Online Class: Asthma 101

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Course Description

Welcome to Asthma 101, an introduction into the medical condition known as asthma. Do you know the difference between asthma and allergies? We'll explain that in this course. Students will also learn about the usual suspects when it comes to asthma symptoms and the different types of asthma that an individual can be diagnosed with, depending on occupation, lifestyle and hypersensitivity to foods, drugs, and the environment.

In this course, students will also learn how to identify risk factors for contracting asthma as well as a understand the background into genetic information that may be associated with the condition. Managing asthma is also a focus of this course, and students will learn how to provide and contribute to long-term therapy and approaches to asthma treatment following a diagnosis.

In this course, we'll cover a number of commonly prescribed medications and alternative treatments for relief of asthma symptoms. Both prescription and over-the-counter medications used to treat asthma are also covered in this course, as is the use of a variety of diagnostic methodologies to develop a well-rounded and effective short-acting and long-term treatment plan for management of asthma symptoms.

You'll learn about some of the more common complications that those diagnosed with asthma need to watch out for as well as steps that you can take to create a cleaner, safer and healthier home environment.

Students will also learn how asthma affects children, pregnant women and the elderly in different ways and steps that each group can take in their fight against asthmas by discussing medications, lifestyle changes, and knowledge that helps reduce the frequency and severity of asthma attacks in a variety of environments.


Understanding asthma, what it is, and how it affects the body is the foundation of this course. The first thing to know is that people of all ages, socioeconomic, and geographical backgrounds are diagnosed with asthma every day. Some medical experts believe asthma is directly linked to indoor air pollution, exposure to chemicals, and unhealthy lifestyles. More people in developed countries around the world suffer from asthma than others.

What Is Asthma?

Asthma is a condition that affects the airways. The airway (trachea) is the tube that extends from the back of your throat down the neck and then branches off into two passageways that access the lungs. Individuals diagnosed with asthma, or experiencing an asthma attack, produce a variety of symptoms, and individuals can react to these symptoms in different ways.

During an asthma attack, the airways swell, narrowing the amount of oxygen that enters or exits the lungs. This creates shortness of breath. This shortness of breath can be mild or severe, extremely brief or last for hours -- again depending on the individual and the trigger that precipitated the asthma attack.

To date, no cure for asthma has been discovered, although a variety of medications, treatments, and therapies may help reduce the severity and frequency of attacks. Understanding triggers that initiate asthma attacks will also be explored in this course.

According to the Heart Lung and Blood Institute, the National Institutes of Health, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, nearly 22 million people in the United States have been diagnosed with asthma. Roughly 6 million are children. 

Diagnosis, treatment, and prevention helps individuals learn to live with the condition and make changes in habits and lifestyles that increase comfort and quality of life. The ultimate goal in treating asthma is to create management and long-term therapy treatment plans that offer immediate relief, help prevent asthma from worsening, and facilitate quick response to an asthma attack.

Note - If you, or a loved one, or a friend experiences an asthma attack and lips or fingernails are turning blue, you (or they) are having trouble talking or walking, call 911 immediately. Don't wait for the attack to subside.

Most individuals diagnosed with asthma are able to manage their conditions. Individuals who understand their symptoms, how to avoid them, and how to adapt their lifestyles can lead active and normal lives. 

What's the Difference Between Asthma and Allergies?

While asthma directly affects the lungs and their function, as well as passageways that serve the lungs, allergies are described as a sensitivity disorder that more or less affect the sinuses, the eyes, and the throat. Allergies are defined as overreactions by the body to certain substances, such as dust, cat fur, or plant pollen.

Physicians and scientists believe there is a direct link between allergies and asthma, and individuals diagnosed with asthma are often also diagnosed with specific types of allergies.

