Posted on: September 22, 2014
Managing Childhood Asthma
by Lynne Quittell, MD
The soft wheeze or whistle as a child breathes. The chin tucked and chest pinched as he coughs incessantly. These are signs of childhood asthma, a maddening, frightening condition for kids and parents — and a leading cause of ER visits for children. While in the past asthma has been difficult to treat and manage, advancements in medications and methods have allowed doctors and families to tame this potentially dangerous condition in children.
The reasons why a child develops asthma can be murky. Potential triggers can be allergies, exposure to secondhand smoke, or a family history of asthma. Premature babies who spend time on a ventilator appear to be at higher risk.
Posted on: January 17, 2014
Take Steps to Avoid the Flu, Especially if You Have Asthma
By Harlan Weinberg, MD Medical Director, Pulmonary Medicine & Critical Care Medicine, Northern Westchester Hospital
Patients who have a diagnosis of asthma, as well as other clinical conditions, such as COPD, Cystic Fibrosis, Congestive Heart Failure, Diabetes Mellitus, and Cancer, are all at increased risk of developing flu-related complications.
Asthma is a disorder of the lungs characterized by chronic inflammation of the airways. Acute influenza may lead to worsening of asthma/asthmatic exacerbation, pneumonia and ultimately, respiratory failure, for both children and adults.
Posted on: June 20, 2013
Are Asthma Attacks Rising With the Temperature This Summer?
By Dr. Harlan Weinberg, Medical Director of Pulmonary Medicine, Northern Westchester Hospital
If it seems like asthma is on the rise, it is. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that doctors diagnosed 4.3 million more Americans with the condition over the last ten years. Unfortunately, no one really knows why asthma is increasing. In spring and summer, the increase in temperature, pollen, and humidity can make asthma attacks more likely. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to protect yourself or loved ones.
Asthma is characterized by inflammation in the airways. This inflammation can lead to shortness of breath, a tight feeling in the chest, and wheezing. The condition can limit your ability to exercise or partake in activities of daily living. The inflammation can be caused by a number of triggers, such as allergies, dust mites, pollen, infections, certain foods, and environmental factors like pollution or mold. The full list is substantial, which means it may take a while to find a patient’s trigger. Blood tests for allergies can help narrow down the candidates. Patients may also want to keep a journal to jot down the places and times when breathing gets worse.