Dr. Clifford Bassett weighs in.
Q: I have moderate asthma and work in a busy accounting department. As we get into a stressful tax period, I’m finding my asthma worsens. Despite using a daily steroid inhaler, I also have to use my puffer to stop breathing difficulty two or three times a week. Can stress play a role in asthma?… Read more »
Q: My stepson has asthma that bothers him most during ragweed season. He also gets eye symptoms (conjunctivitis) in the fall. Although he’s on a controller medication, last September he had an asthma attack that landed him briefly in the ER. I’d like to help him get better control. What would you recommend? Dr. Bassett: Ragweed… Read more »
Q: My 15-year-old has asthma and is learning to play the saxophone. If he practices a lot, he has shortness of breath afterward and sometimes the next day. Should he choose a different instrument? Dr. Bassett: Any exercise, even blowing into a windward or brass instrument can provoke asthma, notably shortness of breath, during and… Read more »
Q: I’m a baseball coach and one of our team members recently had a mild asthma attack. I followed the asthma action plan, made sure the child got two puffs of the reliever inhaler, and told the parent. I’m left wondering: how do you know that it’s a more severe attack and time to call… Read more »
Q: I moved to the northeast and find the tree pollen in spring bothers my eyes incredibly. They burn, itch, blur, and I get nasty conjunctivitis. Is there such a thing as “eye allergy” — and how do I control it? Dr. Bassett: In spring trees including birch, maple/box elder, alder and oak release their pollen,… Read more »
Q: It took a long time to get our 10-year-old daughter’s asthma under control with medication. One of her triggers is cat dander, and we’re planning to visit the in-laws who have a cat. Is it safe to stay with them? (My mother-in-law promises to board the cat, and vacuum like crazy.) Or would we be… Read more »
Q: My teenage son had a second spell of bad breathing during a school basketball game. Even when he stopped playing, it felt like somebody was sitting on his chest. Could this be due to asthma? Dr. Bassett: Your suspicions might be warranted, particularly if your son has a history of allergies and asthma. Exercise-induced… Read more »