Bhavin Patel, MD and Achin Kim, MD
Rochester Hills Location: 950 West Avon Road, Suite A-5 • Rochester Hills, MI 48307 • 248-651-1133
Troy Location: 4600 Investment Drive • Suite 110 • Troy, MI 48098 • 248-267-5008
Did you know that asthma is one of the top three chronic childhood health problems in the U.S.? If a child is not accurately diagnosed or treated for asthma, the disease can worsen, resulting in loss of sleep, exercise limitations, absenteeism, emergency room visits and, in a few cases, death. The good news? Just like adult asthma, a child's asthma can be effectively treated with medications and “trigger” avoidance. Receiving medical help for asthma from a board certified allergist is essential.
Allergic Rhinitis & Asthma
A recent study shows a direct relationship between allergic rhinitis (hay fever) and asthma. The severity of the asthma can be minimized and thereby controlled by treating the allergies! With immunotherapy specifically designed to target the allergens, patients can experience fewer and less severe asthmatic symptoms
What is asthma?
Asthma is a chronic (or long-lasting, recurring) disease that affects 1 in 12 people in the United States. Signs of asthma include:
• Coughing during or after exercising
• Shortness of breath
• A tightening feeling in the chest
The airways that make it possible to breath constrict (tighten) and become swollen and irritated, making it difficult for air to pass through.
Asthma symptoms are caused by the constriction (tightening of the muscles) and the inflammation (swelling and irritation) of the airways. Constriction and inflammation of the airways and increased mucosa make it difficult and sometimes impossible to breathe.
What causes asthma?
Asthma can be caused by any number of things: pollen, exercise, strong scents, even the weather.
Allergies: People with allergic asthma find it hard to breath when they’re exposed to certain non-seasonal allergens, including pet dander, dust or dust mites, mold or even specific foods or drinks.
Seasonal Allergies: Tree, grass and weed pollens are worse during specific seasons and can cause someone with seasonal asthma to experience symptoms only at certain times of the year. Usually seasonal asthmatics become more aware of their symptoms in the spring and fall.
Weather: Some people will have difficulty breathing when the air is very hot, cold or humid.
Irritants: Irritants in the air can make it difficult for some asthmatics to catch a breath. For these individuals, a strong scent or smell such as tobacco smoke, wood smoke, room deodorizers, candles, perfumes or fresh paint can send them to the ER.
Exercise: A common sign of exercise-induced asthma is coughing. Usually a persistent cough will occur within minutes of completing a physical activity. The cough will worsen after 10 to 15 minutes and may last for up to an hour.
Nighttime: Any patient diagnosed with asthma may experience nocturnal asthma, when the symptoms increase or worsen at night.
If you suspect you or someone you know has asthma, talk with a board certified allergist. Take notes of when you have problems breathing, whether it’s certain times of the year, during certain activities or times of the day, or when you’re in particular environment. Your allergist may start with an allergy test to determine if allergens play a role. Unfortunately, asthma can’t be cured, but it can be monitored and controlled so that you can breathe easier and feel safer.
Bhavin Patel, MD • Achin Kim, MD
Board Certified in Pediatric and Adult Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.