Find the Best Pediatric Pulmonologists with These Tips

The Hospital at Maayo believes everyone should receive quality care and medical services regardless of their age. From a quality dental clinic in Cebu to liver wellness and pediatric pulmonology services, The Hospital at Maayo offers world-class medical treatments to anyone in need of health care in Cebu.

The Hospital at Maayo wants your children to lead healthy lives and be free from ailments such as these common acute respiratory infections in children. There are resident pediatric pulmonologists readily available at the hospital who are ready to help your children from respiratory diseases such as the common cold, sinusitis, ear infection, and extreme cases such as pneumonia.

While finding the perfect doctor might prove to be a challenging task, this extra effort will put you and your children at ease for at least you know how to reach out to your trusted doctor in case of emergencies. Children will also see and appreciate all the effort you put in taking care of them which is foundational when building trust with them.

Taking care of you and your children’s respiratory health is indeed important, especially in the time of COVID is known to have adverse effects on a person’s respiratory system. If you’re wondering how to determine the best pediatric pulmonologist for your child, then continue reading below:

What is a Pediatric Pulmonologist?

Pediatric Pulmonologists are medical doctors trained to diagnose, treat, and manage respiratory problems affecting children. They offer help to those who are newly born until they are 21 years old. They also offer advice to parents to adopt these habits to promote a healthy respiratory system.

Pediatric Pulmonologists undergo intense training before they can officially practice their profession. They go to medical school for four years and undergo at least three years of residency training in pediatric care. They also have to pass a medical board exam to acquire their license.

This is why you should only bring your children to qualified and trusted pediatric pulmonologists to get the best medical attention for your child who is dealing with respiratory problems.

Below are important factors to consider before choosing a doctor for your child.

How to find a good pediatric pulmonologist for your child

Parents like you want the best for their children especially when it comes to medical care and attention. Here are some tips you can follow so you can find and determine a good pediatric pulmonologist who will address your child’s respiratory problems.

1. Get referrals

Get referralsPhoto courtesy of mentatdgt via Pexels

Finding similarly concerned parents and adults who have met with pediatric pulmonologists in the past is a good start to get leads when finding a good pediatric pulmonologist for your child. Talk to friends or relatives so they can suggest where you can start looking.

In case your acquaintances are unaware of any available doctor in your area, consider joining social media groups such as Parenting Tips Philippines with 17,000 members who can answer your query and discuss other topics about child rearing.

Some topics commonly discussed in these kinds of groups include meal plans for your children as well as what to do in case of emergencies such as how to identify and prevent asthma attacks.

You can also go to a hospital’s list of resident doctors to see if there are pediatric pulmonologists. For instance, you can readily find a doctor at The Hospital at Maayo simply by checking their webpage.

Once you get a list of possible doctors, check for reviews online which you can also find on the hospital’s website.

2. Research your Pediatric Pulmonologist’s credentials

Research your Pediatric Pulmonologist's credentialsPhoto courtesy of Andrea Piacquadio via Pexels

As discussed earlier, pediatric pulmonologists undergo intense training before they are allowed to begin practicing their profession.

Trust only doctors who are qualified and have years of experience when handling your child’s respiratory problems.

Once you find a doctor, research first about their credentials such as the number of years they are practicing, where they attended medical school, and what other specializations they possess so they diagnose your children accurately. At The Hospital at Maayo, you can easily inquire about the availability and credentials of their doctors thanks to this easy form that will let you set up an executive check-up with them.

3. Consider your doctor’s experience

Consider your doctor’s experiencePhoto courtesy of Humberto Chavez via Unsplash

While your pediatric pulmonologist may have stellar credentials, nothing beats a doctor with years of experience who has dealt with different kinds of patients who are afflicted with different kinds of respiratory problems.

Some respiratory ailments require an experienced doctor who can deal with serious diseases such as pneumonia and tuberculosis.

This is why it is a must that you have your child checkup with a pediatric pulmonologist at least annually so they can guide you on how to protect your family from tuberculosis and other serious ailments.

4. Consider the doctor’s gender

Consider the doctor’s genderPhoto courtesy of CDC via Unsplash

It is important for your child to open up and share about what they are feeling when they are at the doctor’s clinic. Children may not be as quick to open up depending on the gender of their doctor.

This study published on Harvard Health discusses the importance of considering the gender of a doctor, especially pediatricians who are dealing with children who may not be as confident and well-equipped to describe what they are feeling.

Ask your child’s preference before bringing them to the doctor’s office. Helping them prepare and reassuring them that it’s okay to talk about what they are feeling to their doctors will greatly help the doctor perform a successful diagnosis of your child’s respiratory health.

5. Research the hospital’s quality

Research the hospital’s qualityPhoto courtesy of The Hospital at Maayo

To a certain extent, your doctor is just as good as the hospital where they are practicing. Your doctor may be great, but they might not have access to premier medical equipment that will help them perform their diagnosis and cure your children.

