AAAC Provides Free Asthma Screening

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MEDIA CONTACT: Willy Spizman
Tel: 770.953.2040
willy@spizmanagency.com

The Atlanta Allergy & Asthma Clinic Provides
Free City-Wide Asthma Screening To Help Atlantans Breathe Easier

ATLANTA--May is "National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month." This is the peak season for asthma and allergy sufferers, and a perfect time to educate patients, family, friends, co-workers and others about these diseases. To help Atlantans breathe easier the Atlanta Allergy & Asthma Clinic, in conjunction with the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (ACAAI), will provide free asthma screenings to the public.

The screenings will be conducted by the Clinic's physicians and staff, and will take place at Perimeter Mall, 4400 Ashford Dunwoody Road on Saturday, May 9, 2009, from noon until 4 p.m., in the lower level food court area.

Proper diagnosis, prevention and treatment are critical for asthma sufferers to live a full and active life without limits. The screening is designed to test for the presence of asthma in adults and children. Those who experience breathing problems, such as coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath, can find out if asthma is taking their breath away.

About Asthma

Considered the most common chronic disease in childhood, many cases of asthma still go undiagnosed and therefore untreated even into adulthood. Asthma can start at any age-even in senior citizens.

Asthma is characterized as a chronic inflammation of the lungs that causes coughing, chest tightness, wheezing or shortness of breath. An asthma attack can be triggered by allergens such as pollen, dust and animal dander, certain drugs, viral respiratory infections or physical exertion.

"According to a recent study, 21.6 million American adults and 8.6 million children under the age of 18 have been diagnosed with asthma. Asthma is one of the leading causes of school absenteeism and many folks with asthma find it difficult to exercise or even participate in normal daily activities. Over 5,000 deaths annually are attributed to asthma," said Stanley Fineman, M.D., director of the Clinic's citywide screening program.

According to Dr. Fineman, "The screening program is an important step to help people realize they don't have to make lifestyle compromises if they have asthma. This lung disease has become one of the most misunderstood, but treatable diseases. By informing people about the symptoms of asthma and advances in prevention and treatment, we can help improve the quality of their lives."

Asthma is the number one reason that children are admitted to the hospital and also the number one reason for missing school. In Georgia alone, more than 200,000 children have asthma. Many more cases are undiagnosed because of the failure to recognize the symptoms of asthma and the hesitancy of physicians and parents to label a child with the diagnosis.

In addition, studies indicate that there is an ethnic disparity in asthma sufferers. There is a greater incidence of asthma in African Americans and other minority groups. In some urban areas, as many as 25 percent of children have asthma or show signs of wheezing. In fact, the disease may be greatly under-diagnosed in city children.

Asthma is costly not only in terms of dollars and cents, but also in terms of quality of life of affected children and their families. In Georgia, asthma is responsible for:

    88,000 doctor visits
    26,000 emergency room visits
    5,000 hospitalizations
    540,000 missed days of school
    390,000 missed days of work by parents who have children with asthma


Here's How It Works

On May 9, 2009, from noon until 4:00 p.m., adults and children are invited to participate in the screening at Perimeter Mall in the lower level food court area. Those attending the screening will answer an age-specific, 20-question test, to determine if they might have asthma or if their asthma is under control. In addition, participants will take a special lung function test that involves blowing into a tube. This test will determine if participants should seek further treatment from their primary care physician or asthma specialist.

Physicians and staff from the Atlanta Allergy and Asthma Clinic will be present to discuss the test and consult with families about potential problems. Those who already know they have asthma can learn more about their disease and efforts to keep symptoms under control.

"Undiagnosed and under-treated asthma not only results in diminished quality of life but also can cause serious complications including irreversible damage to the lungs," says Dr. Fineman. "As asthma and allergy specialists, we have a number of treatment options that we recommend to patients with asthma. It is frequently useful to determine with factors trigger the patient's asthma symptoms."

For more information on asthma or the screening, please contact The Atlanta Allergy & Asthma Clinic at 770.952.8612, or visit their website at www.atlantaallergy.com.
For media interviews, please contact Willy Spizman at The Spizman Agency at 770.953.2040 or willy@spizmanagency.com.
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