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Pat Bass, MD

Asthma Blog


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Asthma and Anxiety

Saturday May 31, 2014

The relationship between asthma and anxiety has been discussed at length over the last several years. First it was an interesting finding and then researchers began to try to uncover possible reason. Numerous studies found associations between all sorts of mental illness and asthma. A recent study, however, gives this discussion a new twist.

It could be that asthma control rather than some intrinsic property of asthma leads to the mental health symptoms. I think it is a very interesting concept that make a lot of sense. Check it out if you are interested.

Summer Asthma Mistakes

Thursday May 29, 2014

We all make mistakes with our chronic diseases-- it just happens.

However, there are certain things you can do that will definitely help keep your asthma under control. Make sure that you avoid these 8 asthma mistakes so that your control is better this summer.

Seasonal Allergies and Asthma

Sunday May 25, 2014

If you have seasonal allergies and asthma you need to consider a number of different options to treat your asthma. There are both medical treatments and trigger avoidance techniques that may help you improve your asthma.

You do not need to be miserable with watery itchy eyes,  but you will need to follow some recommendations and possibly take medication.

Is My Asthma Action Plan Working?

Friday May 23, 2014

With few exceptions, asthma should not prevent you from doing any activity that you want to do. If you are not able to do some activity, you need to talk with your doctor to develop a strategy to prevent symptoms. Some of my patients, for example, need to use their rescue inhaler before participating in certain activities.

By asking a series of questions, you can get an idea of how well your asthma is controlled.


Based on the answers, you can determine if your asthma is:

  • Well controlled
  • Not well controlled
  • Very poorly controlled

For example, if you are waking up 2 nights per week with cough or feeling short of breath, your asthma is in the not well controlled category. You may want to review your asthma care plan based on your symptoms or discuss with your doctor if you are in the not well controlled or very poorly controlled categories. You can also check out this linl that goes into more details about your asthma control.

Avoiding Asthma Triggers

Tuesday May 20, 2014

Avoiding asthma triggers is a key part of your asthma action plan.

Triggers are things that either irritate your lungs or exposure somehow makes your asthma symptoms worse. Paying attention to and identifying triggers will help you avoid asthma flares by decreasing exposure to situations or things that may make your asthma worse.

Triggers can be very different from patient to patient. What triggers one person's asthma may not affect someone else at all.

What Is The Asthma Zone System?

Monday May 19, 2014

Asthma Stop LightAll asthma action plans have some sort of asthma zone system. Basically this way of monitoring your asthma that uses the colors of a traffic light that is familiar to most of us:

  • Red
  • Yellow
  • Green

The zones are different for each patient. If you are using a peak flow based asthma action plan, the zones will generally be a percentage of your personal best peak flow.

You will know what to do for your asthma based on what zone you are in.

Your Asthma Action Plan

Sunday May 18, 2014

Think of your asthma action plan as your roadmap to better asthma control. It reminds you of what you need to do when things are going well, but also is there to help you remember what to do when your asthma symptoms are worse. When you are feeling worse the plan is easily followed and will allow you to treat yourself and seek care appropriately.

The plan is comprehensive and describes:

Make sure you talk with your doctor about developing one if you don't already have one or making sure it is up to date if you do.

You Have To Want To Quit

Sunday May 18, 2014

I am often asked if I have a pill, shot, or other magical treatment that will "help me quit smoking. My response to patients is that there are things that I can do and drugs that I can prescribe to help you quit smoking. However, you have to want to quit. n the end the "why" is different for each of my patients. You need to figure out what the "why" is for you and think about it when things get hard. In the end "You Have To Want To Quit"

Develop A Plan To Quit Smoking

Monday May 12, 2014

To have the best chance of quitting smoking you need a plan.

"START" your smoke free life today:

  • 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.

Surprisingly 21 percent of asthmatics in the U.S. are smokers compared to only 16 percent of people without asthma. I have never really understood this given that smoking is not only a trigger for asthma, but it also a cause of asthma. I would not have expected asthmatics to naturally be smokers, but this has not turned out to be the case. If you smoke you should quit to help get better control of your asthma. If the tips in this or other articles help you, please share in your social networks.

Asthma & Atopic Dermatitis

Wednesday April 30, 2014

Asthma and atopic dermatitis sometimes go hand in hand.

This inflammatory skin disease often associated with allergies and asthma, especially in children with asthma. It is usually chronic or recurrent.

Symptoms can include irritated, scaly, itchy skin (sometimes miserably so). It occurs commonly on the face, neck, arms (inner elbows) & legs (back of the knees). It can sometimes be "oozy" or eczematous. The rash is usually triggered by exposure to some kind of allergen.

In children, having atopic dermatitis is considered one of the first signs that nasal allergies and / or asthma may develop down the line. common in infants, but can occur at any age.

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