A survey conducted by the American Academyof Allergy, Asthma and Immunology(AAAAI) revealed that a large percentage ofasthmatics are unaware of the national treatmentguidelines. The on-line survey of 1944adults with mild-to-moderate asthma who aretaking medications to manage their conditiondid not know about the guidelines. Furthermore,>50% of the respondents reported that,once their asthma appeared under control,they were not aware that they should speakwith their physician regarding symptoms todetermine how to adjust their treatment.
The guidelines are designed to help individualsgain control of their asthma symptoms.Successful management of asthma dependson communication between patientsand physicians about the guidelines, accordingto Gillian Shepherd, MD, a clinical associateprofessor of medicine at Cornell University."This dialogue helps [patients] betterunderstand their asthma, what the treatmentcourse is, and whether they are being ?stepwise'about their asthma. Asthma symptomscan change, and patients need to work withtheir doctors to make sure they are taking theright medication for their symptoms," she said.
The survey is part of the AAAAI's national"Be Stepwise About Asthma" educational program.It includes a brochure called "Be Safe,Be Smart, Be Stepwise About Asthma." Forthe free brochure, call 800-822-2762.