So when looking for a pediatric pulmonologist for your child, check for factors such as the availability of the equipment and the state of rooms and wards available that you can avail.

Consider also whether there are stringent protocols that the hospital follows for patients to help them avoid COVID-19. After all, your trip to an incompetent hospital might end up causing you to contract COVID and other diseases.

6. Evaluate the doctor’s communication style

Evaluate the doctor’s communication stylePhoto courtesy of Orzalaga via Pixabay

You can tell that a doctor or a hospital takes your concern seriously when they ensure that you can contact them easily when a problem arises such as these easy-to-fill-out forms at the Hospital at Maayo where you can set up an appointment immediately.

Evaluate also the way your doctor communicates their diagnosis with you and your child. A good doctor involves the child in their diagnosis so they directly give them advice on how to protect themselves and allow them to open up about other health concerns they are dealing with that they might not readily share with adults.

A doctor needs to have charisma so the patients would not be afraid to ask questions and discuss sensitive information with them that might be affecting their overall physical health.

7. Read patients’ review

Read patients’ reviewPhoto courtesy of Michael Burrows via Pexels

The best and easiest way to check if your doctor meets your standards is to check for available reviews online.

Great doctors will have positive feedback from their patients and they will also explain why they think the doctor is doing a good job.

Meanwhile, even the lack of reviews is very telling about a doctor’s performance because none of their patients even made time to praise their experience with them.

As a parent, it’s also important that you express your reviews regarding your experience with a doctor to help other parents make smarter decisions, and also to help the hospital and the doctor on how they can improve their services.

Now that you are aware of the things you need to check and consider before choosing a pediatric pulmonologist, read below some respiratory ailments that help diagnose and administer treatment.

Common respiratory problems in children

It’s important not to dismiss things like a simple cough or pains in the ear when a person, especially a child, is experiencing these. It may just be a symptom of more serious illnesses that need immediate medical attention.

Below are some respiratory problems that a pediatric pulmonologist can help you with.

1. Chronic coughs

Chronic coughsPhoto courtesy of Andrea Piacquadio via Pexels

People sometimes dismiss coughs as if it isn’t a big problem. However, when your coughing hasn’t stopped for eight weeks, then it may be a sign of chronic coughs.

Chronic coughs may be caused by other underlying respiratory conditions such as bronchitis and asthma. It’s important to bring your children to a pediatric pulmonologist as soon as you notice this problem in them since it might cause difficulty in breathing, as well as lead to other more serious complications such as bronchitis which they can easily avoid if you follow these 11 tips to avoid bronchitis in children.

2. Difficult breathing

Difficult breathingPhoto courtesy of Aditya Romansa via Unsplash

Children are very active and they need to expend a lot of energy as part of growing up healthy through play or creative activities. This is why you should check if they are experiencing difficulties in breathing because it isn’t always as noticeable as a cough or cold.

Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath is a symptom of complications such as asthma, cardiovascular problems, and even COVID-19.

Contact your doctor immediately even if you just suspect that they are having difficulties in breathing.

3. Recurring pneumonia

Recurring pneumoniaPhoto courtesy of CDC via Unsplash

Recurring or chronic pneumonia is caused by microorganisms or even fungi that cause disruption in the functioning of your respiratory system.

Non-stop cough in which a person expels thick mucus is a symptom of recurring pneumonia. If your child cannot take a deep breath without having to cough, then it may be a sign of recurring pneumonia so contact your doctor immediately.

4. Asthma

AsthmaPhoto courtesy of Sahej Brar via Unsplash

Asthma is a serious and common problem that involves wheezing, coughing, and difficulty in breathing which can significantly affect your children’s health. When left unattended, it can even lead to lung damage.

A whistling sound when your child is coughing is a sign of asthma. This frequency of coughing may also deter their growth as it might be disruptive to their sleep, which then, in turn, leads to fatigue thereby weakening their immune system.

Children who are dealing with asthma need a pediatric pulmonologist’s diagnosis so they can provide your child with the proper treatments and procedures.

In the time of COVID-19 which has been proven to affect the respiratory health of children, there is a need for parents like you to monitor if they are dealing with respiratory ailments.

Pediatric pulmonologists should be contacted immediately to avoid complications. When choosing a doctor for your children, research first about the doctor’s credentials and the hospital’s review before bringing your child to them.

In addition, you should also consider factors such as the gender of your doctor, to help them feel more at ease as well as have a more accurate diagnosis of the problem.

Check more tips on how to care for your family’s health at The Hospital at Maayo!

11 Simple Prevention Tips to Avoid Bronchitis in Children

It’s the National Lung Month – a time to pay attention to your kid’s respiratory health and educate yourself on common illnesses to prevent them from messing up your child’s health. It’s also very timely to discuss bronchitis in children, one of the most common childhood illnesses that is mainly caused by viral infection. One of its symptoms is difficulty in breathing, which can be alarming for parents, so preventing it is most essential by now.

