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Fall 2011
Volume 7, Issue 2
Health Chronicle
ASTHMA
When Is It Time to See a Doctor?
Autumn’s arrival brings with it plenty of reasons
to be outside. But what if a fall afternoon
unexpectedly sends your asthma symptoms out
of control? You may have an allergy to ragweed
or the molds that grow on fallen leaves. Can you
pinpoint the cause of your asthma symptoms? If
not, it may be time to see your doctor.
Help Finding the Cause
If you have asthma, you know how important it
is to recognize and avoid your triggers. So if you
start wheezing at the first signs of fall, your
doctor can help determine what may be causing
your symptoms.
He or she will then work with you to create a
plan to control your exposure to these triggers.
Your doctor may also prescribe medication to
help with your symptoms.
Try to Avoid Your Triggers
Once your doctor has found your triggers, do
your best to avoid them.
●●
Know when to stay inside. Ragweed pollens
are usually highest in the morning.
●●
Avoid doing yard work such as raking leaves,
removing yard debris and cutting grass. Or
wear a mask to protect your nose from the
pollen and mold.
●●
Keep the humidity levels inside your house
between 40 and 50 percent to prevent mold
growth.
●●
Try using over-the-counter medications like
antihistamines, decongestants and saline
nasal sprays to control symptoms. Check with
your doctor before using these medications if
you have a history of high blood pressure.
If you are still having asthma trouble, talk with
your doctor. Your allergies may be severe, or it
may be too difficult to avoid your triggers. If so,
your doctor might recommend allergy shots. The
shots help build up your tolerance to the allergen
so that your symptoms improve.
Check out our online Health Library for more
tips about how to manage asthma. Log in at
hap.org
and select the
My Health & Wellness
tab. Click
Tools and Resources
and then
Health Library.