Resources for our community!

Asthma

 Asthma is a long-term (chronic) disease of the lungs that has a very diverse way of presenting itself. It causes the airways to get inflamed and narrow, which makes it hard to breathe.  

Gaining and maintaining control of Asthma is essential to reduce the frequency flare-ups, visits to the hospital, and prevent damage to the lungs.

The treatment for asthma involves reducing the chronic inflammation with long-term use of maintenance inhalers that have cortico-steroid in them (Such as Zenhale, Symbicort, Breo … ). You may not notice a difference immediately after taking these medications due to their slow but long duration of effect in the lungs. It is essential to take these regularly.

For Asthma attacks that require immediate relief from symptoms, a rescue inhaler (containing a short-acting bronchodilator) should be taken. 

Biological Injections for Severe asthma

Within the last 10 years a number of biological medications have become available to help bring control to certain types of severe asthma. They are administered subcutaneously every few weeks to months. 

Within the last 10 years a number of biological medications have become available to help bring control to certain types of severe asthma. They are administered subcutaneously every few weeks to months. 

FASENRA ( Benralizumab ) Injection

FASENRA is used to treat severe eosinophilic asthma, in combination with other asthma medications.

NUCALA (Mepolizumab ) Injection

NUCALA is used to treat severe eosinophilic asthma, in combination with other asthma medications.

If you are prescribed an auto-injector or prefilled syringe to inject at home, you can learn more about self injection techniques and FAQ’s here!

XOLAIR ( Omalizumab ) Injection

XOLAIR is used to treat moderate to severe allergic asthma, in combination with other asthma medications. 

COPD

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a type of obstructive lung disease characterized by long-term breathing problems and poor airflow. The main symptoms include shortness of breath and cough with sputum production.

Learn more about COPD including tips, activities, nutrition and more below!

IPF - Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis

Pulmonary fibrosis (PF) is a type of lung disease that affects the interstitium of the lung (the space between the air sacs in the lung). There are many different types of pulmonary fibrosis, with different etiologies, treatments, and prognoses. In patients with PF, the lung tissue becomes scarred and stiff, and over time may become more widespread. In some cases a cause for the PF will be suspected  such as environmental exposures, medications, chemotherapy or radiation therapy, or autoimmune diseases such as scleroderma or rheumatoid arthritis.

However, in Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) the cause is uncertain or unknown and as such is termed idiopathic. At this time there are two drugs available to manage this condition on the market:

While the ways PF is managed varies on a case to case basis, the goal of any treatment is to slow the progression of the disease and to manage the symptoms that arise.

While there are drugs on the market that try to slow progression, it is essential to maintain a healthy lifestyle with regular exercise and a nutritious diet. 

Airway Clearance

Some breathing conditions, commonly in COPD, will make mucus build up in the chest making it harder to breathe and increasing the risk of having a chest infection. Using one or more of the following techniques to bring up mucus regularly may reduce daily symptoms and reduce the frequency of chest infections.

 

Techniques to bring up mucus from your chest:

 

The ‘Ha’ or ‘huff’ cough

Sit on a chair with your feet flat and slightly leaning forward. Take a breath that is slightly deeper than normal and use your stomach muscles to make a series of 2-3 rapid exhalations with the airway open, making a ‘ha’ sound. Follow this by controlled diaphragmatic breathing and a deep cough if you feel mucus moving.

Deep or Controlled Cough

Start by taking a deep breath. Hold the breath for 2-3 seconds. Use your stomach muscles to make two short coughs. Avoid a hacking cough or merely clearing the throat to avoid hurting it. Relax for a few seconds.

Postural drainage

You can let gravity help you clear your chest by taking various positions of sitting up or laying down at different inclines. Optionally you can have a person help you by clapping you on the chest or vibrating to loosen the mucus.

There are also massage parlours and physiotherapists in your local area that can perform these assisted postural drainage techniques.

Aerobika device

The AEROBIKA device helps to thin and loosen mucus, helping move it to the larger airways of your lungs, where it can be coughed out.
Aerobika instructions used with permission of Trudell Medical International