Our medical services in Cebu are exactly what you need. We’ve compiled a list of prevention tips from our respiratory health experts who cater to protect your child from getting sick from pediatric bronchitis.

What is Acute Bronchitis?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), acute bronchitis, or commonly known as chest cold is a short-term illness that causes the bronchial tubes or breathing tubes in the lungs to inflame and accumulate mucus. This occurs most often in infants and younger children as the small size of their airways are more easily blocked than in older children. In most cases, the symptoms are just mild and may develop quickly but last for only a few days or weeks.

It is often caused by a cold or flu virus, bacterial infections, or exposure to substances that can irritate the lungs, such as tobacco smoke, dust, strong fumes, allergens, and air pollution. If bronchitis is caused by a virus, it can be highly contagious for persons with direct contact with the patient.

In children, viral infection is the main cause of acute bronchitis. The symptoms may show after developing a cold, flu, sore throat, or viral infections in your children’s mouth, nose, or throat. – all covered by our ENT services.

viral infections in your childrenPhoto courtesy of Gustavo Fring via Pexels

Children who have underlying respiratory conditions such as asthma, respiratory allergies, and chronic sinusitis may have a higher chance of developing acute bronchitis. Long exposures to secondhand smoke may also increase the risk for your children to be developing acute bronchitis.

What are the symptoms of Bronchitis in Children?

In line with the (CDC) article, acute bronchitis in children may often start with the following symptoms:

  • Coughs (with or without mucus)
  • Chest discomfort or soreness
  • Fatigue
  • Mild headache
  • Body aches
  • Sore throat

Other symptoms may include:

  • Wheezing (a whistling breath sound)
  • Low-grade fever
  • Chills
  • Shortness of breath

Symptoms usually go away after a few days or weeks but if your child still shows signs of the illness for over two weeks or has shown blood in their mucus, you must urgently set an appointment with your doctor and ask for medical help. Your child may need treatment with antibiotics or medicines that can help in their breathing.

How Can Parents Prevent Bronchitis in Children

Prevent your child from having this pediatric bronchitis before it even develops or worsens. Let’s discuss these helpful tips for your child’s safety.

1. Always keep your child’s hands clean.

Your child comes in contact with germs every day so encouraging them to wash their hands properly can help prevent the spread of a lot of diseases – not just acute bronchitis.

For more effective handwashing, use warm water and antibacterial soap. Make sure your child doesn’t forget to wash their wrist, fingers, and under nails.

Always keep your child’s hands cleanPhoto courtesy of Ketut Subiyanto via Pexels

This prevention technique is the easiest and cheapest way of preventing sick days and trips to your doctor!

2. Do breathing exercises.

Let your child play outside. It’s their way of doing aerobic exercise to give their heart and lungs a good workout. Or you can do breathing exercises with your child regularly to increase oxygen levels. Here are the two most effective breathing exercises:

  • Pursed lip breathing – breathing in through your nose then breathing out twice as long through your mouth with your lips pursed.
  • Diaphragm breathing – breathing in through your nose and breathing out twice as long through your mouth while pressing down your abdomen.

There are a lot more ways to do breathing exercises so be creative to engage your children.

3. Avoid people who have cold or flu symptoms.

Children have lower immunity so they can easily catch a cold or flu. Avoid your child from people who show signs of any flu. Acute bronchitis can be contagious since it’s caused by a viral or bacterial infection so stay away from direct and indirect contact with sick people. Do not let your child share the same kitchen utensils, bed accessories and personal items with people who show the symptoms.

4. Wear a mask.

Wear a maskPhoto courtesy of August de Richelieu via Pexels

COVID-19 has taught us the value of wearing face masks but even after the pandemic, this must be still practiced, especially when we’re in crowded places or not feeling well, as to prevent even the mildest illness from spreading.

Masks block respiratory droplets from reaching your child’s mouth and nose. Let your child wear a mask whenever they go outside to also avoid substances that may irritate the lungs like dust, allergens, and fumes.

Most children are now used to wearing face masks but there are still some young children who feel uneasy wearing it. You can teach your child to wear their masks by teaching them why they have to wear them and how to put and take them off. You can also find fun and decorated masks to attract their interest in wearing them.

5. Cover when sneezing or coughing.

Now that we’ve seen the figures of how easy it is for COVID-19 to spread, we’re all more keenly aware of how vulnerable we are in catching any illness caused by germs, especially our children.

Teach your child these basic hygiene etiquettes to prevent the spread of germs:

  • Cover their mouth and nose when coughing, sneezing, or blowing their nose with clean tissue to stop the spread of germs.
  • Use their elbow if there is no available tissue but never cough into their hands or open air.
  • Throw used tissues in the trash immediately.
  • After sneezing or coughing, immediately wash hands or use alcohol-based sanitizer.

Following these basic etiquette is extremely essential for infection control measures. It won’t just protect your child but all people around you, too.

6. Keep your kids away from secondhand smoke.

Even though the most common cause of acute bronchitis in children is viral infection, lung irritants such as secondhand smoke increases your children’s risk to catch the disease. Your children are still on the stages of developing their body systems, and exposure to tobacco smoke can weaken their lung immunities.

