Your Health 5-16-13 Asthma education with music - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Your Health 5-16-13 Asthma education with music

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     Practically all of us know someone with asthma.
     Is it under control?
     Would you know what to do during an asthma attack?  
     One local man has created a unique way to educate people about asthma
    ABC 33/40's Linda Mays found out his notes are being heard beyond Alabama.
 

     Constricted and Inflamed airways come with a severe asthma attack causing people to struggle to breath.
 
   Al Keith became a Respiratory Therapist 25 years ago.
 
    He now educates children and adults about asthma. He says, a serious asthma attack can end in death.
 
 
Keith says, "No one should die from an asthma attack because asthma is controllable and manageable.    You just need to know the manageable steps and walk through them.
 I thought about music because music is the universal communicator.  Music has the ability to store itself in the memory."
 
      Keith, a long time bass guitar player has combined his love for music with his passion for asthma education.

    He created, Asthma Blues, an asthma education program , to teach people how to manage the disease.
  It includes a CD, a book and an instructor's guide.
 
 Keith says, "The first verse goes I'm having trouble breathing I'm wheezing it's hard to get my air in and out.
The next part of the verse says I'm in a battle , a battle I refuse to lose."

     There are seven songs all with a message related to asthma.
     They teach about your triggers, peak flow, medications and more using different music genres.
 
    'Get Your Peak Flow On' starts like this... "Something is wrong with my breathing, something is wrong and it ain't right."
 
     The take home message in his music-- is to manage asthma with a plan.
     Other health experts heard about Keith's innovative teaching tool.
 

   The University of Missouri Children's Hospital uses his AL Keith's songs in its asthma control  everyday video.
 
     Also, Keith just recently performed Asthma Blues at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia on World Asthma Day, this year.
 
     Here at home in Alabama, Keith takes his asthma education program on the road teaching about some tools Keith says all asthmatics must have... including a peak flow meter to measure their breathing.

     He demonstrates how to use it.
 Keith says, "They want you to take a deep breath in and blow it out real hard."

   This peak flow meter has three zones... green, yellow and red.
 
  Keith explains,"So your yellow zone is anywhere from 79% to 50%. your red zone when you hit your red zone, you're at half of your capacity and it's time to call 911 or get the to ER because you're definitely at risk."


     Keith's passion for sharing his knowledge about asthma comes out where ever he may be.
 
 Keith tells us, "I might be walking through Wal mart and I see somebody having trouble breathing and I ask them are you ok and they go yeah I'm fine, I say no you're not. You're not breathing properly how can you tell...I can tell  by the way you're using your accessory muscles here and you're really working to get a breath.

     Keith says, an asthma attack does not have a specific place to happen. That's why you must have a plan.

  His Asthma Blues song emphasizes, "If I manage asthma with a plan I know I can beat these asthma blues."

     Al Keith says, everyone should have an asthma action plan set up by them and their doctor.
    
     Keith believes the asthma action plan  it's not just for the person with asthma and their family but also anyone around a person with asthma because they need to know signs and symptoms  of an asthma attack  and know what to do until professional help arrives.
 
     For more information on Asthma Blues, you can check it out online at asthmablues.com.

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