The Wheezing Game: What really triggers asthma?

February 9, 2011 12:25:22 PM PST
Each day, five out of every 100 people miss work or school because of asthma.

And with asthma cases on the rise nationally, understanding how it's triggered is key.

What does a little traffic, an approaching storm, and a little alcohol have in common? They can all take your breath away.

"I remember having an asthma attack after playing and actually having to go to the hospital because my rescue inhaler didn't work," said asthma sufferer Ian Rideaux.

Rideaux spends all day trying to stay on top of his asthma. Forty-thousand Americans feel that same pain each day.

"A lot of times a change in the weather, if it gets too hot or too cold sometimes that triggers it," said Rideaux.

Now doctors say his daily routine may be making matters worse!

"Being near a highway with increased levels of diesel fuel and tire particles can actually exacerbate asthma," said Bernard Zeffren, MD, Allergy and Asthma Consultant.

Zeffren says some asthma triggers have nothing to do with working out. Traffic, thunderstorms, alcohol -- even aspirin can cause trouble.

"Things like barometric pressure, temperature changes, emotional stressors and sometimes, rarely certain foods can also contribute," Zeffren said.

So what's your asthma IQ?

True or false: moving to a different climate can cure asthma? No it can't. A new setting improves symptoms only in the short run.

How about this: you can inherit asthma. That's true. You've got a 3 -percent chance of having asthma if one of your parents has it - 70 percent if both parents have it.

Finally: kids with asthma will outgrow it. False. In 50 percent of sufferers, asthma subsides as a teen. Still, it can pop up again as an adult.

Oddly, African-Americans have higher rates of asthma. According to the federal government, ER visits due to asthma are 350 percent higher in African-Americans than whites. The death rate is 200 percent higher than white Americans.

For More Information, Contact:

Bernard Zeffren, MD
Allergy and Asthma Consultants
Oviedo, FL
(407) 366-7387