Asthma Canada is committed to improving the lives of the Canadian asthma community through education and support services, research and advocacy. We regularly offer free online webinars to educate and raise awareness for people affected by asthma. Our Speaker Series Webinars will address key topics and issues that the asthma community is facing. 

Living Well With Severe Asthma

Asthma Canada patient education webinar featuring Dr. Ron Olivenstein.

What You’ll Takeaway:

  • What is Severe Asthma?
  • What do you need to know about Severe Asthma?
  • What questions should you be asking your healthcare provider?
  • How can you self-advocate for support, further testing and treatment options?
  • What is the difference between Severe Asthma and uncontrolled asthma?
  • How is Severe Asthma currently being treated in Canada?
  • What are biologics and how is the treatment landscape changing?

Vaccinations: Stop The Spread Of Flu & Pneumococcal Disease

Guest Speaker: Dr. Allison McGeer. Influenza, also known as the seasonal flu, and pneumococcal disease are unpredictable and highly contagious infections. An influenza infection in the lungs can trigger asthma attacks and a worsening of asthma symptoms, which can also lead to pneumonia and other acute respiratory diseases. In addition, pneumococcal pneumonia can cause severe complications with asthma, hospitalizations and even cost lives.

What you’ll take away:

  • What are the latest trends of flu and pneumococcal disease in 2019?
  • What are the risks to those with asthma?
  • What are common vaccination myths?
  • What approaches could lead to better health outcomes?
  • What are some take-home tips and advice?

Red Flag: Overusing Your Rescue Inhaler?

Guest Speaker: Dr. Alan Kaplan. Excessive use of relievers (four or more times per week for adults) is indicative of poor asthma control. There are many risks associated with the inappropriate use of rescue medications including decreased quality of life, increased risk of severe, life-threatening asthma attacks and permanent damage to the lungs. If overused, relievers may cause more frequent asthma flare-ups, may lead to frequent hospitalizations and can have an impact on mental and physical activity.

What you’ll take away:

  • Why must asthma be treated as a chronic disease that needs to be managed; not as episodic?
  • What are the risks of over-reliance?
  • What is good asthma control?
  • What are the new changes to GINA and how does this impact patients?

Asthma & Mental Health

Guest Speaker: Dr. Kim LavoieStudies have shown that anxiety and depression are 1.5 to 2.4 times more common in people with asthma than people without asthma. In people with Severe Asthma, this link is even stronger. Alongside poor asthma control, mental health issues like depression and anxiety can greatly contribute to impairing the quality of life in people with asthma. If you are suffering from anxiety, depression or other mental health concerns, it is important to reach out so you can get the help and support you need!

What You’ll Takeaway:

  • What is the link between asthma and mental health?
  • What are some potential effects of oral corticosteroid use on mental health?
  • What are some risk factors and treatment options?
  • What approaches could lead to better health outcomes?

Proper Diagnosis and Correct Testing

Guest Speaker: Dr. Shawn Aaron. A recent study led by Dr. Shawn Aaron shows that over 30% of Canadians may have been incorrectly diagnosed with asthma. While some patients may have experienced a remission since their diagnosis, there are concerns in both the scientific and patient communities that asthma diagnoses are often made without proper testing. Likewise, a significant percentage of Canadians also live with undiagnosed asthma.

What You’ll Takeaway:

  • Common reasons for the misdiagnosis of asthma in Canada.
  • What can be done to address the issue of misdiagnosis?
  • How should asthma be assessed and diagnosed?
  • What you can do to ensure a correct diagnosis from your healthcare provider?

Phenotypes of Asthma

Guest speaker: Dr. Patrick Mitchell. Asthma phenotypes are distinguished through identifiable clusters of demographic and clinical features, lung function and patterns of inflammation. While different phenotypes can produce similar symptoms, the underlying mechanisms can be very different, and can be predictive for response to treatment. Insight into asthma phenotypes can lead to personalized treatment and targeted therapies.

What You’ll Takeaway:

  • What are asthma phenotypes?
  • How to know what type of asthma you have.
  • How can our knowledge of asthma phenotypes be used in treating asthma and Severe Asthma?
  • What’s new in the field of asthma phenotype research

Asthma in Children: Management and Support

Our webinar was on Asthma in Children: Management and Support and our guest speaker was Susan Balkovec, Registered Respiratory Therapist and Certified Asthma Educator in the Respiratory Medicine Division at SickKids hospital in Toronto.

What You’ll Takeaway:

  • What happens when your child is diagnosed with asthma?
  • What are some best practices for managing your child’s asthma?
  • What support does a child living with asthma need in their daily life?
  • What support does a child living with asthma need in school or at the playground?

Impact of the Environment on Asthma

Our webinar was the Impact of the Environment on Asthma and our guest speakers were Dr. Christopher Carlsten, Associate Professor of Medicine and Canada Research Chair in Occupational and Environmental Lung Disease and James Scongack, Vice President of Corporate Affairs & Environment for Bruce Power.

What You’ll Takeaway:

  • How does the environment affect asthma?
  • Why does climate change affect respiratory health?
  • How did the phase out of coal positively impact air quality?
  • Can other regions learn anything from Ontario’s experience with phasing out coal?

Severe Asthma and Biologic Treatments

This 1-hour webinar features respected physician Dr. Catherine Lemière (Hôpital du Sacré-Cœur de Montréal).

It provides the most up to date information on biologics including information on dosage, the potential for targeted therapies, research/development, and more. It also includes information on new and emerging treatment options, and an in-depth discussion on the personal, social, medical, and economic burden of Severe Asthma in Canada