Exercise is hard? Can’t keep up? Do you have asthma? Asthma is more common than you may think, and May is Asthma Awareness Month. This article can help you spot potential signs of asthma, and can help guide you to next steps to manage it.
With the beautiful Kansas City spring upon us, it’s time to exercise and enjoy the outdoors, but for many of us it is difficult to exercise, and to keep up with others. This may be a clue that you have asthma. May is Asthma Awareness Month because asthma can keep you from being active, enjoying sports and getting outside as the winter leaves and the warm weather begins.
Asthma can range from mild to severe. Asthma may be felt when you increase your exercise, or try to “up” your game. For example, maybe you have been working out, but just can’t get better, or perhaps you can’t keep up with other people your age. Your child may even complain they can’t keep up in practice, or he or she is constantly leaving a game because of fatigue. Even worse – your child doesn’t like sports, this may be because it is uncomfortable to run, made difficult because of asthma.
Awareness also means knowing your family history. Asthma is often genetic. If one parent has asthma, out of every three children will have asthma, and of every three grandchildren one will have asthma. If you or your children suffer with frequent colds that go to your chest, you have used albuterol (bronchodilator), you have wheezing at times, especially at night, you could have asthma. Come see us at the office to find out for sure.
Asthma is a very common disease that we see in all ages. It can be diagnosed within the first few weeks of life all the way up until you are very old. It affects between 8 and 16% of the population, and is one of the major reasons why patients go see the doctor. Just think of it – if there are one hundred people living on your block, an estimated 8 to 16 of them have asthma, and may not even be aware of it. Many times patients keep receiving a diagnosis of bronchitis, wheezing, wheezy bronchitis, reactive airway disease, and chronic coughing, but in reality this may be asthma.
The number one trigger for an asthma flare up is a cold or virus, the second reason is if you suffer with allergies, and the third reason are things like exercise, even reflux. So pay attention if you think you have asthma, and see an allergist. Most general practitioners are not able to easily diagnose asthma or manage asthma correctly.
Unfortunately, 35% of all asthma sufferers will develop COPD (emphysema and chronic bronchitis). We have seen a major shift in lung disease diagnosis. More women than men are now suffering with COPD, and at a younger age. We feel this is due to more women smoking tobacco and women often not receiving a proper diagnosis and treatment for asthma.
With so much information available it is unfortunate that the majority of people with asthma do not know they have asthma, and the majority are not receiving the correct treatment. If you suspect you may have asthma, call us at 913-451-8555 or email us today.