Getting asthma under control
31
August

By Adem Lewis / in , , , /


YOU TO KNOW THAT THE MOST COMMON CHRONIC IT MIGHT SURPRISE YOU TO KNOW THAT THE MOST COMMON CHRONIC ILLNESS IN CHILDREN IS ASTHMA. ONE HOSPITAL WANTS TO HELP EVERYONE BREATHE EASIER. SO TODAY WE HAVE A DOCTOR TO TALK ABOUT THE SERVICES THEY PROVIDE TO KEEP ASTHMA UNDER CONTROL. SO GLAD TO HAVE YOU HERE TODAY. THANK YOU VERY MUCH. IT’S GREAT TO BE HERE. IT MIGHT SURPRISE SOME PEOPLE TO KNOW THAT ASTHMA IS FAIRLY COMMON IN CHILDREN. IT IS. IT’S THE MOST COMMON CHRONIC ILLNESS IN CHILDHOOD. IT RESULTS IN MORE LOST DAYS OF SCHOOL AND ALSO LOST WORK DAYS FOR PARENTS THAN ANY OTHER ILLNESS, AND IS ONE OF THE MOST COMMON REASONS THAT A PERSON GOES TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM WHEN YOU ARE A CHILD, TO SEEK HELP. CAN YOU EXPLAIN WHAT IS HAPPENING IN THE BODY MEDICALLY WHEN YOU ARE HAVING AN ASTHMA ATTACK? YES. WHAT’S HAPPENING IS TWO THINGS. ONE, THE AIRWAYS WHICH HAVE MUSCLE WRAPPED AROUND THE LITTLE AIR TUBES, KIND OF LIKE A BOA CONSTRICTOR WRAPPED AROUND ITS NEXT LUNCH, THOSE CONSTRICT. THOSE LITERALLY CONSTRICT AND MAKE THE LINING OF THE TUBE SMALLER. SO THEY JUST FEEL SHORTNESS OF BREATH, WHEEZING, COUGHING. ALSO INFLAMMATION OR SWELLING. THOSE TWO THINGS REALLY CONSTITUTE AN ASTHMA ATTACK. THERE ARE A LOT OF TRIGGERS OUT THERE. YOU THINK ABOUT WHAT’S HAPPENING AROUND US IN THE ENVIRONMENT, ESPECIALLY THAT CAN REALLY LEAD TO THAT KIND OF REACTION OR ATTACK. THAT’S EXACTLY RIGHT. THERE’S A LARGE NUMBER OF TRIGGER AND IT’S VERY INDIVIDUAL. SO THINGS LIKE CHANGES IN WEATHER, THE POLLEN COUNT, WHICH HAS REALLY SKYROCKETED HERE IN WEST MICHIGAN, WITH THE DAWN OF OUR SPRING. COLDS, UPPER RESPIRATORY TRACT INFECTIONS, EAR INFECTIONS CAN SERVE AS TRIGGERS FOR AN ASTHMA ATTACK. WHAT ARE SOME SYMPTOMS OF ASTHMA ATTACK? THINGS THAT YOU SEE IN KIDS WHO HAVE NOT BEEN DIAGNOSED OR DIAGNOSED ARE COUGHING, WHEEZING, SHORTNESS OF BREATH, CHEST TIGHTNESS, ALL THINGS THAT ARE COMMON WITH ASTHMA ATTACKS. THEY OCCUR OVER AND OVER. OFTENTIMES THE INDIVIDUAL OR THE PARENT OR LOVED ONES CAN IDENTIFY TRENDS OVER TIME, THAT THERE ARE PARTICULAR THINGS THAT SEEM TO BE MORE LIKELY TO TRIGGER THEIR SHORTNESS OF BREATH OR COUGHING. IS THERE A CERTAIN AGE WHERE YOU TEND TO SEE THE SYMPTOMS? IS IT USUALLY EARLY CHILDHOOD? CAN IT COME A LITTLE BIT LATER IN THE YEARS? ABSOLUTELY. IT CAN COME AT ANY AGE, AND SO THERE USED TO ABNOTION THAT YOU COULDN’T HAVE — A NOTION THAT YOU COULDN’T HAVE ASTHMA UNTIL YOU WERE 2. WE MAKE THE DIAGNOSIS OF ASTHMA IN INFANCY ON OCCASION. MORE COMMONLY TODDLERS, SCHOOL AGE, BUT WE HAVE SEEN THE ONSET OF ASTHMA IN TEENAGERS WHO NEVER