Lubbock, TX - The month of May is known as Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month. There are over 6-million children under the age of 18 suffer from Asthma. There is no cure for Allergies or Asthma but it can be kept under control.
Dr. Goutam Shome is an Allergist and Immunologist with Covenant Medical Group and says, "this is the typical spring season, when you talk about spring allergies you talk about allergens from trees. Two common trees in the United States in this area in Texas are Mesquite and Cedar".
Tree allergies can last longer than the spring season. They can last year round due to the weather we have here in West Texas. So how do you treat them in children?
Dr. Shome says, "fortunately most people only have mild symptoms where they need to take occasional meds like over the counter antihistamines."
If you are having to take the over the counter medications more than several times a week, you might want to ask your Primary Care Physican to see an Allergy Specialist who can test you for the exact items you are allergic to. They can then prescribe medications or allergy shots to help control symptoms. Because allergies are genetic, if your parents have them then you will too. The same goes for Asthma.
Let's say you have allergies but no asthma, "you just have allergic phenotype which means you are born with this allergic background, then initially you will have symptoms of hay fever, over time 20-40% of them end up developing asthma which means cough, wheezing, tightness of chest and shortness of breath."
When your child has asthma, they will need to be on a controller medication they take daily, but if it gets to where that isn't working at keeping the asthma at bay, then Dr. Shome says, "the child will need systemic medications like steroid inhalers. Even at times will need to include breathing treatments with Albuterol to help get their airways cleared."
Kids can live a normal life if the triggers are kept to a minimum. Things like Dust mites, Air pollution, and exercise. Even with controlled care, children with Asthma can still be susceptible to respiratory infections like Pneumonia. "When you talk about Asthma you basically say their airways are already inflamed they are already compromised and on top of that if they have any bad pneumonia is going to aggravate the condition, yes. In patients with established asthma, poorly controlled asthma, pneumonia or other respiratory conditions will definitely make things worse for them.