National Asthma Guidelines Updated
There's been a change in the official thinking about asthma. This update, announced by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute at the National Institutes of Health, represents the first comprehensive change to the asthma guidelines in a decade.
Schmalfeldt: There's been a change in the official thinking about asthma. This update, announced by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute at the National Institutes of Health, represents the first comprehensive change to the asthma guidelines in a decade. The Expert Panel Report 3: Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Asthma, provides new guidance for selecting treatment, based on a patient's individual needs and the level of asthma control. The report—also known as EPR-3—emphasizes that while asthma can be controlled, the condition can change over time and differs among individuals and age groups. That makes it important to regularly monitor the patient's level of asthma control, adjusting the treatment as needed. EPR-3 takes a new approach to assessing and monitoring asthma by using multiple measures of a patient's current level of impairment and future risk, emphasizing that some patients can still be at high risk for frequent exacerbations even if their asthma causes them few day-to-day problems. The report also confirms the importance of teaching patients how to self-monitor their asthma, to use a written asthma action plan—including instructions for daily treatment and how to recognize and handle it when asthma gets worse. Also in the report—using multiple approaches to limit exposure to allergens and other things that can make asthma worse, as well as information on other common conditions and how treating those conditions—such as stress, sinusitis, overweight or obesity and obstructive sleep apnea, may also help improve control of a patient's asthma. For more information on these and other changes to the National Asthma Guidelines, log on to www.nhlbi.nih.gov. From the National Institutes of Health, I'm Bill Schmalfeldt in Bethesda, Maryland.
About This Audio Report
Reporter: Bill Schmalfeldt