Montana Asthma Project
The Montana Asthma Project Home Visiting Program (MAP) is a multi-component, home-based intervention for asthma. MAP services are provided to children ages 0 to 17 living in Cascade County diagnosed with asthma. Our Public Health Nurse/Asthma Educator will work one-on-one with your child and family to:
- Improve asthma control and asthma-related quality of life.
- Increase knowledge of how to manage asthma symptoms, including prescribed medication management.
- Complete an environmental assessment to help reduce and/or eliminate identified asthma triggers.
All children enrolled in the program receive an asthma/allergy mattress and pillow cover to help reduce nighttime symptoms, and eligible children receive an air purifier with a HEPA filter. Your home visiting nurse will work with your child's physician to establish an asthma action plan and adjust asthma medications as necessary. All services and products are free of charge, regardless of income or insurance.
Children living in Cascade County (regardless of income or insurance) diagnosed with asthma or unscheduled medical office or Emergency Department visit due to asthma symptoms.
What Is Asthma
Asthma causes the airways in the lungs to become inflamed, which in turn make them very sensitive. Along with inflammation, the cells in the airways produce extra-thick mucus, and the muscles around these airways tighten. Together, these events cause the airways to become narrowed and result in symptoms such as wheezing, feeling short of breath, coughing, or chest tightness. Narrowed airways cause less airflow through the lungs and therefore less oxygen to your whole body.
There may be extended periods of time that your child is feeling well, but it is important for your child to maintain asthma therapies as prescribed and also monitor for asthma triggers.
Asthma is one of the most common childhood illnesses. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that 7.1 million children have asthma. This means that possibly 1 in 10 children in Cascade County have asthma! It is one of the leading causes of school absenteeism and can cause physical, emotional, and financial burdens if not well controlled. Knowing what asthma is, how it effects the body, and ways to help control it are key to a child's optimum health.
Asthma cannot be cured, but it can be controlled. Effective ways to help make sure your child's asthma is managed well include:
- Keeping track of what may be triggering your child's asthma to pinpoint ways to reduce or eliminate exposure to those triggers.
- Following up regularly with your child's health care provider to find medication and therapies that work well to help control symptoms and also develop an asthma action plan-a set of instructions that help you and your child better manage asthma at home.
- Educating yourself about asthma and its management to help understand how it may be affecting your child.
Triggers are anything that cause an allergic reaction and asthma symptoms. Triggers may include anything that your child may be allergic to, irritants, irritants, or physical situations. It is important to remember that not every child with asthma has the same triggers.
- Dust mites
- Furry or feathered friends
- Pollen from trees, grasses, or weeds
- Cigarette smoke
- Cleaning products
- Strong odors from perfumes
- Wood smoke
- Change in weather
- Physical activity
- Strong emotions