COUGHED OR WHEEZED EVER COME IN WITH A NEW DIAGNOSIS OF ASTHMA. SO WHEN IS IT IMPORTANT OR SMART, EVEN, TO GET A DOCTOR INVOLVED? THAT’S A GREAT QUESTION. I THINK IT’S IMPORTANT WHEN YOU’VE GOT RECURRENCE OF SYMPTOMS OR MORE SEVERE SYMPTOMS. IF IT’S IMPACTING YOUR DAILY LIFE, IF YOU ARE HAVING TROUBLE WALKING CLASS TO CLASS, OR EXERCISING, IF YOU CAN’T COMPETE IN SPORTS WHEN YOU USED TO OR IF THE COUGHING OR WHEEZING OR SHORTNESS OF BREATH IS WAKING YOU UP IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT, THOSE ARE CLUES THAT YOU NEED HELP. SURE. ALL YOUNG PEOPLE ARE AT DIFFERENT LEVELS OF PHYSICAL ACTIVITY. SOME ARE INVOLVED IN SPORTS AND SOME NOT SO MUCH. BUT THIS IS SOMETHING THAT YOU COULD REALLY MAYBE SEE IN GYM CLASS OR ANYTIME WHERE YOU ARE WORKING A LITTLE BIT HARDER THAN USUAL, RIDING YOUR BIKES AS A FAMILY, JUST NEED TO BE OBSERVANT. ALL OF THE ABOVE. WE KNOW THAT SOME PEOPLE WILL JUST NOT ENGAGE IN ACTIVITIES BECAUSE THEY KNOW IT DOESN’T FEEL GOOD TO THEM. ONCE YOU TREAT THE ASTHMA, ALL OF A SUDDEN, THEY’RE DOING THINGS THAT THEY NEVER REALIZED THEY COULD DO. IT’S VERY LIBERATING TO IDENTIFY AND TREAT ASTHMA IN THOSE KIDS WHO HAVE IT BECAUSE IT REALLY HELPS THEM BE MORE ACTIVE AND ENGAGE IN A MORE EXCITING, VIGOROUS LIFESTYLE. WHAT ALWAYS AMAZES ME IS THE FOLKS AT THE CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL AND SPECTRUM HEALTH REALLY TAKE A TEAM APPROACH. SO YOU MAY BE A PART OF THE TREATMENT, BUT THERE ARE SO MANY DIFFERENT AREAS WHERE YOU CAN MAKE LIFE A LITTLE BIT EASIER FOR A PERSON OR A CHILD THAT HAS ASTHMA AND THE FAMILY. YES, THAT’S SO TRUE. THERE ARE SO MANY OTHER CONDITIONS, WHAT THEY CALL CO-MORBID FEATURES, THAT REALLY MAY IMPACT ASTHMA. ALLERGIES, SO WE HAVE A WONDERFUL IMMUNOLOGY PRACTICE. HEARTBURN, SO WE HAVE A WONDERFUL G.I. TEAM. AND EVEN SLEEP, SO OBSTRUCTIVE SLEEP APNEA CAN IMPACT ASTHMA AND MAKE IT WORSE. AND SO ALL THESE THINGS WE TAKE INTO ACCOUNT AND THEN ENGAGE DIFFERENT SPECIALISTS SO THAT WE CAN ALL WORK TOGETHER TO MAKE THAT PERSON FEEL BETTER AND FOR THEIR ASTHMA TO BE UNDER BETTER CONTROL. I HAVE TO THINK WITH THIS APPROACH IT LEADS TO OVER ALL WELLNESS AND THE PATIENT FEELING BETTER IN THE LONG RUN. TRUE, ABSOLUTELY. HERE IS THE CONTACT INFORMATION ON YOUR SCREEN. IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS, YOU CAN ALWAYS CONTACT THE FOLKS AT THE CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL. DOCTOR, THANK Y SO MUCH FOR COMING INTO OUR STUDIO TODAY. PERFECT TIME OF YEAR TO BE TALKING ABOUT THIS. THAT’S ABSOLUTELY TRUE. THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.


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