Facebook Pixel

How To Determine If You Have Asthma

Rate This

More Videos from Howdini 30 videos in this series

Asthma can be deadly if not diagnosed and treated properly. Dr. Jordan Josephson, a leading ear, nose and throat surgeon, explains the causes and symptoms of asthma and how to keep it under control.

I'm Lisa Birnbach. 22 million Americans, men, women, and children, have asthma. It can be a killer, so it's important to know if you have it, so you can get treatment. Here to discuss this is Dr. Jordan Josephson, a top ear, nose, and throat specialist in New York, and author of Sinus Relief Now. How do you know if you have asthma?

Well, the definition of asthma is reversible wheezing. So if you wheeze at any time, whether it's while you're exercising, while you're walking, when you have your sinus infection and the mucous is dripping into your lung, you have asthma.

What causes asthma?

Well, asthma is a reaction in the lung and the small airways that constrict. And as a result, you get the wheezing sound. But asthma can be mild, to where there's a little bit of a wheeze, and maybe a little bit of constriction and tightness in your chest. Or it can be status asthmaticus, where your lung shuts down, and you can't breathe at all, and you can be on the verge of death.

Will you have warning signs that you have early-stage asthma, or can you go straight to that severe kind?

Typically for most of us that have asthma, we know that it starts up when our sinuses act up, and all of a sudden we're in the middle of cold season. It starts up when we exercise. But maybe you have allergies and sinus problems that have been causing the asthma to flare, so what we did was we coined the term CAID, Chronic Airway-Digestive Inflammatory Disease. If you have sinus problems, if you have allergies, that can lead to asthma. If you have GERD reflux, the acids reflux into your lung, or can reflux into your lung, and that can cause an asthma flare-up. So you really need to go to a specialist that specializes in sinus problems, allergies, asthma, and GERD to figure out what's causing your asthma.

What are the other symptoms beside shortness of breath? I mean, when somebody can't breathe in their sleep, that's scary.

Yes, it is scary. For parents that have children that are severe asthmatics, they really need to go address it by speaking to their pediatrician and forming a team that can treat their asthma and the other problems that they're having, which are allergies, sinus problems, and maybe GERD. And if they can treat their child as a whole, the asthma will improve. And it's very important to take away those things that cause the asthma to flare. And if it means that your child needs to be away from certain allergens that cause these allergies, maybe he needs allergy shots. Maybe he needs antibiotics to fight the infection that he has. Maybe he needs to irrigate his sinuses out. Whatever it may be, you need to make sure that you're on top of the game, because feeling like you can't breathe and feeling like you're suffocating is a terrible feeling.

We read that in the inner cities of America, asthma is on the rise tremendously. Why is that?

Huge. Well, the inner cities, they're more crowded, allergies are ramping up with global warming all throughout the country. And then you have people living in buildings, buildings with mold, buildings with various hazards of--

Dust mites and--

--Inflaments and allergens, and dust mites.


So that's why in the inner city. And typically in the inner city, a lot of times you're talking about the lower socioeconomic groups. So they're not really able to get to the people to treat the asthma properly. And they're really treating their asthma as a, wow, this is really bad, I'm off to the emergency room where they'll band aid you, get you back on track, and send you out. You're not really primarily treating your asthma on a chronic basis. You're doing it as an emergent basis, and that unfortunately happens in the inner city very often.

So you say they're all interrelated, so how do you isolate-- note yes, this is asthma, this isn't allergy, this isn't sinus infection. This isn't anything else.

Well, that's why it's so important to make sure that you find a physician, a doctor, that treats all of these problems. You really need to get a team leader, someone that understands asthma, and its interaction with sinus problems and allergies and GERD. And then together, they can sit down with you, talk about what your problems are, and decipher, and actually, as you said, pull them apart and address them all, so that your asthma's improved.

Thank you so much.

You're welcome.

I'm Lisa Birnbach.

