Asthma has unfortunately become all too common, caused by a variety of factors. Here's what you can do to manage this chronic and very serious illness, from leading ear, nose and throat specialist Dr. Jordan Josephson.
LISA: I’m Lisa Birnbach; if you or a member of your family has asthma you know how serious and frightening it is to have an asthma attack. So what can you do to avoid an attack? With us to explain is Dr. Jordan Josephson, a leading ear, nose, and throat specialist in New York. He’s the author of Sinus Relief Now. Its terrifying if you can see somebody really struggling with breathing.
JORDAN: It certainly is for the person having problems breathing, and its terrible for those around them because you don’t know what to do very often.
LISA: Now obviously, if you know you’re allergic to cats, you avoid being around cats. But what can you do if you’re asthmatic to prevent a serious attack.
JORDAN: Those people with really weird, really bad asthma, they should really speak to their pulmonologist, their lung specialist, and their allergist slash lung specialist about carrying an EpiPen and what to use as far as inhalers to thwart that attack as it comes on.
LISA: Does where or how you live play a role in your asthma?
JORDAN: Absolutely, people who work around chemicals, people that work around any type of agent that is inflammatory to your upper and lower airway will be more sensitive if they’re asthmatic. If they’re genes basically say, “I’m an asthmatic.”
LISA: Now it strikes me, if you have asthma, you may be very cautious about physical activity that would raise your pulse and cause you to pant, but maybe that an old wives tale. What about activities?
JORDAN: Exercise induced asthma, and for those people that have exercise-induced asthma, many of them also have allergy and sinus problems incurred, and if they resolve it, that exercise induced asthma maybe becomes treatable to the point where you don’t have it. Or to where you barely have it. And for those people who still have it want to exercise they may have to use inhalers and different agents and medicines, so they can exercise and get the biggest breath possible. And thwart their asthma that can prevent you from enjoying-
LISA: Aren’t a lot of those treatments steroid based?
JORDAN: Some of them are steroid based and other agents that are not steroid based. There are other categories of agents, and I really think you need to speak to your lung specialist, pulmonologist, and your asthma specialist, and your ear, nose, and throat specialist, and your primary care doctors. To figure out which of these agents are best for you.
LISA: Besides medications of this nature and there are nebulizers, right?
LISA: And those are for more secure cases?
JORDAN: Sometimes more severe, sometimes different aspects of the attack. But, needless to say you may need both, you may need one or the other. And then there are tablets that you can take that may also treat your asthma.
LISA: Can asthma progress and get more sever over time?
JORDAN: It can, I mean asthma can go anywhere. It can get worse, its disappeared on people, and then disappeared for years and then came back.
LISA: Dr. Josephson what advice do you have for parents who have children with asthma?
JORDAN: Number one, keep the asthma under good control, stay on top of it before it hurts you. Two, know what to do to stay on top of it. And three, know what to do and how to handle it if it gets out of control, and how to bring it back into control.
LISA: Okay, Great. Thank you so much.
JORDAN: My Pleasure.
LISA: I’m Lisa Birnbach.
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