Thus, you must not allow smoking inside your home, vehicle, or any closed area since ventilation systems cannot fully eliminate anyone’s exposure to secondhand smoke. This is especially important if you have infants or smaller children at home for there are numerous health problems tobacco smoke can cause.

7. Keep your child’s toys and all surfaces clean.

Germs are everywhere, especially in high-touch areas. How is that, you say? An infected person can spread germs by sneezing or coughing into the open air, or even touching a surface with unwashed hands. When your child touches the same surface an infected person does then touch their eyes, nose, or mouth, they will possibly be ill.

Infants cannot avoid putting anything they see into their mouth so having everything in your house clean can prevent bacterial or viral infections. Disinfecting your child’s toys and generally having a clean environment will avoid the spread of germs. Clean high-touch surfaces like doorknobs, handles, phones, toys, and floors daily, and after having visitors.

8. Feed your child foods rich in antioxidants.

Foods rich in antioxidants helps remove toxins and free radicals from the body – important for generally keeping your children’s lungs healthy. Plus, eating the right kind of food will strengthen the natural defense system that is designed to protect the lungs from infections.

There are foods that are specifically beneficial for the respiratory system. Create a balanced diet for your child that is full of fruits, vegetables, healthy nuts, and lean meat. Daily intake of vitamins can also promote healthy immune systems. Here are some foods to improve lung function:

  • Beets and beet greens
  • Peppers
  • Apples
  • Turmeric
  • Tomato
  • Red cabbage
  • Yogurt
  • Lentils
  • Cocoa

Aside from knowing the best foods for the lungs, you should also take note of the food that promotes bad health like white bread, chips, and chocolate

9. Use steams.

Steams are great for the lungs since inhaling water vapor can open the lung airways and drain mucus. If your child got viral infections, using steam therapy will lower the risks of developing other severe symptoms since it cleanses the lungs through removing excess mucus and improves your child’s breathing.

So bathe your child with warm to hot water or use humidifiers or vaporizers at home. But note that vaporizers may not be appropriate for small children because it uses extreme heat as vapors which may lead to burns.

This tip may only be effective in temporary prevention of symptoms but more studies are needed to fully support it.

10. Get a flu shot.

Getting a flu shot may reduce the chance of having respiratory tract infections and eventually decrease the chance of acute bacterial bronchitis. It is recommended that children ages 6 months and older can get the flu vaccine. The vaccine isn’t 100% effective but can still significantly reduce the risk of catching any viral infection.

Before scheduling flu vaccines for your child, you should first consult pediatricians as they can give you the best advice when your child should get vaccinated.

Get a flu shotPhoto courtesy of CDC via Pexels

11. See your doctor regularly.

Regular visits with your child’s pediatrician can ensure that your child’s growth, development, and immunization are on track. Check-ups can address health concerns immediately and avoid serious health problems with your child.

Younger children will need to have more check-ups. Infants from ages 24 months old and below must see their pediatrician at least 4 times a year. These frequent visits will allow your doctor to examine your child and observe potential problems early. If your child ages 2 and above, you can visit the doctor at least once a year, or as advised by the child’s pediatrician.

If you are interested in taking your child to a doctor or just want more of our expert tips for your child’s health, our professional staff at The Hospital at Maayo can guide you through. Contact us today to book an appointment!

How to Prevent Tuberculosis from Harming Your Loved Ones

How to Prevent TuberculosisPhoto courtesy of JM Lova via Unsplash

It’s National Tuberculosis Day on August 19.

Unfortunately, this deadly disease continues to become a national health concern in the Philippines. In 2020 alone, the World Health Organization reported that there are 554 cases of Filipinos affected with TB for every 100,000 Filipinos. Furthermore, WHO reported that the Philippines has the highest rate of TB cases in Asia. This fact makes Filipinos more vulnerable to acquiring the dreaded disease.

For this day, our respiratory health experts whipped up a quick guide on how to prevent tuberculosis from affecting your loved ones.

What is tuberculosis?

Tuberculosis or TB is a disease caused by a bacteria called mycobacterium tuberculosis. If someone is infected with TB, they can easily pass the disease to another person through coughing, sneezing, spitting, or even talking. Those with TB will experience fever, a long-lasting cough, loss of appetite, chills, and may even cough up blood as a sign of TB that has reached the lungs.

Aside from availing premium health services, avoid TB from ruining your family’s respiratory health by following these 7 doctor-recommended tips for everyone in your family.

How to Prevent TB For Babies or ToddlersPhoto courtesy of Juan Encalada via Unsplash

How to Prevent TB For Babies or Toddlers

1. Get babies or toddlers vaccinated.

The best way to prevent tuberculosis from harming your baby or toddler is through the Bacillus Calmette–Guérin (BCG) vaccine. This vaccine is proven effective against severe TB cases in infants and toddlers.