While asthma symptoms generally affect the lungs and allergy symptoms generally affect the sinuses, one condition may often trigger the other. For example, an allergic reaction to dust or pollen may trigger an asthma attack. Some of the most common triggers for asthma include:
·        Animal dander
·        Animal fur
·        Tree or flower pollen
·        Mold spores
·        Dust mites
·        Specific foods
·        Drug reactions
Individuals diagnosed with asthma may also react to triggers that don't cause an allergic reaction but that may irritate the air passageways and the lungs, including:
·        Tobacco smoke
·        Paint fumes
·        Furniture polish and cleaning solvents
·        Air pollution
·        Hair spray

Both allergic and asthma reactions are caused by a malfunction of your immune system. The immune system is your body's way of defending itself against attack from bacteria, injury, and invasions of substances the body considers dangerous. While dust may make a non-allergic or non-asthmatic person sneeze, to a person who is allergic to dust, or one who has asthma that is sensitive to it, may experience severe bodily reactions that cause extreme discomfort and difficulty breathing. 

Asthma Anatomy

During an asthma attack, the body automatically tries to prevent substances that trigger the attack from entering the body. An asthma attack is also called asthma exacerbation. Basic knowledge of the respiratory system is important for individuals diagnosed with asthma and their loved ones, so they understand what happens during an asthma attack and how to provide care.

The respiratory system works like this:

Air enters through the mouth or nostrils and passes through the oral pharynx or the nasopharynx. Air then travels past the glottis, found in the throat. The glottis is a flap of tissue that prevents food from entering the trachea instead of the esophagus while eating or drinking.

Air then travels into the trachea, the major airway that extends from the throat to about the mid-chest. The trachea in turn branches off into the right and left bronchi, which extend into the right and left lung.

The bronchi, in turn, branch multiple times inside the lungs into bronchioles, which terminate in clusters of air sacs called alveoli. These tiny air sacs are where actual gas exchange (oxygen and carbon dioxide) occurs. When a person inhales, the ribs lift upward and outward. During exhalation, the ribs float downward and inward. During an asthma attack, you may notice a person taking longer to exhale than inhale, or you may even notice a type of panting or rapid breathing that fails to offer adequate oxygenation to the blood. In such cases, hyperventilation is possible.

Most of us breathe between 15 and 18 times a minute, exchanging roughly 500 ml of air during each breath. The force of the amount of air that you can exhale out of your lungs averages about four liters. This action is called vital capacity. Roughly 1200 mm of residual air remain in the lungs following a normal exhalation. During an asthma attack, the constriction of the bronchi and bronchioles make it extremely difficult for the lungs to facilitate the action of breathing in and breathing out.

The airways of an asthmatic are sensitive to inflammation, irritation, and swelling. During an attack, excessive mucous is produced, further blocking the airways, whose walls have become so thick that, between muscular constriction and airways narrowed due to inflammation, little air can enter or exit.

During an attack, the linings of the lungs and airways swell and increase their production of mucus as a response to a perceived assault or attack of the airways. Muscles around airways automatically tighten, making breathing difficult and painful. One of the most common symptoms of an asthma attack is the sound of wheezing or whistling as air struggles to move through these narrowed air passageways. 

  • Completely Online
  • Self-Paced
  • Printable Lessons
  • Full HD Video  
  • 6 Months to Complete
  • 24/7 Availability
  • Start Anytime
  • PC & Mac Compatible
  • Android & iOS Friendly
  • Accredited CEUs
  • Universal Class is an IACET Accredited Provider

    Course Lessons

    Average Lesson Rating:
    4.7 / 5 Stars (Average Rating)
    "Extraordinarily Helpful"
    (840 votes)

    Lesson 1: Asthma Explained

    In this lesson, we'll offer the basics regarding different types of asthma, what triggers asthma, and the risks and factors of contracting or inheriting asthmatic conditions. 7 Total Points
    • Lesson 1 Video
    • Take Survey: Reasons for Taking this Course
    • Complete: Lesson 1 Exam

    Lesson 2: Asthma Symptoms

    Understanding the basic and most common asthma symptoms is the focus of this lesson. 9 Total Points
    • Lesson 2 Video
    • Review Article: Treatment and Self-Care
    • Complete: Lesson 2 Exam

    Lesson 3: Different Types of Asthma

    In this lesson, we'll cover the four most common types of asthma: occupational, non- allergic, allergic, and exercise-induced. 9 Total Points
    • Lesson 3 Video
    • Review 2 Articles: Childhood Asthma; Kids Food Allergy Article
    • Complete: Lesson 3 Exam

    Lesson 4: Asthma Triggers

    Certain chemicals, medications, dust particles and foods can all trigger asthma attacks in susceptible individuals. 9 Total Points
    • Lesson 4 Video
    • Review 2 Articles: Dealing with Asthma Triggers; Tips to Remember: Asthma Triggers and Management
    • Complete: Lesson 4 Exam

    Lesson 5: Why Me?

