How FOLX Can Help with Asthma

Find expert asthma care tailored for the LGBTQIA+ community with FOLX. Access effective treatments and personalized support.

June 6, 2024
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This article was clinically reviewed by Michelle Forcier, MD.

Introduction

Asthma is a chronic respiratory condition that affects your airways, making it difficult to breathe. For those in the LGBTQIA+ community, managing asthma can be compounded by unique stressors and healthcare challenges. At FOLX, we understand these complexities and are dedicated to providing empathetic, inclusive care tailored to your needs.

This guide aims to empower you with the information and support necessary to manage your asthma effectively with FOLX.

How do I know when I should see a clinician about asthma?

If you experience symptoms such as frequent coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, or chest tightness, it's important to consult a clinician. For LGBTQIA+ individuals, the added stress of societal pressures can exacerbate these symptoms. Seeking care from a provider who understands your unique context can make a significant difference in managing your asthma effectively.

What kind of treatment options are there for asthma?

Asthma and allergies are often life long conditions. But they do not have to limit your activities and enjoyment. It may take some medication and planning to reduce the impact of asthma on your life. FOLX clinicians provide a comprehensive range of treatments to address asthma, including:

Medications:

  • Quick-relief or rescue inhalers and bronchodilators 
  • Long-term control medications such as inhaled corticosteroids, leukotriene modifiers, long-acting beta agonists, long-acting muscarinic antagonists, combination inhalers, allergy medications, and theophylline. 

Lifestyle Adjustments and Long Term Management

  • You can create a personalized asthma action plan to better track your triggers and symptoms and avoid asthma attacks.
  • Care plans might work on medication adherence, environmental changes, vaping or smoking reduction, and reducing other stress and upper respiratory infections.
  • Early recognition of asthma symptoms can help you start medication and avoid more severe asthma symptoms and attacks. 
  • You might use a peak flow meter to measure how well your lungs are working and gauge when it is necessary to take more care of your asthma.
  • We can look for ways to modify conditions and allergens in your home and work setting. 
  • If you are a vaper or smoker, we can talk about options to reduce that exposure and eventually even quit.
  • We can support efforts to exercise and eat well which also supports cardiovascular and respiratory health.

Is there anything I should prepare for my visit?

To make the most of your visit, document any asthma symptoms, triggers, and the frequency of your attacks. Knowing your medical history and any previous treatments or hospitalizations can help your FOLX clinician understand your past history and come up with a personalized care plan for the future. 

What should I expect during a FOLX visit for asthma?

In a telehealth visit for asthma, you can expect comprehensive care similar to an in-person appointment. Your clinician will discuss your symptoms, triggers, and any challenges you're facing. Together, you'll develop an asthma action plan, discuss medication options, and explore lifestyle changes to manage your condition. Your FOLX clinician will provide ongoing support and tools to help you control your asthma effectively. After your visit, we can send any prescriptions to a pharmacy of your choice.

For acute or emergency asthma attacks, we recommend that you seek a local, in-person provider who can do an urgent pulmonary exam and administer medications right away. Seek urgent care or emergency medical services if you have any acute and severe breathing problems. 

Other Resources / Further Reading

For more information and support on managing asthma, explore these resources:

FAQs

Q: Can asthma be cured?

A: Asthma cannot be cured, but it can be effectively managed with the right treatment plan. Many people with asthma live full, active lives by following their asthma action plan and avoiding triggers.

Q: How does lifestyle impact asthma management?

A: Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including regular exercise, a balanced diet, and avoiding known triggers, can significantly improve asthma control. Stress management techniques are also beneficial.

Q: What should I do during an asthma attack?

A: Follow your asthma action plan, use your quick-relief inhaler, and seek emergency medical attention if your symptoms do not improve. It's crucial to have a clear plan in place for managing attacks.

Q: Are there specific challenges for LGBTQIA+ individuals with asthma?

A: LGBTQIA+ individuals may face additional stress and healthcare disparities that can impact asthma management. Many LGBTQIA+ individuals do not have comprehensive or active health insurance. Medications can be expensive. Our member support navigators may be of use in finding special programs or coverage for medications. They may be able to help you find medication coverage that will work for you.  Finding a clinician who understands these unique challenges and provides affirming care can greatly improve your health outcomes.

With FOLX, you have a supportive partner in managing your asthma, ensuring you receive the personalized, compassionate care you deserve.

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FOLX Health is the first digital healthcare company designed by and for the LGBTQIA+ community. Our services include primary care, gender-affirming hormone therapy including estrogen and testosterone (HRT), mental health care, sexual and reproductive health care, and fertility consultations. FOLX memberships give you access to LGBTQIA+ expert clinicians, peer support, thousands of LGBTQIA+ resources, and more. Whether you’re lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, gender non-conforming, nonbinary, or another identity, you can find LGBTQ-specialized health care that helps you meet your wellness goals. Get all the benefits of becoming a FOLX member and sign up today!

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