All about asthma

July 28, 2011 3:23:45 PM PDT
About 15-million Americans, kids and adults, have asthma.

High heat and humidity such as during a heat wave can worsen the condition. So can allergies, such as what allergy and asthma expert Dr. Sandra Gawchik of Crozer Chester Medical Center says we're seeing now with high mold and weed counts.

"Not all patients who have asthma are allergic, but those who are allergic, these allergies will aggravate the condition," Dr. Gawchik said.

She says the allergen gets deep into the lung and causes a chemical reaction.

"When that happens it's easy for you to get the good air in, but you can't get the bad air out," Dr. Gawchik said.

That leads to feeling tightness in the chest, coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath.

Stress, such as from a hectic schedule, can also cause these symptoms for asthmatics, so can being overweight.

"As the weight goes up, the asthma symptoms increase," Dr. Gawchik said.

Asthma can also be controlled, in most cases, with medication.

However, if you take a rescue inhaler and find that you are using it more than twice a week, it's recommended you see a specialist.

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