Hi, I’m Dr. Melissa Skupin, a board-certified allergist with Family Allergy and Asthma. For most people allergens, smoke, exercise and cold air don’t irritate or inflame their airways; however, all of these can be triggers for people with asthma. Asthma is a chronic lung disease that inflames and narrows the airway to the lungs, and it may go undiagnosed in patients when their symptoms are not severe. Common symptoms patients experience are shortness of breath, coughing at night or following exercise, or they may have wheezing or a tight feeling in their chest. Sometimes a cough that just won’t go away is the only symptom our patients have. When diagnosing asthma, in addition to performing breathing tests we ask about your family history. We often find that asthma runs in families, or if allergies are common, this could be an underlying cause. As an allergist I work with my patients to identify their asthma triggers and develop a plan to get their asthma under control.