Asthma is a chronic lung disease that inflames and narrows the airways leaving them swollen and sensitive. Asthma symptoms, also called asthma flare-ups or asthma attacks, are caused by triggers such as allergies and exposure to allergens such as pet dander, dust mites, pollen or mold. Non-allergic triggers include smoke, pollution or cold air or changes in weather. Asthma symptoms may be worse during exercise, when you have a cold or during times of high stress. There is no cure, but asthma attacks can be decreased and symptoms can be treated.

Healthy Gallatin now has an Asthma Home Visiting Program to help you manage your child’s asthma. Any child age 0-17 is eligible with a current asthma diagnosis and 1) an emergency medical visit or 2) Asthma Control Test of less than 20. Program services are provided at no cost to the children or families and can help through home visits with the following:

  • General education for the child and their family
  • Review of asthma medications
  • Assessment of the house to help identify environmental triggers in the home
  • Free asthma friendly  pillow and mattress covers

Asthma can flare up more in the winter so if you suspect your child has asthma look for the common symptoms:

  • Cough. Coughing from asthma often is worse at night or early in the morning, making it hard to sleep.
  • Wheezing. Wheezing is a whistling or squeaky sound that occurs when you breathe.
  • Chest tightness. This may feel like something is squeezing or sitting on your chest.
  • Shortness of breath. Some people who have asthma say they can’t catch their breath or they feel out of breath. You may feel like you can’t get air out of your lungs.

These symptoms don’t always mean you have asthma. To diagnose asthma you will need,  to be seen by a doctor, who will take a medical history (including type and frequency of symptoms) and do a breathing test.

For assistance and enrollment in the program, call Tamie Walsh at Healthy Gallatin, 406.582.3104.

For more information Montana Asthma Control program

Remember: Secondhand Smoke is a trigger for asthma attacks.  Keep your child safe from secondhand smoke.  The Montana Tobacco Quit Line provides nicotine replacement therapy and phone coaching support for all Montanan’s ready to quit tobacco.  1(800)Quit-Now or  People who use the Quit Line are 7-10 times more likely to quit!