Knowing the Signs of Asthma - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

4/9/02

Knowing the Signs of Asthma

A 3 year-old was released from UMC on Tuesday after treatment for an Asthma attack. Little Esmerelda Tagle had not had a serious attack for 11 months, until Sunday when she was sitting in the non-smoking section of a Lubbock business.

Dr. David Waagner, an Infectious Disease Specialist at Texas Tech, says that it's a problem they see often in emergency rooms. "Smoking is probably one of the most common precipitating events that cause asthma. Children who live in a house where people smoke have much more frequent asthma and admissions to the hospital not only for asthma but for ear infections and other problems as well," says Dr. Waagner.

Most people don't even know they're at risk of Asthma, that as many as one in five people who think they have allergies also have Asthma, but don't know it. That comes from new research presented to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology. "It's not that they are actually wheezing and making noises that you sometimes see with Asthma, or getting severely Asthmatic. It's just some chest tightness, cough, things like that," says Dr. Ira Finegold, St. Luke's Hospital in Pennsylvania.

The message here is don't assume that allergies or a nagging cough are just seasonal problems, either could be a sign of Asthma. So if the symptoms sound familiar, talk to your doctor so that you can get the treatment you need to prevent ending up in an emergency room like little Esmerelda, with an unexpected Asthma attack.

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