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The Worst Time of Year for Asthma

September is the most dangerous month for people with asthma because ragweed pollen, mold and upper respiratory infections can trigger severe attacks.

September 18th was the worst asthma day of the year. Experience reveals that more people are hospitalized because of asthma attacks right after the middle of September than at any other time of the year.

Part of the reason for the surge in visits to the emergency room is fall pollen. Ragweed is a big contributor, but there are lots of other triggers as well. Mold has had a chance to flourish during the hot humid weather of summer. And children go back to school where they are exposed to all sorts of germs.

Lung infections frequently trigger severe asthma attacks in both children and adults. That might be due to inflammation in the airways.

There is growing evidence to suggest that hard-to-treat and adult onset asthma may actually be caused by a lingering lung infection. Bacteria such as Mycoplasma pneumoniae and Chlamydophila pneumoniae may persist undetected in cells for months or years and could require a lengthy course of antibiotic treatment to rid the body of invading microbes that trigger inflammation.

To learn more about the research supporting this approach you may find the book, A Cure for Asthma? What Your Doctor Isn’t Telling You and Why, of great interest. David, Hahn, MD, MS, has been studying asthma and the infectious origins of hard-to-treat cases for decades. The People’s Pharmacy Press is happy to announce an e-book version of A Cure for Asthma? What Your Doctor Isn’t Telling You and Why. You can now access this valuable resource on your Kindle, smart phone or e-reader of your choice. You can find it at Kobo, Barnes & Noble, or Amazon. It is on special for a limited time at Barnes & Noble for $6.99. If you are struggling with poor asthma control this September, you owe it to yourself to learn more about a possible cure.

This year, there is another infection that may trigger asthma, and children are especially at risk. An epidemic of enterovirus (EV-D68) is sweeping the country and is adding to the asthma surge. At the time of this writing, the CDC reports that at least 16 states now have outbreaks and we suspect that many more soon will. States with confirmed cases include Alabama, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.

This infection makes it hard for kids to breathe. If they have existing asthma, even if it is well controlled, this virus can push them over the edge, requiring immediate hospitalization to ease the crisis.

What do you need to know about this upper respiratory tract infection? The People’s Pharmacy Pediatrician, Alan Greene, MD, has offered some interesting tips. First, kids don’t have to be wheezing to get into trouble. If your child is complaining that she is having trouble breathing, get immediate medical attention.

This virus may be inactivated by an acidic environment. In the home, surfaces could be wiped with vinegar. EV-D68 is also heat sensitive. That means that knocking down a low-grade fever with pain relievers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen might be counterproductive. A moderately elevated temperature might help the child recover faster.

You can also find the print version of A Cure for Asthma? What Your Doctor Isn’t Telling You and Why (published by The People’s Pharmacy in partnership with Dr. Hahn) at our store. Please let friends and family who are concerned about their asthma know about Dr. Hahn’s book.

Remember, until September 30, 2014, you can use the coupon NEWSITE20 in our online store to get a 20% discount off any item, including Dr. Hahn’s book.


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About the Author
Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist who has dedicated his career to making drug information understandable to consumers. His best-selling book, The People’s Pharmacy, was published in 1976 and led to a syndicated newspaper column, syndicated public radio show and web site. In 2006, Long Island University awarded him an honorary doctorate as “one of the country's leading drug experts for the consumer.”.
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