Learning En-Masse: Pre-Life Cycle of Asthma Sessions

Not long after booking my flight to Toronto for the Life Cycle of Asthma Conference hosted by Asthma Canada (disclosure below), I checked out the finalized agenda for the conference. The Life Cycle of Asthma theme could be interpreted many ways: the age of people living with asthma and how special populations are managed (namely, pediatrics and geriatrics), but also the individual “life cycle” of a person’s asthma, from the beginning—diagnosis—as well as influence of both environment and emerging research throughout the course of a person’s asthma journey, no matter their age.

With topics of relevance to our Asthma.Net community, I decided that instead of just grabbing nuggets of information from each presentation, I’d do a recap of valuable information from each of the sessions. Enter: Life Cycle [of Asthma] Sessions. Where I fully expect for a lot of information to be thrown at me over the course of one Saturday—learning en-masse, if you will!

Exploring the Sessions

Here’s what’s on tap for the day (not literally ;).) Although there is a cocktail reception at the end, but alas, I don’t drink):

  • Proper Diagnosis
  • Pediatrics: “Where It All Begins”*
  • Role of the Environment
  • New Research and Trends
  • Asthma in Senior Populations

*I put “Where It All Begins” in quotes, because—as we know—not all asthma actually develops—or begins—in children. However, who am I to say that there isn’t some change in lung physiology that occurs in childhood in all asthmatics, and yet may not be “activated” to cause asthma until later in life? I suppose this is one of the mysteries that could be discussed in this presentation, however, that “theory” above is a thing I have just made up right now.

Uncovering the Science in Real Time

The information overload aside, one thing I greatly enjoy about conferences is being part of a collective experience as a group of people uncover science in real time—watching this unfold on Twitter hashtags is also cool as people grab variable snippets based on their own interests. You can check out the conference hashtag at #BreatheEasy2017, even after the event.

As well, Asthma Canada’s Member Alliance (patients, caregivers, etc.) are welcome to participate in the in-person event for free. I am hoping a good number of patients are there to connect with, as engaging in real talk in real time with people living with asthma is something I definitely enjoy, and forming a true community of educated patients is something I would really like to see happen!

Conferences can be a great opportunity to learn as a patient advocate, even if they are more general than an asthma focused conference. Have you attended health or medical conferences as a patient advocate? How has that been for you? Discuss in the comments!

Disclosure: I received funding from Asthma Canada to attend the Life Cycle of Asthma conference in Toronto, Ontario on October 21, 2017. As part of the Asthma Canada Member Alliance, I received free conference registration. Airfare and one night of hotel were covered by the stipend; all other expenses were my responsibility. As usual, I was not required to write about the event.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Asthma.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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