Mary is a middle-age department store bookkeeper. In her younger years, she used to work in a bakery. During that time she developed baker’s asthma due to exposure to the grain and flour dust in the factory. There were no specific respiratory problems in the beginning, but slowly she began to experience cough and wheezing. The symptoms she had from respiratory infections lasted longer in respect to other workers.
Then she began to have dyspneic spells, and was once taken to emergency because of asthmatic attack. Since then she has been on asthma medication – now taking regularly inhaled corticosteroids as the controller medication, but combined with long acting betamimetic adrenergic medicine. She also needs a short acting relief inhaler and occasionally oral medication.
Although she knows her disease rather well, there are periods of slow deterioration which she does not detect readily. The breathing becomes arduous and the relief medication does not help in prescribed doses. Mary has an Asthma Action Plan that was made quite a while ago, but she seems to forget to use it regularly.
After an acute worsening, she was admitted to the local hospital for a while for evaluation. The respiratory function and other parameters were measured, and new drug treatment installed.
Mary also got the KAMU Health Asthma Application with the spirometer. After training she agreed to follow her condition daily. The application also prompted her to jot down symptoms, reminded of medicines, and asked to measure ventilation with the spirometer. Through follow-up contacts, Mary, her physician and respiratory nurse agreed on a better control of the disease. Mary learned to rely on guided self-management, which included adjustments of the medication.