do to deal with this. First, you need to enjoy yourself and life when not focusing on tobacco.

Please let me know if the article helps you. If it does then please also share with anyone who you might think would benefit.

START Your Smoke Free Life Today

Monday April 21, 2014

"START" your smoke free life today:Quit For Good RX

  • S = Set a quit date to begin your smoke free life.
  • T = Tell your family, friends, and coworkers you are quitting and ask for their support.
  • A = Anticipate when you will have problems and think about how you will handle them now.
  • R = Remove all your cigarettes from your home, work, and car.
  • T = Talk with your doctor or other healthcare professional about quitting.

If you are currently smoking, quitting is probably the single best thing that you can do to improve your asthma and your overall health. Similarly, quitting smoking could significantly reduce your child's risk of an asthma attack.

The Power of Habit: Smoking

Monday April 21, 2014

Quit SmokingHow much power does habit have?

A tremendous amount. Have you ever seen a smoker say "I just light cigarettes and I am not really smoking it?"

If this describes you than smoking has become a pretty significant habit and part of your daily routine.

If you answer yes to any of the following smoking is a habit in your life:

  • I light up more than one cigarette without really being aware that I did so.
  • I do not even realize that I have a lit a cigarette.
  • I do not remember putting a cigarette in my mouth.

When you display habits like this, smoking is no longer the pleasurable experience you may have previously experienced.

Smoking has become a habit and you will hopefully not miss. You may, however, have trouble breaking all the habits that you have built up over time.
There are a number of things that you can do to deal with this challenge.

Please let me know if you find this helpful. If you do please share the article in your social network.

10 Tips For The Asthmatic Gardner

Wednesday April 16, 2014

Asthma GardeningIt is beginning to warm up where I live and the local paper has been publishing some tips and recommendations for planting. We are also beginning to see a lot o pollen locally. With the upcoming planting season, the asthmatic gardener may be at risk for worsening asthma symptoms. These 10 tips from American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology can prevent seasonal allergies from worsening your asthma and keep you in the garden longer:

  1. Wear a protective pollen mask while gardening
  2. Shower after gardening to reduce seasonal allergen exposure in your home
  3. Keep grass cut short and avoid mowing yourself if possible
  4. Keep your hands away from your eyes and nose while gardening
  5. Garden when pollen counts are lowest- typically rainy, wet, cloudy and windless days
  6. After gardening, leave your clothes in your laundry room and brush off your shoes.
  7. Use gardening gloves to minimize direct contact with allergens
  8. Do not garden or limit your gardening to short time periods on "high" pollen days
  9. Avoid poison ivy/sumac/oak- Where long pants and shirts or consider barrier skin creams to prevent unwanted contact with these allergens
  10. If you are mold allergic, avoid damp, moist places and standing water

Smoking, Stress, & Asthma

Tuesday April 15, 2014

Quit SmokingWe live in a really stressful world with deadlines, responsibilities, and don't always have a good way to cope. Do you find that you are smoking more during periods of high stress?

Like anyone else who has a hard time quitting, you may be using cigarettes as a way to cope with stress. You may be using cigarettes to deal with stress situations if any of the following are true for you:

  • When I get angry about something or at someone, I am more likely to light up a cigarette.
  • I reach for a cigarette in a stressful situation.
  • Smoking improves my mood when I am depressed.

In this article, I discuss some healthier ways that you can address stress and anxiety rather than smoking. If you enjoy the article please share it through your social network.

Please also leave a comment and let me know if you have any other tips for dealing with stress as a non smoker.

Quitting Smoking And Your Energy Levels

Monday April 14, 2014

Maintain Your EnergyI have always been surprised that asthmatics in the U.S. are more likely to smoke than the rest of the general population.

However, I have also been told by asthmatics that I treat that smoking gives them more energy, at least in the beginning. maintaining energy levels and replacing them with healthier and more productive activities is important not only for your health, but also to have a successful quit attempt.

At some point smoking becomes a really powerful addiction. So powerful that some patients have told me that addictions to heroin and cocaine were easier to quit.

Quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do for your health. Benefits include:

  • Living longer
  • Decreased risk of heart attack and stroke
  • Improved health for those around you
  • Increased discretionary income

Talk with your doctor about other things you can try to do to quit and improve your asthma today.

