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Respiratory Therapy

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September Asthma Spike
If you or someone you know has asthma, it is important to be aware of the “September Spike” in emergency department visits.


Mould At Home
Find out how to prevent and clean up mould in your home in this article provided by Health Canada.

New Asthma Fact Sheets
Hot off the press! The Lung Association recently revised the inhaler devices fact sheets in English and all the fact sheets in French.

Quit Smoking Drugs Now Covered
As of August 4, 2011 the Ontario government started funding the smoking cessation medications Champix and Zyban through the Ontario Drug Benefit Plan.

Asthma Inhaler Videos – New on YOUTUBE
Good inhaler technique gets the medicines deeper into the lungs where they are needed. For clear instructions on how to use various inhaler devices check out our new YOUTUBE asthma inhaler videos.

Cough is one of the top reasons why people visit their family doctors. Many coughs are not life-threatening, but they can affect people’s sleep, and can sometimes lead to retching, vomiting and even incontinence. Chronic cough can also make people worry that something may be wrong with their health.

If you've had a cough that lasts for three weeks or longer and it’s not improving, the Canadian Lung Association recommends that you get it checked out.

People with a persistent cough can call and talk to a certified respiratory educators at: 1-866-717-COPD (2673). In Quebec, call 1 888 POUMON-9.

Respiratory therapy helps people with lung disease increase their ability to live independently and overcome the physical limitations resulting from their disease.

Various tests are done to make a diagnoses:

  • Pulmonary function tests (PFTs) are performed in order to diagnose lung conditions such as asthma and emphysema. Your doctor may order a follow up PFT to assess your response to breathing medicines.  The machine used to test your breathing looks a lot like a phone booth!

    • Do not use your puffers prior to a scheduled breathing test.

    • Do not use Long Acting Bronchodilators such as advair, symbicort, oxeze, serevent and spirivia on the day of the test.

    • Do not use Short Acting Bronchodilator  or relievers such as ventolin, bricanyl and atrovent 4 hours before the test.

    • Do not smoke for 4 hours prior to the test!

  • Spirometry is a simple breathing test that may be used to screen for COPD.

  • Home oxygen assessments (exertional oximetry or walk test) are ordered to determine whether or not you qualify for oxygen therapy in your home.  Oxygen is a drug and requires a prescription from your physisican.  You must meet very specific criteria in order for home oxygen to be funded. You will be required to walk for 6 minutes without oxygen and perhaps again with oxygen. You may also have a special blood test done (ABG or arterial blood gas) to determine the levels of oxygen in your blood.If you have oxygen and are coming for a renewal do NOT wear your oxygen for 20 minutes prior to your appointment.

Helpful links
The Lung Association, COPD
The Lung Association, Breath Works
Ontario Lung Association
Canadian Lung Association
Asthma Medications
4 Seasons of Asthma
Asthma Kids
Air Square
Taking Control of Your Asthma