Howdini is life’s little instruction manual, in HD. We’re all about bringing together the top, most respected experts in their fields to help us be the best we can be at all of the little and not-so-little challenges of our complicated lives. Howdini is the place to be for the know-how you want, when you need it. Or maybe it’s the know-how you need, when you want it. Whatever. We’re here to help. So come in and look around, won’t you?

We think you’ll love finding everything you want to learn about in one convenient place, and as we grow and add more categories and more Howdinis, you’ll be doing less surfing and more learning right here. And unlike television, Howdinis aren’t limited by time—we don’t have to break for commercials, and we’re always on.

Who is Howdini?

People often ask us, is there an actual person who is Howdini? And the answer is, it’s kind of like Lassie. Just as there were many Lassies, there are many individuals who are called Howdini. In fact, each of our experts is a Howdini, and, like all those Lassies, they really know their tricks. (Although so far there is no ‘How to tell your master that Timmy is trapped in the old abandoned mine’ segment)

Our gurus are people you know and trust because you’ve been getting advice from them for years, at places like Good Morning America, The Today Show, Money, Prevention, and Food and Wine (to name just a few). Many are best-selling authors. Others, like our medical experts, are respected leaders in their fields.

Howdini History

The first Howdini was Joanna Breen, who left a comfortable career at ABC’s 20/20 to create a how to video website after one too many frustrating experiences with handymen who weren’t that handy. Joanna had traveled the world reporting with Barbara Walters and others on injustice, outrage, and tragedy, but now it was time to turn her talents to dealing with crises closer to home, like what do you do if you drop your diamond ring down the drain. Joanna is the quintessential can-do girl, so she didn’t find the prospect of launching a gigantic website the least bit daunting. (Ok, that last part isn’t entirely true.)

Joanna convinced an old ABC News buddy, Shelley Lewis, to join her. Shelley had supervised roughly 9.7 million helpful how to segments during a long career executive producing television shows like Good Morning America and CNN’s American Morning. A self-described “info-pig” who loves all kinds of information programming, she is never happier than when she’s learning an amazing new tip that she can annoy share with everyone she knows. Needless to say, Howdini was a dream gig for her. A career woman, a wife, a mother, and author of two books, Shelley considers herself equally challenged by all the facets of her life.

Joanna and Shelley were introduced to marketing executive Alison Provost by a mutual friend who knew that Alison had what they needed - entrepreneurial experience, patience, and a checkbook that still had checks in it. Joanna and Shelley could see right away that Alison should join Howdini. They figured that they would take care of the programming, and Alison would bring trustworthy sponsors to help pay the bills. It took Alison significantly longer to be convinced, maybe because she was crazy busy running a marketing firm called PowerPact, which she continues to oversee while serving as the biggest of big cheeses at Howdini. But whether it’s playing Suduko or launching a new business in a field she knows little about, Alison loves the challenge of a good puzzle, It wasn’t long before she began dropping obscure internet terms like “user-interface” and “googlebot” into casual conversation.

What’s Next for Howdini?

Our goals are modest. Complete and total domination of the internet, crushing Google, Microsoft, and any other punks who get in our way. (Hey, it’s a just a goal.) But until then, we will content ourselves making the best, most professional, most credible how to videos you can find anywhere. We want to help you solve your career issues, your parenting problems, your money troubles. We want you to be more glamorous, healthier, and less stressed out. We want you to check Howdini every day for fun, interesting, useful advice from experts you know and trust.

We want to make Howdini the community you love to be part of every day, To do that, we need to hear from you. Please share your suggestions, rate and comment on the Howdini videos, and the blog, (The Howdini blog). Tell us what you’d like us to create for you.

And then, when we’ve achieved that, it’s back to working on complete and total domination of the internet.

Add a CommentComments

There are no comments yet. Be the first one and get the conversation started!

Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you agree to EmpowHER's terms of service and privacy policy


Get Email Updates

Related Checklists

Asthma Guide

Have a question? We're here to help. Ask the Community.


Health Newsletter

Receive the latest and greatest in women's health and wellness from EmpowHER - for free!