Frequently Asked Questions About Asthma

Will the use of an Air Filter/Cleaner in my home help to control asthma and allergies?

The use of air filters/cleaners/purifiers is not recommended. So far, research has not shown that
they are effective. The best way to control asthma triggers in the home is to keep allergy
causing materials from entering the home and to keep the home clean and well ventilated.
Some air cleaners may help to slightly reduce second hand smoke, but no air filtration system
can eliminate all the harmful particles found in second hand smoke. A “high-efficiency
particulate air” (HEPA) filter is capable of screening very small particles and may help decrease
cat allergen in the bedroom. To do this efficiently the flow rate must be 250 cubic feet per
minute.

Can I become addicted to asthma medicines?

Research has shown that Controller and Reliever medicines used to treat asthma are safe and effective for children. They have not been shown to be addictive.

Can a child outgrow asthma?

There is no cure for asthma, but asthma symptoms sometimes improve as a child gets older.
About 1/3 of children improve their asthma symptoms by puberty (age 11-13yrs) but asthma
may reappear in adult life. Approximately 2/3 of children will continue to have asthma symptoms
throughout life. Children who have allergies, eczema, or a family history of asthma, allergies, or
eczema, are less likely to outgrow asthma.

Is there a test for asthma?

There is no specific test for asthma. Asthma is diagnosed in young children by the history of
their symptoms and by considering the family history of asthma, allergies, or eczema. Once a
child is 6 or 7 years old, breathing tests can be done to help confirm the diagnosis of asthma.
Allergy is the best predictor of the likelihood a child will have persistent asthma.

How does a person get asthma?

The cause of asthma is not known, but it tends to run in families. If a close family member  has asthma, allergies, or eczema, a
young child has a greater chance of developing asthma. Children exposed to tobacco smoke in
early life are more likely to develop asthma, allergies, and viral infections. Certain viral infections
in early life may also increase the chance of a child developing asthma. Asthma can develop at
any age, but it most often begins in childhood.

Can I have a pet if I have asthma?

Pets are a common trigger for making asthma worse. It is best to avoid your asthma triggers.
Any animal with fur, hair, or feathers can be a trigger if the person is allergic to it. If someone in
the home has other allergies, it is possible that person may, in time, become allergic to the
animal. For that reason, it may not be wise to bring one into the home. If you already have a pet
and someone is allergic to it, it is best to remove the animal from the home. Remember that it
may take months after the animal is out of the home before the levels of animal allergen
decrease. If it is not possible to remove the animal from the home, the pet should be kept
outside as much as possible or in a designated area of the home. Pets should never be allowed
in the bedroom.

When I can stop taking my controller medicines?

Everyone’s asthma is different. Some people need controller medicines every day to control the inflammation inside the airways. Some are able to decrease the amount of Controller medicines for a while when asthma is under good control. Follow your Asthma Action Plan. Always talk to your doctor before making any changes to the amount of asthma medicines.

Can I exercise with asthma ?

Yes, regular exercise is important for everyone, especially children with asthma. Exercise
makes the heart and lungs stronger. If your you ares finding it hard to exercise, your  asthma is
not well controlled. Talk with your doctor or educator to get the asthma under control.