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Asthma

Asthma

03/08/2010

Question:

I grew up in with two parents who smoked. I never have at the age of 19 and pregnant I developed asthma and went to the hospital. I use to run 1 1/2 miles no problem there and I can not no more and now I am 43 and still deal with asthma and my two daughters developed it to. What else could have been a factor and can I help my daughters get over their asthma at age 23 and 17? Pets are involved and they don`t want to loose them or keep them outside. I am stuck. Any help I am thankful for. bye

Answer:

We don’t understand all the reasons that people develop asthma. Asthma does run in families, so there is an “inherited tendency” component – which makes it less surprising that your daughters would have the problem. We know that cigarette smoke exposure, especially at a young age, increases the chance of developing asthma, and also makes asthma more severe – so it is very important that you have not smoked.

We do not currently know how to cure asthma (make it go away entirely.) However, we have a number of ways to control it. New medications that have been developed just in the last 15-20 years work much better than the therapies that were available when you were younger. You and your daughters would greatly benefit from seeing a physician and discussing which of these medications might help you.

If your daughters are allergic to their pets, then finding a new home for them would be helpful. Truthfully, though, many patients are not willing to part with their pets. Often, use of the right medications (and keeping the pets out of the bedroom, at least) can adequately control the asthma so that parting with “Fluffy” is not absolutely necessary.

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Response by:

Elizabeth D Allen, MD Elizabeth D Allen, MD
Clinical Associate Professor of Pediatrics
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University