When paramedics arrived on the scene, Stephanie (12) had stopped breathing. She had been over at a friend’s house, just hanging out in the basement, when an allergy to cats triggered a severe asthma attack. She was incubated and rushed to the hospital. Fortunately, Stephanie survived and is living a normal life. But she still deals with her asthma as an adult, having to take inhalers and avoid allergens. Her experience is not uncommon to patients with asthma, many of whom are children.
To better inform the public about asthma—the risks, treatments, and prognoses—the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America has organized Asthma Awareness Month, an annual outreach in May aimed at increasing awareness and care.
The World Health Organization estimates that there are 300 million people suffering from asthma worldwide. Of these, children make up a disproportionate percent; in fact, asthma is the most common chronic condition for children in the world. Locally in Colorado, 9.1% of children suffer from asthma. This condition can range from mild to severe, yet all asthma sufferers need to take precautions and closely monitor their respiratory health.
Diagnosing & Treating Asthma
Fortunately, asthma can be treated, but the first step is awareness. If you notice any of the following symptoms in you or your child, get a doctor or respiratory therapist involved immediately:
- Chest pain
- Difficulty speaking
- Or blueness in the lips or fingers.
Once it’s determined that asthma is the culprit, it can be successfully treated and allow the sufferer to live a normal life.
Treatment usually involves medications that are administered through an inhaler. These include steroids and bronchodilators. In addition, machines called nebulizers may also be effective for some patients.
Learn More About Asthma
While asthma is common, it’s not to be taken lightly. If you have any questions about you or your child’s respiratory health, please give Asthma & Allergy Associates in Colorado Springs a call. We have been working with respiratory issues in Colorado Springs since the 1930s. Our current partners are recognized experts in their fields and will insure the wellbeing of you and your family.
If you would like to learn more about Asthma Awareness or how to get involved, check out http://www.aafa.org/page/asthma-and-allergy-awareness-month.aspx.