But take note that the BCG vaccine only prevents the severe development of TB. It does not stop the TB virus from entering the body of babies, so it is recommended to avoid TB exposure for your young ones. Or if the mother has been exposed to tuberculosis, it is best to have the baby tested and treated for TB as soon as possible.

2. Receive the antibiotic isoniazid.

Aside from the BCG vaccine, another way to prevent TB is by receiving the antibiotic isoniazid. Doctors prescribe the said antibiotic for babies and toddlers who have been exposed to tuberculosis, whether they have symptoms or not, to avoid TB from progressing any further.

How to Prevent TB For KidsPhoto courtesy of Austin Pacheco via Unsplash

How to Prevent TB For Kids

1. Get tested for TB every 2-3 years.

For kids who have been exposed to people infected with TB, it is recommended to be tested every 2 to 3 years. For every test, the doctor will ask about symptoms and the child’s health history. Depending on the doctor’s advice, your child would be advised to get a skin or blood test. Ensure that you explain and support your child before the tests, so that they will not be scared in taking them.

2. Take the prescribed medicine.

Medical experts would also prescribe medicine that your kids have to take daily for 12 weeks or several months, depending on their diagnosed TB cases. Treatment might also be recommended by your doctor, so it is better to consult your healthcare provider for your best options.

Remember that whether your healthcare provider recommends medicine or other treatment methods, ensure that your kid fully finishes the treatment and medicines. Also, follow exactly your doctor’s instructions for the medicine intake or treatment sessions. Failure to do so might extend their TB treatment, or prevent them from getting well.

How to Prevent TB For TeensPhoto courtesy of Jeswin Thomas via Unsplash

How to Prevent TB For Teens

1. Educate and support them.

Adolescents or teens are at the age of exploring. This makes them more prone to trying alcohol, tobacco, drugs, and other harmful behaviors because of peer pressure or pure curiosity. UNICEF pointed out that this is one of the reasons why it is more challenging for teens to understand and seek medical help for tuberculosis.

Aside from checkups and other medical processes, education is crucial in getting well. One of the ways on how to prevent tuberculosis among teens or adolescents is to offer them psychosocial support and education regarding the disease. It is best to explain to them how the disease is contracted, how distancing or isolating from their peers for some time can help curb the disease, and how their doctor’s recommendations can help them heal and prevent from further spreading TB.

2. Seek age-specific treatments or therapy.

According to The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health journal, puberty has a huge impact on the spread of TB. Teens undergo immunological changes and their constant need to be with their peers can increase TB cases. Having TB can also increase chances of social isolation, which can lead to other health problems for teens.

In this sense, consult your doctor for age-specific therapy for your teens. Ensure that your child has care treatments for their mental and reproductive health. Also, give them assurance that aside from their doctor, they can completely trust you with their health concerns.

How to Prevent TB for AdultsPhoto courtesy of Helena Lopes via Unsplash

How to Prevent TB for Adults

1. Get regularly tested for TB.

Adults may be more exposed to TB because they have the ability to take care of the young and older patients who have tuberculosis. Also, adults infected with tuberculosis might spread it even more if they proceed to their workplaces and other public places like churches, grocery stores, and malls. Because of this, regular testing is an extra precaution that you can take on how to prevent tuberculosis.

If you had been in a closed setting of someone with or suspected to have tuberculosis. It also helps to get yourself tested and treated for other risk factors like diabetes or HIV, because they increase your chances of contracting tuberculosis and experiencing complications.

2. Wear face masks when sick or when the air is not clean.

While the pandemic has taught us the value of wearing face masks and covering our mouths when we sneeze, it is important to practice this protocol when you have been exposed to someone with TB as well. Wear face masks with good filters all the time, avoid reusing disposable masks, and make sure to wrap them well before throwing them into the trash can.

How to Prevent TB in Senior CitizensPhoto courtesy of Georg Arthur Pflueger via Unsplash

How to Prevent TB in Senior Citizens

1. Regular exercise and a healthy diet.

The elderly are easy targets for the TB bacteria since their immune systems are already at their weakest. The only surefire way to a strong immune response is to practice living a healthy lifestyle.

Medical experts recommend that senior citizens should always exercise, eat a healthy diet, and practice good hygiene to avoid tuberculosis from harming their health.

If you need assistance in what exercises and at what capacity should you do them, our experienced respiratory experts at The Hospital at Maayo can help you out with our state-of-the-art Cardiopulmonary Exercise Test (CPET) machines.

As for diet and other fitness concerns, we also have nutritionists and physical therapists on board to help you out.

2. Get tested and treated immediately.

Once the senior citizen in your family has been exposed to TB, get them tested and treated immediately. Doctors highly suggest that the elderly should have quick access to TB testing and treatment to avoid any complications. After all, early detection and therapy will likely be successful in combating severe TB.

