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Asthma is on the increase

5 facts every parent should know about asthma

CareMount Medical, Pediatric specialist,  kids doctor, specialist

Board Certified Pediatric Allergist and Immunologist, Dr. David Resnick, discusses Hudson Valley kids and asthma. 

How common is asthma in children?

First you should know that about 9.5% of children in the Hudson Valley experience some form of asthma and the numbers more than double for children living in our local inner cities because of their exposure to pollutants.

We also see more and more children identified as having asthma. This may be due to their allergen systems being on overload. Although some feel that diet may contribute to these asthmatic episodes, there is no concrete research definitively linking diet and asthma.

How is asthma diagnosed?

If your child frequently experiences coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath, he probably does have asthma and he should be seen by a physician. In our office, after doing an exam, if there are any questions as to the cause of the symptoms, we will do a pulmonary function test to see if his airways have been compromised.

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Will my child outgrow asthma?

Absolutely. Statistics show that 50% of children outgrow asthma by age 20. And for those with early onset asthma, say before three years old, their wheezing usually disappears by time they reach six. But one word of caution: There are kids who outgrow childhood asthma only to have it return when they become adults.

Is asthma seasonal?

Yes there are peaks. The spring brings out the pollen with the new growth of grass, trees and flowers. And then your child may experience more wheezing when the weather gets colder. We tend to stay indoors and turn on the heat. Dust becomes the culprit.

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How is asthma treated?

When kids are young, around four years old, we tend to treat the symptoms because there is a good chance that he will outgrow it. If he is still experiencing the wheezing and coughing as he gets older, then we test for the allergens, those triggers that cause the symptoms. The allergy tests will help identify the triggers, and then we can figure out how to best avoid them.

Because the allergy season is here, we know that your child’s asthma symptoms will increase. It is important to administer asthma medication in order to control symptoms. No child should walk around wheezing. The longer your child experiences the coughing and wheezing the more his lungs will become inflamed and the more difficult it is to get asthma under control.

Dr. David Resnick is a board certified Pediatric Allergist and Immunologist who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of a broad spectrum of allergies. He practices out of the CareMount Medical Fishkill and Poughkeepsie locations.

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