Anyone who has grown up with asthma knows the frightening feeling. It’s like having a python wrapped around your chest, squeezing tighter every time you exhale until you are gasping for breath.
Unfortunately, this is not an exclusive club. Ten to 12 percent of American children suffer from asthma, and the figure approaches 40 percent in some urban areas, according to Dr. April Wazeka, a pediatric pulmonologist at the Respiratory Center for Children at the Goryeb Children’s Hospital in Morristown. And asthma is growing more prevalent, she said at a recent press briefing.
The good news is that improved inhalers are bringing relief to many people with asthma. New screening techniques are helping match patients with the most effective medications for them. And schools are becoming better at accommodating the special needs of children with this chronic condition, Dr. Wazeka said.
In this short video, Dr. Wazeka answers questions about:
- Common triggers for asthma attacks
- Prospects for genetic therapies to eradicate asthma
- Simple steps to make schools friendlier for asthma sufferers, from eliminating bus idling to air-conditioning classrooms.
- Children’s chances of “outgrowing” asthma
- Whether asthmatic children should play sports