How to Prevent TB Those with weak respiratory systemsPhoto courtesy of Ksenia Yakovleva via Unsplash

How to Prevent TB Those with weak respiratory systems

1. Maintain a well-ventilated home.

If you know someone in your family who has a weak respiratory system, it is recommended to always keep your entire home well-ventilated. Open the windows of your house and use a fan to circulate the air in your house.

2. Stick to a healthy lifestyle.

Just like elderly with weakened immune systems, observing proper hygiene and maintaining a healthy lifestyle are also steps on how to prevent tuberculosis for those with weak respiratory health.

3. Schedule regular appointments and check-ups.

Medical experts would also recommend that you schedule and go to all medical appointments to make sure that your TB (or other respiratory problems that you might have) is under control.

Practices for the whole familyPhoto courtesy of National Cancer Institute via Unsplash

Practices for the whole family

There are various measures on how to prevent tuberculosis from spreading any further in your family. Here are a few quick tips to follow:

  1. Ensure proper ventilation so that germs do not stay inside your home.
  2. Keep your homes disinfected and tidy.
  3. Observe proper nutrition and exercise.
  4. Practice correct coughing and sneezing etiquette.
  5. Seek proper treatment and quarantine procedures.
  6. Get professional medical help.

TB is a deadly disease that can easily harm you and your family. Consult expert tips from your healthcare provider to stop it on its tracks. If one of your family members has been exposed to TB or may be exhibiting symptoms, seek help immediately by booking your appointment now at The Hospital at Maayo.

A Quick Guide on How to Identify and Prevent Asthma Attacks

It could be more than just wheezing and coughing.

Sometimes, you encounter symptoms like the two and think that you have a common cough or allergies, but that may not be the case. It might be asthma and you won’t even know it.

Keeping your respiratory health in check is important especially during this time of the COVID-19 pandemic. It helps your body absorb oxygen to promote regular blood circulation and it keeps your other organs functioning properly. In keeping your respiratory conditions healthy, you can:

  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Avoid pollutants that may damage your airways
  • Exercise regularly
  • Consult with your doctor regularly

Asthma is a common respiratory condition that requires immediate and frequent medical attention. Here are some things you need to know about it.

What is Asthma?

AsthmaPhoto courtesy of cottonbro via Pexels

Asthma, as defined by Healthline, is a common inflammatory disease where your airways swell and produce extra mucus, causing them to narrow. This causes shortness of breath and can trigger coughing, wheezing, and difficulty breathing.

But what most people don’t know is that asthma has more than one classification. This National Asthma Week, we’ll be breaking the common misconceptions of the disease so you could be provided with accurate information.

The classifications of asthma include:

  • Intermittent Asthma
  • Mild Persistent Asthma
  • Moderate Persistent Asthma
  • Severe Persistent Asthma

Intermittent Asthma

A person is considered to have intermittent asthma when their symptoms occur not more than twice a week, and asthma flare-ups don’t usually exceed more than twice a month.

Among the symptoms of intermittent asthma include:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Wheezing
  • Chest tightness
  • Coughing

While these are very common symptoms, it’s important to keep in mind that asthma classifications are differentiated with how many times they occur with the patient, and how it affects their daily activities. In the case of intermittent asthma, this condition doesn’t usually affect one’s daily life, and sometimes does not have symptoms at all.

Treatments for intermittent asthma include a doctor’s prescription for short-acting beta-agonists or inhalers that can help reduce wheezing and difficulty breathing.

Mild Persistent Asthma

Conditions like mild persistent asthma often occur at least twice a week or at least two nights a month. Symptoms of mild persistent asthma include:

  • Wheezing or whistling during breathing
  • Coughing
  • Swelling
  • Mucus development in your airways

Unlike intermittent asthma, mild persistent asthma may affect daily activities. For example, it may develop into exercise-induced asthma or the type of asthma triggered by strenuous exercise.

Mild persistent asthma can be developed by people who have a family history of asthma, smoking or second-hand smoking, allergies, and people suffering from weight conditions.

Treatment for mild asthma usually involves quick-acting bronchodilators like rescue inhalers for asthma flare-ups and allergy-relieving medicine for asthma attacks worsened by allergic reactions.

Moderate Persistent Asthma

If a patient has moderate persistent asthma, they tend to have increasingly severe symptoms on a daily basis and at least once a week during the night. Flare-ups are also often occurring and may last longer than usual.

People with this condition experience coughing and wheezing that can affect their daily activities. These symptoms can also cause nighttime flare-ups that can affect your sleep routines. Other symptoms include:

  • Chest tightness
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Swollen, inflamed or mucus lining in the airways
  • Coughing

In treating moderate persistent asthma, doctors may prescribe medications and treatments that help reduce the daily symptoms the patient experiences and reduce the occurrence of flare-ups.

Long-term medications include doctor-prescribed inhaled corticosteroids, pills, and combination inhalers. Rescue inhalers and allergy medications can also be prescribed in case of emergency flare-ups.

Severe Persistent Asthma

The last classification of asthma, and probably the most dangerous, is severe persistent asthma. With this condition, patients are likely to experience symptoms of asthma several times a day and even during the night.