    This lesson will present the most common beliefs regarding why one person is more susceptible to asthma than another. 9 Total Points
    • Lesson 5 Video
    • Complete: Lesson 5 Exam

    Lesson 6: Managing Asthma

    This lesson covers the basics on how an asthma diagnosis is obtained, as well as some of the most common treatments available to manage asthma. 9 Total Points
    • Lesson 6 Video
    • Review 2 Articles: Asthma inhalers: Which one's right for you?; Asthma medications: Know your options
    • Complete: Lesson 6 Exam

    Lesson 7: Long-term Therapy Asthma Management

    Creating asthma therapy goals, and tracking your symptoms, are just two steps to creating an effective and viable treatment plan that will help no matter where you are: at home, school, or work. 9 Total Points
    • Lesson 7 Video
    • Review Article: Developing and Communicating a Long-Term Treatment Plan for Asthma
    • Complete: Lesson 7 Exam

    Lesson 8: Alternative Asthma Treatment Approaches

    This lesson offers students a brief idea of how different approaches to treating asthma may be adequate for your needs, and may help reduce the number of medications, severity of episodes, and frequency of asthma conditions for you or your loved one. 9 Total Points
    • Lesson 8 Video
    • Review Article: Asthma treatment: Do complementary and alternative approaches work?
    • Complete: Lesson 8 Exam

    Lesson 9: Asthma Complications

    This lesson focuses on just a few of the complications that often occur with asthma. 9 Total Points
    • Lesson 9 Video
    • Review Article: Ashma Attack
    • Complete: Lesson 9 Exam

    Lesson 10: Creating a Safe Home Environment

    In this lesson, we'll concentrate on offering you a few actions that you can take so you can breathe easier at home. 10 Total Points
    • Lesson 10 Video
    • Review Article: Creating an Asthma-Safe Home for Kids
    • Complete: Lesson 10 Exam

    Lesson 11: Understanding Asthma in Children, Pregnancy, and the Elderly

    The final lesson in this basic introductory course on asthma will help you recognize conditions, pay attention to special concerns, and prevent asthma that may result in complications. 52 Total Points
    • Lesson 11 Video
    • Review Article: Pregnancy and Asthma
    • Take Poll: Final Course Poll - Your Opinion
    • Take Survey: Program Evaluation Follow-up Survey (End of Course)
    • Complete: Lesson 11 Exam
    • Complete: The Final Exam
    Total Course Points

    Learning Outcomes

    By successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
    • Define what asthma is.
    • Recognize asthma symptoms.
    • Identify different types of asthma.
    • Describe asthma triggers.
    • Describe methods for managing asthma.
    • Summarize long-term therapy asthma management.
    • Describe alternative asthma treatment approaches.
    • Describe asthma complications and how to create a safe home environment.
    • Summarize the challenges of managing asthma in children, pregnancy, and the elderly, and
    • Demonstrate mastery of lesson content at levels of 70% or higher.

    Additional Course Information

    Online CEU Certificate
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    Document Your CEUs on Your Resume
    Course Title: Asthma 101
    Course Number: 8900164
    Course Requirements: View Course Requirements
    Lessons Rating: 4.7 / 5 Stars (840 votes)
    Languages: English - United States, Canada and other English speaking countries
    Course Type: General Education (Self-Paced, Online Class)
    CEU Value: 0.4 IACET CEUs (Continuing Education Units)
    CE Accreditation: Universal Class, Inc. has been accredited as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).
    Grading Policy: Earn a final grade of 70% or higher to receive an online/downloadable CEU Certification documenting CEUs earned.
    Assessment Method: Lesson assignments and review exams
    Syllabus: View Syllabus
    Duration: Continuous: Enroll anytime!
    Course Fee: $50.00 (no CEU Certification) || with Online CEU Certification: $75.00

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