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Asthma Self-Education: Not Just for Medical Professionals

The asthma world can be downright confusing! Whether you are new to your asthma diagnosis or a seasoned veteran of the disease there are so many components that can be incredibly frustrating. We only have so much time when we see our doctors and they might not have enough time to provide adequate education on the disease and its process. You don’t have to be a medical professional with a degree and medical license to learn and know all about asthma. This is where self-education comes in to play.

Here are a few resources to help start your asthma self-education.

Asthma self-education resource #1: The internet

The internet *can* be your friend. But be smart about it. Not everything you read online is true. Stick to reputable websites and start with the basics. What asthma is and what it does to your lungs.

Read all about your medications, what they specifically do. As advancements are constantly being made in the asthma medication world, there are new medications being released often. Not all asthma medications work in the same way and researching all about how each one works to help keep your asthma under control.

Asthma self-education resource #2: Support groups

There are many support groups that are specifically for people with asthma. There are support groups both online and often times local to where you live. Check with your state’s American Lung Association to see if they have groups in your area. You can also ask your doctor’s office or local hospital if they host any support groups as well.

Whether you get support online or in person it helps to be able to talk to people who are going through their asthma journey and will have some insight and tips to help you with yours. A word of caution, be careful seeking any medical advice on the internet. It’s great to hear the experiences of others; however, treatment plans and medication changes/adjustments/additions (including supplements) should only be made with your doctor.

Asthma self-education resource #3: Asthma conferences and seminars

There are many asthma specific seminars and conferences around the world at varying times of the year. They can range from just a few hours to several days. At these conferences, medical professionals will discuss the latest and greatest in the asthma world. Not all of these conferences/seminars are only for medical professionals.

I have presented at many community asthma expos that were specifically for asthmatics in the community. These types of events are so great because you can ask professionals who all share a passion for asthma and are eager to help in any way possible.

These are only a few ways to learn all about asthma. Asthma education goes beyond the doctor’s office and it is up to us to be proactive and take an active role in the management of our asthma.

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.

Comments

  • Lyn Harper, RRT moderator
    4 months ago

    Another great article, Theresa! I’m so happy you mentioned seminars and conferences for non-medical professionals. It’s a great resouce for people in the community.
    Lyn (site moderator)

  • Shellzoo
    4 months ago

    This is all the more reason a newly diagnosed person with asthma should have an appointment with an asthma educator to help them become aware of all the resources available to them. I think I had a 15 minute appointment, was given a sample of an inhaler, briefly shown how to use it and sent out on my own. Even being a nurse, I would have loved a little better instruction on how to recognize my symptoms and what steps to follow. I assumed my symptoms were from being out of shape. Would have been nice to know besides wheezing the cough, exercise intolerance and chest tightness were all symptoms.

  • Leon Lebowitz, RRT moderator
    4 months ago

    Hi Shellzoo and thanks for expressing your viewpoint here. Although it would be outstanding if every newly diagnosed person could spend time with an asthma educator, I don’t think there are enough of them to go around.
    I hold the physicians and their staffs responsible for educating newly diagnosed patients. Sadly, they are dropping the ball big time!
    We appreciate you chiming in here.
    All the best,
    Leon (site moderator)

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