Severe persistent asthma can be experienced by anyone. It can start as one of the classifications above and develop severely later on. It is important to look after your health if you have a family history of asthma, smoking, or second-hand smoking, allergies and if you have experienced pneumonia.

Treating severe persistent asthma is a little more difficult and aggressive. As asthma is a chronic condition and therefore does not have any cure, medications would only help manage the symptoms you’re experiencing.

Sometimes, inhaled corticosteroids and oral corticosteroids will be given at higher doses. Rescue inhalers and medications will also be given to prevent triggers from occurring.

How to Prevent Asthma Attacks

How to Prevent Asthma AttacksPhoto courtesy of Mockup Graphics via Unsplash

Asthma is caused by both genetic and environmental factors around you. And while there are no definite steps to prevent your asthma attacks from happening, the best step to take is to avoid encounters with your triggers.

Here are some reminders from our respiratory experts to help reduce asthma attacks from happening:

1. Identify your triggers

Identify your triggersPhoto courtesy of Towfiqu Barbuiya via Unsplash

The first step in preventing asthma attacks is to identify your triggers. Asthma triggers are environmental conditions that may cause your attacks. These include:

  • Air pollution
  • Allergens, or those that trigger your allergies
  • Exercise
  • Weather condition
  • Smoke, and a lot more

In finding out your asthma triggers, it is helpful to keep an allergy diary with you so you’re able to detail all the factors that affect your asthma. Regular consultations with a pulmonologist could also help in figuring out your triggers and how you could prevent attacks from happening.

2. Regular vaccinations

Regular vaccinationsPhoto courtesy of CDC via Unsplash

Flu and pneumonia can also be contributing factors to worsening asthma conditions and vice versa. Help prevent worsening conditions by getting your annual flu shot and pneumonia shot once every 5 to 10 years.

You can also get allergy shots or immunotherapy to help prevent allergy symptoms to help keep your allergy at bay. Consult with a doctor to know what is best for you.

3. Take your prescribed asthma medication

Take your prescribed asthma medicationPhoto courtesy of Adam Niescioruk via Unsplash

If you have prescribed medicine from your doctor to help manage your asthma, make sure to take them religiously no matter the circumstances. Regular medications will help reduce your asthma attacks by a significant number.

It is also important to keep an eye out on how much you use your rescue inhalers. If you find yourself using our emergency inhalers too often than usual, then it’s time for you to schedule a consultation with your doctor.

4. Consider using an Air Filtration System

Consider using an Air Filtration SystemPhoto courtesy of Alvaro Bernal via Unsplash

If allergens are one of the reasons for your asthma attacks, then you can clean up the air around you with a high-efficiency air filter.

Having equipment with air filtration systems can help get rid of the pollutants in your home so you could breathe cleaner air. However, not all devices can remove small allergen particles.

It is best to combine the use of air filters with other methods that can help control your asthma triggers and symptoms.

For some, asthmas may be a simple set of symptoms. But if not managed well, it may lead to worsening or even fatal conditions. If you’re experiencing any recurring symptoms of asthma, book an appointment with the pulmonologists at The Hospital at Maayo.

8 Habits To Do At Home For A Healthier Respiratory System

The Philippines is celebrating National Lung Month this August, and what a perfect time indeed to remind oneself of tips on how to take care of your respiratory and circulatory system.

If you’re looking for healthy habits you can do at home, here are tips from our respiratory health experts to improve your respiratory health:

  1. Incorporate daily breathing exercises
  2. Perform cardiovascular exercises
  3. Practice safe hygiene for healthy lungs
  4. Ease yourself into quitting smoking for good
  5. Avoid unhealthy habits and take care of your mental health
  6. Follow a balanced diet
  7. Protect yourself from air pollution
  8. Consult with your doctor regularly

1. Incorporate daily breathing exercises

Incorporate daily breathing exercisesPhoto courtesy of Monstera via Pexels

You don’t have to go to the gym or go outside to perform breathing exercises that will benefit your respiratory health. Breathing exercises can be done for free at home, and it wouldn’t take up much of your time.

One recommended breathing exercise by the American Lung Association that you can do in between working at home is pursed-lip breathing. This routine trains your body to control the air coming in and out of your lungs. Do this exercise by simply breathing in through your nose, then breathe out twice as long through your mouth while keeping your lips pursed.

Another breathing exercise recommended by the John Hopkins University for people who contracted the coronavirus is a deep breathing routine while lying on your back. Simply lie on your back and bend your knees without your feet touching your buttocks. Place your hands on top of your stomach and close your lips, then place your tongue on the roof of your mouth. Now breathe in through your nose and gently pull down into your stomach using your hands. Exhale through your nose with control. Repeat the exercise for at least a minute.

These exercises do not require much commitment and you can even perform this with your family at home, spending quality time with them.

2. Perform cardiovascular exercises

Perform cardiovascular exercisesPhoto courtesy of Alexandra Tan via Unsplash

If you want to take it up a notch to really help improve your respiratory health, then incorporate cardiovascular exercises in your workout routine at home.

