If you have trouble breathing or pulmonary (lung) disease or dysfunction, MaineGeneral Pulmonary and the Respiratory Care Department at MaineGeneral Medical Center are with you.
Our pulmonologists and respiratory care staff are skilled and experienced in the treatment, management, control and care of patients with lung and breathing problems, including asthma.
Our services include therapeutic administration of oxygen, rehabilitation techniques, cardiopulmonary resuscitation and maintenance of natural and artificial airways.
Programs & Services
Asthma Education Program
MaineGeneral’s Asthma Education Program strives to help you gain better control of your asthma. It is also a resource for health care providers who care for patients with asthma.
Our asthma educators teach you how to use medications and devices correctly (inhalers, spacers, peak flow meters, etc.) and help troubleshoot problems you may have in controlling your asthma.
You and an educator will develop a plan according to your health care provider's instructions that provides guidelines to follow when symptoms occur.
More About Asthma
Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease that can cause airways to tighten, swell and produce excess mucus. Symptoms include wheezing (a whistling sound when you breathe), coughing, chest tightness and difficulty breathing, especially at night and in the early morning.
You may have all or just a few of these symptoms and they may vary from one episode to the next.
Some people with asthma have extended symptom-free periods, while others experience symptoms daily. Some people with asthma only have symptoms during exercise or when they are exposed to allergens or viral respiratory tract infections.
It is important to recognize and treat even mild asthma symptoms to help you prevent severe episodes and keep asthma under control.
Asthma has no cure, but many treatments are available to minimize symptoms and help you lead a normal, active life.
Ways to Manage Asthma
- Educate yourself about taking care of your asthma.
- Avoid things that trigger your asthma.
- Take your medications as prescribed and make sure you have them with you in case you suddenly develop symptoms.
- Monitor your symptoms.
- Discuss an asthma action plan with your health care provider so you know what to do if your symptoms change or worsen.
- Talk with a MaineGeneral asthma educator to learn more about the disease, its signs and symptoms and how to avoid triggers.
MaineGeneral Medical Center's Pulmonary Rehabilitation program help you return to doing many everyday activities you may have trouble doing. It is intended for those who:
- Have chronic lung diseases such as emphysema, asthma or pulmonary fibrosis;
- Are limited in what they can do because of shortness of breath; and
- Want to take an active part in controlling their disease and getting the most out of life.
Pulmonary rehabilitation includes exercise, education and group discussions. The program helps to decrease your shortness of breath, improve quality of life, increase independence and improve your understanding of your disease and how to best manage it. Participants meet twice a week for six to nine weeks at the Alfond Center for Health in Augusta or Thayer Center for Health in Waterville.
You may ask your health care provider to refer you to Pulmonary Rehabilitation. Or you can contact us and we will follow up with your provider.
Most insurance companies, including Medicare, cover the cost of the program. Some require a co-payment for each visit. Contact your insurance company for needed coverage information.