Monday, April 7, 2008

Nationwide Asthma Screening Program May 7 & 21 at Chicago Ridge Mall

12th annual Nationwide Asthma Screening Program which will be helping people in your area by finding those at risk for asthma and by helping those who are diagnosed take control.

The public service campaign is conducted by the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology and will be available in more than 250 communities. Chicago-area allergists will be conducting free asthma screenings in your area at the following dates and locations:

May 7 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Chicago Ridge Mall 831 Chicago Ridge Mall Drive, Chicago Ridge

May 21 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Chicago Ridge Mall, 831 Chicago Ridge Mall Drive, Chicago Ridge

During a screening, adults and children will be walked through a simple process that includes filling out a questionnaire, taking a painless lung function test (essentially just blowing into a tube) and meeting with an allergist to discuss the results of their screening.

This year, a special effort is being made to reach people who already know they have asthma but may be limiting their activities or missing days of school or work because of their disease. The initiative is in response to new government guidelines highlighting the importance of asthma control. A new brochure for people with asthma will be available at the screening.

I hope you can include information about this important health screening. I can also arrange an interview with a local allergist who can discuss asthma symptoms and the importance of taking control of the disease. For your convenience, below you can find the full release for the Nationwide Asthma Screening Program.


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill., May 1, 2008 – Free asthma screenings will help adults and children find out if breathing problems might be asthma, and will help diagnosed asthmatics take control of their disease. The program is the 12th annual Nationwide Asthma Screening Program, sponsored by the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI).
· Free asthma screenings for people with breathing problems and diagnosed asthmatics
· 22 million Americans have asthma
· New government guidelines highlight asthma control
Chicago-area allergists, who are asthma specialists, will offer free asthma screenings at the following locations:
· May 4 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at
Century Shopping Centre, 2828 N. Clark
Supported by AstraZeneca, the program has screened more than 108,000 people and referred more than half for further diagnosis.
This year a special effort is being made to reach people who already know they have asthma, but may be limiting their activities or missing days of school or work because their disease is not controlled. The initiative is in response to the latest guidelines from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) highlighting the importance of asthma control, including day-to-day monitoring and proper medication use to treat symptoms and prevent severe attacks from occurring.
“The government guidelines emphasize that undiagnosed or inadequately treated asthma worsens the severity of the disease,” said allergist John Winder, M.D., chair of the Nationwide Asthma Screening Program. “The screening program gives patients who are still having breathing problems a chance to meet with an allergist, discuss their symptoms and learn how to feel better.”
Asthma affects more than 22 million Americans, including 6.5 million children, and is responsible for almost 4,000 deaths a year. Although the exact cause of asthma is unknown, many treatments are available to control this chronic inflammation of the airways in the lungs.
An asthma attack is often triggered by allergens such as pollen, dust and animal dander, certain drugs and food additives, respiratory infections and physical exertion.
Once asthma is diagnosed, experts recommend aggressive treatment with allergen avoidance and medication. Because inflammation of the lungs and airways plays a central role in the development of asthma, the most effective medications are those that reduce inflammation. Studies show inhaled corticosteroids are the most powerful and effective anti-inflammatory medications for asthma, improving control of the disease and helping lungs function normally.
This year, a new brochure called Take Control: A Guide for People with Asthma highlighting the new federal guidelines will be available to help asthma patients learn more about managing their disease. The brochure discusses the goals of asthma treatment, measurement and control of symptoms, asthma triggers and avoidance, medications, and the importance of seeing an allergist. Information on allergy shots also is included.
“An asthma ‘attack’ isn’t the only sign of trouble. A cough that bothers you at night, shortness of breath, colds that go to your chest – these can all be symptoms of asthma, but few people recognize them or that they are a sign of undertreated disease,” said Dr. Winder. “No one with asthma should have to suffer. Anyone who is experiencing breathing problems or making compromises to live with their condition should attend a free screening and find out how to take control.”
During a screening, adults complete a 20-question Life Quality (LQ) Test developed by ACAAI for the program. Children under age 15 take a special test called the Kids’ Asthma Check that allows them to answer questions themselves about any breathing problems. Another version of the Check is available for parents of children up to 8 years of age to complete on their child’s behalf.
Participants also take a lung function test that involves blowing into a tube, and meet with an allergist to determine if they should seek a thorough examination and diagnosis.
For a list of asthma screening locations and dates or to take online versions of the LQ Test and Kids’ Asthma Check, visit the ACAAI Web site at Take Control: A Guide for People with Asthma also will be available online.

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