There are several things you can do without the need for equipment. Jogging in place and performing jumping jacks are good exercises if you don’t have the luxury of space in your apartment or condo. If available, you can even go up and downstairs for five minutes, just be sure that you don’t go too fast so you won’t fall.

If you want to invest in your health, some equipment that you can use is jumping ropes and an exercise bike. These would not only help you improve your respiratory system, but they will also keep you in shape. For a variety of exercise tips, you can also check out Pinoy Fitness blog.

With all the free resources available on the internet, there’s no excuse for you not to take care of your respiratory health at home! Just make sure to double-check your resources. If you want to make sure that it’s the right routine for you, call up professional trainers and physical therapy experts to help you out. For good measure, get yourself prepped and ready through the different cardiovascular services available in The Hospital at Maayo.

3. Practice safe hygiene for healthy lungs

Practice safe hygiene for healthy lungsPhoto courtesy of Gustavo Fring via Pexels

Practicing proper personal hygiene is important not only for yourself but also for the people around you. With the continuous spread of the COVID-19 virus, it’s important that people should work hard to help protect one another.

Some hygienic practices for the lungs that the Center for Disease Control (CDC) reminds everyone is to cover your mouth when you’re coughing, especially when in a public space. Of course, you need to follow this up with proper handwashing with soap.

Proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE) is also an important part of hygiene. Make sure that the mask is covering your mouth and nose when you need to run errands outside. Dispose of the mask immediately when you get home and do not leave it lying around.

4. Ease yourself into quitting smoking for good

Ease yourself into quitting smoking for goodPhoto courtesy of Andres Siimon via Unsplash

There is no better time to ease yourself to finally quit smoking than today.

Not only does smoking weaken your respiratory health, but it also brings about several health hazards such as lung cancer. In fact, smoking and lung cancer research published in the National Library of Medicine shows that 90% of deaths from lung cancer are estimated to be due to smoking.

If you find it difficult to quit smoking on your own, the Department of Health (DOH) launched a smoking quitline which you can call to seek for advice. There are also support groups such as Nicotine Anonymous (NicA) if you’re looking for individuals going through the same journey as you.

5. Avoid unhealthy habits and take care of your mental health

Avoid unhealthy habits and take care of your mental healthPhoto courtesy of Wokandapix via Pixabay

Unhealthy habits such as smoking and alcohol abuse do not simply come out of nowhere. In fact, wellness studies suggest that there is a clear link between depression and the practice of these dangerous habits.

It is unfortunate because the COVID-19 pandemic also gave way to a rise in depression among the youth. This means that there is a risk for them to resort to smoking and alcohol especially when they cannot find help in the Philippines.

All of these factors are interlinked together so it’s important to prevent unhealthy habits before they even start by going into the root of the problem. If you need to seek advice for your psychological health, then check out this updated list of mental health services in the Philippines.

Remember that taking care of your mental health contributes largely to your holistic fitness including your respiratory and lung health.

6. Follow a balanced diet

Follow a balanced dietPhoto courtesy of Sansoja via Pixabay

Taking care of your cardiovascular system consequently promotes healthy lungs.

Start by drinking lots of water to keep your whole body hydrated especially when working extensive hours at home. Water is essential to help with blood circulation to and from the lungs. It also keeps our lungs hydrated and the mucus flowing.

Foods that have anti-inflammatory properties such as garlic, onions, and ginger also lowers cholesterol that is detrimental to your cardiovascular health.

And while it is tempting to snack on cookies and sweets while staying at home, a good substitute for these are apples and grapes that are rich in flavonoids, and vitamins E and C.

The food that you eat directly affects your body so while it is not wrong to enjoy yourself with chips, it’s important that you consume plenty of nutrient-rich foods at home.

7. Protect yourself from air pollution

Protect yourself from air pollutionPhoto courtesy of Amir Hosseini via Unsplash

Global air pollution is on the rise and it will inevitably bring dangers to your respiratory health. While wearing facemasks is already good against COVID-19 and polluted air outside of your home, it’s important that you also do your part to prevent further damage to the air we breathe.

Some things you can do to minimize air pollution is to dispose of your garbage properly, to conserve energy at home, and to use environmentally safe products.

Remember that your personal health is only as good as the way you treat the environment.

8. Consult with your doctor regularly

Consult with your doctor regularlyPhoto courtesy of Online Marketing via Unsplash

There is no better way to take care of your respiratory health and your overall fitness than with the help of a trusted doctor.

Make sure that you get professional advice before facing health problems on your own. There are several respected doctors here in Cebu that you can book and contact if you are in need of immediate services.

Go ahead and ask your doctor to help and guide you in achieving your fitness goals.

These are just a few tips you can follow to promote healthy respiratory health during National Lung Month in the Philippines. Check out The Hospital at Maayo’s medical services if you want to protect yourself with the help of a doctor today.