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Your Healthy Family: Warning signs of asthma and treatment options

With our early spring like warm temperatures triggering early spring allergies for many, they can also trigger asthma in adults and kids. With our early spring like warm temperatures triggering early spring allergies for many, they can also trigger asthma in adults and kids.
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With our early spring like warm temperatures triggering early spring allergies for many, they can also trigger asthma in adults and kids.  It can be a real mystery if you’re new to the area, or if your child is just coming into their allergies or asthma as they grow.

Dr. Meaghan Misiasz, an Allergist and Immunologist with UCHealth Memorial says it's important to know the warning signs of asthma.

"The most obvious is if you hear a wheeze from your child in a lot of patients a lot of children can have an audible wheeze.  More subtle signs are that your child be short of breath, is not exercising or can't keep up with their peers.  This would be more than just being physically out of shape, it would be needing to rest while they're playing soccer and really look short of breath.  They might be retracting their chest or showing signs of difficulty breathing.  Also a cough overnight can be a sign of asthma as well, and what we look at are really about nighttime symptoms because the physiology of the disease is that children and adults will have more symptoms at night."

Once you recognize the warning signs it's important to know they can be managed.

Dr. Misiasz says, ”We don't want anyone to have lifestyle limitations based on their asthma.  Our goal is to step up therapy so these kids can do everything they want to do in their daily life.”

The medications that treat asthma have come along way in recent years according to Dr. Misiasz,  "We keep a patient on a controller medication regardless of whether or not they feel well, based on the severity of their asthma.  The goal of that medication is to prevent any exacerbation.  Normally those medications are going to be an inhaled corticosteroid  steroids, something like a long acting albuterol.  We also have the rescue or fast acting medications, and that's going to be your albuterol.  Then we sometimes add on pills, and those can be really helpful for patients both with asthma and with allergies.  There's a newer medication called Xolair, which most recently the indications increased down to age 6, which is new previously from age 12.  Xolair is an injection medication for moderate to severe asthma, with an allergic phenotype meaning these kids have some sort of other allergies typically to dust mites, dog, cat, and those kind of things."

If you have any questions about asthma or if you are seeing those warning signs in your children as they become active make sure to have a conversation with your doctor.

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