Friday March 28, 2014

Never Discount the Severity of an Asthma Exacerbation

Asthma exacerbations can be life threatening and can occur in anyone with mild to severe asthma. Only 33% of asthma deaths occur in the hospital which means many asthma patients who die are either not seeking care or are not being hospitalized with their worsening asthma. Patients at high risk of asthma related death require intensive education and special care. Make sure you know if you are in one of the increased risk groups discussed below.

Importantly, 80-85% who die from asthma develop progressive symptoms over anywhere from 12 hours to several weeks. Only 15 to 20% die in less than 6 hours after developing symptoms. Thus, the vast majority of patients dying from asthma developed symptoms in a time frame that would have allowed them to seek appropriate medical care. If you develop significant signs or symptoms you need to make sure that you seek emergency care.

Risk Factors for Asthma Related Death

All of the following are risk factors for asthma related death:

  • Previous history of a near fatal asthma event
  • Recent poorly controlled asthma with increased shortness of breath, nocturnal awakenings, and rescue inhaler use
  • Prior severe asthma exacerbation where you were intubated or admitted to an intensive care unit.
  • Two or more asthma related hospital admissions or three or more visits to the emergency room for asthma
  • Using 2 or more canisters of your short acting bronchodilator like albuterol in a month
  • If you have trouble identifying when your asthma symptoms are worsening or you are having an asthma attack
  • Being poor and from the inner city
  • Substance abuse
  • Significant psychiatric disease
  • Other significant medical problems like a heart attack and other lung diseases

What Do I Do if I am at Increased Risk?

All of the following may help you reduce your risk of an asthma related death:

  • Know that you are at risk
  • Know your asthma action plan
  • Make sure you understand your asthma action plan
  • Use your asthma action plan
  • Use your peak flow meter regularly
  • Do not delay seeking emergency care if your symptoms worsen
  • Tell your asthma care provider that you are at increased risk of an asthma related death
  • Make sure you can effectively communicate with an asthma care provider effectively

Leave a comment and participate in our community. If you think a friend might have something to contribute or you just like what you see on the site please share the post or the article in your social network using the buttons below this post.

Asthma & Pregnancy

Thursday March 27, 2014
[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="232" caption="Will My Asthma Worsen During Pregnancy? "]Will My Asthma Worsen During Pregnancy? [/caption]

When you are pregnant or thinking about getting pregnant  it may seem as if there is a ton to worry about.

If you have asthma you will want to be reassured that your asthma will not effect your pregnancy. There are a lot of concerns like your asthma control as well as asthma medications..

The effect of pregnancy on your asthma can be unpredictable. Some people will get improvements, some may get worse, and others may not notice any changes at all.

In this article we look at a number of different questions that you may have on pregnancy and asthma. We answer the following:

  • Will my asthma worsen in pregnancy?
  • Are the medications used to treat asthma in pregnancy different?
  • Is asthma treated differently in pregnancy?
  • Will I be able to breast feed if I have asthma?

Leave a comment and participate in our community. If you think a friend might have something to contribute or you just like what you see on the site please share the post or the article in your social network using the buttons below this post.

Does Lack Of Goals Create Asthma Stress?

Thursday March 27, 2014

Does asthma affect your mental health? Do you have goals related to your asthma? Are the two related?

According to Chest, adults with asthma were two and one-half times more likely to experience serious psychological distress compared to those without asthma. Additionally, the more serious psychological distress experienced, patients reported poorer health related quality of life. I find that many patients who experience distress related to asthma or other chronic illnesses feel overwhelmed by them. On thing that I have found is that patients who set goals and then take steps to achieve them experience less psychological distress related to their chronic illness.

What do you think? Does asthma affect your mental health? What do you do to keep asthma from affecting your mental health? Do you think setting goals and taking action with your asthma will decrease any distress you experience?

Leave a comment and participate in our community. If you think a friend might have something to contribute or you just like what you see on the site please share the post or the article in your social network using the buttons below this post.

Learn More About Coping With Asthma

Do You Really Need A Spacer?

Wednesday March 26, 2014

Many of my patients don't use a spacer when they take their asthma medication. Some of my adolescents don't like them because they say their not cool.

Some of my adult patients just can't get around to using them.

I truly think spacers are an essential part of your asthma plan. I believe that just as you should always have a rescue inhaler close by and your spacer should be right next to it. Your rescue inhaler is essential to treat any sudden asthma symptoms that you develop and I worry that poor technique when you acutely develop symptoms will decrease the effectiveness of your rescue inhaler.

What do you think?


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