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Breathe easier with Asthma

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- October is National Lung Health month and is a great time for people living with asthma to evaluate their condition and take extra steps to maintain a healthy lifestyle. 

Close to 53 million Americans are reported to suffer from asthma, and it can appear in many forms:

* Allergic asthma, triggered by allergens such as animal dander, airborne pollens and molds 

* Non-allergic asthma, caused by viral infections, certain medications or irritants 

* Exercise-induced asthma, triggered by vigorous physical activity 

* Occupational asthma, caused by inhaling irritants found in the workplace 

* Nocturnal asthma, occurs when a person is sleeping and typically worsens between midnight and 4 a.m.

While there is not yet a cure for asthma, you can take certain steps that can help you manage your asthma.

Recognize Asthma Triggers
Work with your physician to determine what is triggering your asthma attacks.

Monitor Your Asthma and Take Medications Take medication at the first sign of symptoms and as instructed by your physician. If your symptoms worsen, do not increase or decrease your medication without discussing your symptoms with your doctor.

Create an Asthma Action Plan with Your Physician Your asthma action plan should include emergency contact information, details on your condition, and instructions on what to do in the event of an episode.

Partner With a Clinical Health Coach to Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle TriWest Healthcare Alliance offers a Condition (Disease) Management program to TRICARE West Region beneficiaries, which focuses on educating you on how to improve your health management skills while living with a condition such as asthma. The program is available at no cost to eligible beneficiaries and does not affect your TRICARE benefits in any way.

Once enrolled in the program, a TriWest Clinical Health Coach will:

* Schedule an appointment to call and review your health status 

* Develop a customized educational plan based on your status and personal health goals
* Inform your physician of your program participation 

* Work with you to reach established goals 

* Continue to help you as long as you want to participate and work toward achieving wellness goals 

For more information on the program or to enroll, call TriWest toll-free at 1-888-259-9378. No referral or prior authorization is necessary. Support is currently available for beneficiaries living with asthma, depression, diabetes, heart failure, or any combination of these conditions. More information is posted on the Condition (Disease) Management Portal at www.triwest.com under the "Healthy Living" section.