Asthma

Asthma is a lung condition that makes it hard to breathe. With asthma, the airways in your lungs become narrow. Asthma can be mild or severe, and symptoms can come and go. An asthma attack happens when your symptoms get suddenly worse. Asthma cannot be cured, but it can be controlled.

What are the symptoms of asthma?

  • Coughing
  • Wheezing (a whistling sound when breathing)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Tightness or pain in your chest

What is an asthma trigger?
Asthma triggers are things that make asthma worse. Triggers can also cause an asthma attack. Taking steps to avoid triggers is important to your asthma control. Some common triggers are:

  • Cigarette smoke
  • Getting sick: cold, flu, lung infection, etc.
  • Air pollution, wood smoke, strong odors or fumes
  • Very cold, dry air
  • Exercise
  • Allergens: cockroaches, dust mites, mice, cats, dogs, animal dander, mold, pollen, etc.
  • Strong emotions like anxiety or stress
  • Certain medications

 

What you can do to control your asthma.

  • Take charge of your health and learn about asthma
  • Do not smoke
  • Avoid asthma triggers
  • Take your asthma medicine as prescribed
  • Make sure you have enough medicine
  • Follow your asthma action plan when your asthma gets worse. If you do not have an action plan, talk to your provider. They can help you create one.
  • Get vaccinated for preventive diseases to stay healthy

 

How can medicine help with asthma?
There are 2 types of asthma medicines: controller and rescue medicines. You may take one or more medications depending on your asthma symptoms and your provider’s recommendations.

  • Controller medicines work to help prevent asthma symptoms. Use them daily as prescribed by your provider. It is important to take these medicines, even if you don’t have asthma symptoms.  Talk to your provider about how long your medicine will last. Refill your medicine 5-7 days before your supply runs out.
  • Rescue (relief) medicines act quickly to open your airways and make it easier to breathe.  Rescue medicines are used only when you need them. If you need to use your rescue medicines more and more, speak with your provider to see if your medications need to be adjusted.

Discuss your asthma triggers with your provider and family. Together you can work on avoiding those triggers and keep your asthma under control.

Resources

  • The Molina Breathe with Ease Asthma Program is available at no cost to Molina members living with asthma. For more information, please call our Health Management Department at (866) 891-2320, ext. 751135.
  • Molina allows 90-day refills on certain medications. Please talk with your provider about getting a 90-day prescription for your asthma controller medication. Getting a 90-day prescription fill means fewer trips to the pharmacy.
  • Molina also offers mail order pharmacy services through CVS (800) 875-0867 or CVS.com, where your prescriptions can be mailed directly to your home.
  • Click here for more information on how to control asthma.
  • Visit the Kids with Asthma website where there is interactive activities and information on how to manage asthma for kids.

 

Transportation
Get assistance with nonemergency transportation for medical and behavioral appointments (Apple Health [Medicaid]). For more information, visit: HCA.WA.gov/transportation-help.