Young patients in ElginIL area managing asthma by modifying environment and with medicine

Asthma is more common in children than juvenile diabetes or hay fever. The Centers for Disease Control reports 7 million of the more than 18 million Americans with asthma are under age 18. Of those children with asthma, four million suffered an asthma attack or episode in 2011, according to the CDC.

The high incidence of asthma attacks among young patients underscores the importance of managing this chronic, inflammatory illness.

To manage your child’s symptoms, the Advanced Allergy & Asthma Associates and Food Allergy Center of Illinois must first identify those triggers that irritate the airways and cause asthma flare-ups.

Common triggers include:

  • Allergies account for 60 percent of all asthma cases. Microscopic dust mites, animal dander, pollens, grasses, molds, medications, foods, and cockroaches represent some of the allergens to be avoided.
  • Infections caused by common viruses such as cold or flu
  • Environmental pollutants, such as smoke, aerosol sprays, perfumes and paint fumes
  • Physical activity, also known as exercise induced asthma
  • Breathing in cold air
  • Weather-related changes

After Drs. Noga Askenazi, and Eugenia Hahn help identify your child’s triggers, steps can be taken to manage asthma symptoms and minimize the frequency of attacks. Environmental control measures may include:

  • Reducing moisture in the air with devices like dehumidifiers. Moisture promotes allergens such as dust mites. A hygrometer can be found at hardware stores and it gauges the level of humidity in the air, which should remain below 50 percent.
  • Cleaning indoor air. Vacuum and dust at least once a week to remove allergens. Remember to wash your child’s stuffed toys at least that often.
  • Enlist a professional to give your air conditioner a health check-up. Properly functioning air conditioners remove moisture and reduce pollen from surrounding trees and grasses.
  • Use pillows and blankets with manmade fibers for filling. Replace or avoid upholstery and carpets in your child’s bedroom or play areas. Be aware that plants, books, and other household objects can attract dust.
  • Don’t smoke inside where it can be trapped in carpet, upholstery and other materials. Don’t burn wood fires. Avoid strong smells from paints, glues, cleaning supplies, air fresheners, hair sprays, and perfumes.
  • If cold is an issue, face masks can help. Take care to limit a child’s outdoor playtime or chores when mold and pollen counts are high.

Of course, some irritants and allergens can’t be avoided. Even those avoidable causes may not be avoided all the time. You don’t want symptoms to control your child’s life. Drs. Askenazi, and Hahn can prescribe medications based on the cause of your child’s asthma:

  • Immunotherapy for allergic-asthma exposes your child to very small amounts of the suspect allergen. Administered as shots or extracts given by mouth, the idea is to retrain the immune system so it better tolerates the offending substance.
  • Quick-relief, rescue or fast-acting medications like inhaled bronchodilators (ProAir HFA, Maxair Autohaler) and Ipratroprium (Atroven) relax the muscles around the airways to open up these breathing passages quickly. Provides short-term relief during asthma attacks, but does not treat underlying inflammation.
  • Long-term control medicines are slower acting and take days or weeks to ease asthmatic inflammation. Inhaled corticosteroids (Flovent HFA, Qvar), leukotriene modifiers (Singulair, Zylfo), and combination inhaled corticosteroid and long-acting beta agonist (Symbicort, Advair HFA) are among these preventive drugs.

Many children with persistent asthma may need long-term control drugs and quick-relief options such as a hand-held inhaler. Call our office; we are your local answer to managing asthma in young patients in Elgin, at (847) 888-8802.

Back to Asthma Page
Advanced Allergy & Asthma Associates, logo

Advanced Allergy & Asthma Associates

Dr. Noga Askenazi | Dr. Eugenia Hahn | Meredith Cirrincione | Tonilyn Hatch

Dr. Noga Askenazi is a nationally recognized asthma and allergy specialist who is board certified in pediatric and adult allergy. Her areas of special interest are innovative treatment of rashes, sinusitis, food allergies, asthma and immune disorders. She was past President of the ISAAI (Illinois Society of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology), works on state and national committees for advancement of the allergy field and is a consultant for Advocate, AMITA, Northwestern amongst other health care systems. Her joy is helping patients reach their goals after together determining best treatments. Her staff and patients are a chosen family, and she invests in their happiness. She enjoys gardening, biking and cooking to good music.

Dr. Eugenia Hahn is a highly recognized board certified allergist and immunologist who treats patients of all ages. Her areas of special interest are food allergy, eczema, and asthma. She is president of the Illinois Society of Allergy & Asthma, a National Committee leader of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, a member of the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology working on new treatment options for patients. She is a consultant for Advocate, Northwestern, AMITA, Northwest Community healthcare systems amongst many others. Her patients mean everything to her as she takes pride in finding the why behind the problem. She enjoys reading and spending time with her family.

Meredith Cirrincione is a board certified Physician Assistant and specializes in treating allergies, with a focus on asthma, rashes, environmental allergies, chemical and food allergies. She holds a Masters in Physician Assistant Studies from The Chicago Medical School - Rosalind Franklin University of Health Sciences. She is a Fellow member of the American Academy of Physician Assistants, the Illinois Academy of Physician Assistants, and the Association of PAs in Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. She likes to approach things holistically. She is a strong patient advocate and adored by her patients. She enjoys singing, reading, cooking, and the great outdoors.

Tonilyn Hatch is a Board-certified Physician Assistant who has been working as a PA in Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology for the past 10 years. She has a Masters in Physician Assistant Studies from Midwestern University and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Brigham Young University. Also, she is a Member of the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) and AAPA: Association of PAs in Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology. As a lifelong allergy and asthma patient herself, she understands the effects these health issues can have on daily life. She prides herself in taking time to educate her patients on their medical conditions and then developing personalized treatment plans for each of her patients. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, relaxing at home, spending time with her nephews in Arizona and niece in New Mexico, and attending sporting events.