The Utah Asthma Coalition wants Cache Valley residents with asthma to breathe a little better. With the launch of activities in Northern Utah and a free asthma assessment in North Logan on Thursday, the coalition is seeking to help those with asthma manage the condition.
Ike Bennion, the director of communications for the coalition, said one of the goals for the assessment is to help prevent unnecessary hospitalization when asthma symptoms get worse. “We hope that we can help people: One, recognize they have asthma, and two, if they do have asthma, manage their asthma,” he said. There is a spectrum of those who suffer from asthma, he said. From those who can manage without medication to those who need a daily regimen to control symptoms, he said it’s important to understand your specific asthma needs.
According to the Allergy Foundation of America, an average of 36,000 children miss school and 27,000 adults miss work on any given day due to asthma. Around 4,700 individuals are hospitalized each day. These hospitalizations, Bennion said, are largely avoidable when proper attention is paid to the condition. McKenzie Reeder, the clinical director, said the target is helping those patients already diagnosed with asthma better manage symptoms and better understand medication.
These assessments, she said, will hopefully be done twice a year to help residents be more aware of their asthma. There is no set date for the next local asthma assessment. “Winter can be a critical time for asthma management,” said Jeff Bennion, M.D., president of the coalition. “There are so many triggers that can cause attacks, such as severe cold and pollution. It is important to evaluate treatment regimens.”
Eli Lucero/Herald Journal