The Wheezing Game: What Really Triggers Asthma?

FRESNO, Calif.

What does a little traffic, an approaching storm and a little hooch have in common? They can all take your breath away.

"I remember having to go to the hospital because my rescue inhaler didn't work," Ian Rideaux, who suffers from asthma, told Ivanhoe.

Ian Rideaux spends all day trying to stay on top of his asthma. 40 thousand Americans feel that same pain each day.

"A lot of times a change in the weather, if it gets too hot or too cold sometimes that triggers it," Ian Rideaux,

Now doctors say his daily routine may be making matters worse.

"Being near a highway with increased levels of diesel fuel and tire particles can actually exacerbate asthma," Bernard Zeffren, M.D., an allergy and asthma consultant, said.

Doctor Bernard Zeffren says some asthma triggers have nothing to do with working out. Traffic, thunderstorms, alcohol, even aspirin can cause trouble.

"Things like barometric pressure, temperature changes, emotional stressors and certain foods can also contribute," Dr. Zeffren said.

So what's your asthma IQ? True or false, moving to a different climate can cure asthma?

No it can't. A new setting improves symptoms only in the short run. How about this, you can inherit asthma.

That's true. You've got a 30 percent chance of having asthma if one of your parents has it and 70 percent if both parents have it. Finally, kids with asthma will out-grow it.

False. In 50 percent of sufferers, asthma subsides as a teen. Still, it can pop up again as an adult.

For Ian, the ABC's are clear and that sigh of relief comes from arming himself with the facts.

Oddly, African Americans have higher rates of asthma, according to the Federal Government. ER visits due to asthma are 350 percent higher in African Americans than whites. The death rate is 200 percent higher than white Americans.

Bernard Zeffren, MD
Allergy and Asthma Consultants
Oviedo, FL
(407) 366-7387

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