Laura S., and her two children, Emily, 16, and Collin, 13, have seen firsthand that each person’s asthma story is different and how an allergist can help figure out a custom plan to fit each one.
“I was in my 30s when I was diagnosed with asthma,” Laura says. “I had bronchitis and a cough that would not go away. One day at work I was sitting across from a doctor, coughing up a storm, and he suggested that I use my inhaler. I said, ‘What inhaler?’ He said, ‘Your asthma inhaler.’ I told him I didn’t have asthma, and he said, ‘Yes you do!'” Laura made an appointment with an allergist, who confirmed she had asthma and prescribed her the much-needed bronchodilator.
But that wasn’t the end of Laura’s breathing troubles. “After that, I was in the hospital a lot for about five years,” she says. “I would get sick very fast, and my asthma doesn’t respond to low-dose inhaled corticosteroids. We learned that we had to be aggressive and treat my asthma quickly. It s been many years since I’ve been in the hospital.”
Collin was 6 months old when Laura realized he had asthma. “Our family doctor said he couldn’t call it that until Collin was older, but he prescribed treatment the same as he would with a diagnosis of asthma,” she says. “We started seeing our allergist when Collin was about 3 years old because he constantly had a cold. We finally got his symptoms under control with a combination of asthma medications, nasal spray, and antihistamines.
“Once Collin started school, he had to stay home frequently each fall due to his asthma. Our allergist worked with us to start heading this off every August by adjusting Collin’s Asthma Action Plan and altering his medications,” Laura says. “Then in the winter Collin would back off some of these medications until the following fall.”
Meanwhile, Emily’s asthma is very mild. “She was diagnosed when she was 9; she had a cold and I could hear that distinctive wheeze,” Laura says. “But she really only has to see the allergist when she has an issue, which is rare.”
Laura s family is thrilled they’ve found an allergist who’s such a perfect fit for them: “Our allergist has kids our kids’ ages, and they have allergies and asthma, so he really understands.”
This patient successfully found relief after seeing an allergist, but the patient’s photograph is not available to respect the patient’s privacy and identity.