Dangers of Asthma Among Children and Adults

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RENO, Nev. -- Nearly 11 people in the U.S. die from asthma every day and it's more common than people think. Ignoring the symptoms can be deadly.

Fall sports are already in play for most students, but exercise reveals more than just athletic ability. Doctors often see asthma sufferers only learn that they have the condition after taking part in sports.

"Typically, what we'll see in the fall are two main triggers: we'll see people have issues with environmental pollens: sagebrush, rabbit brush, tumbleweed," Dr. Nugent, Northern Nevada Allergy said. "We'll also see exercise begin to be a factor. Kids going outside and playing football and other sports, they'll start having issues where they haven't before."

Asthma is a respiratory condition that develops as time go on and people can have at any age, from birth to 100 years old. Size also is not a factor.

"Some of the lifestyles of being heavy, such as not exercising may make you somewhat short of breath but being deconditioned and having asthma are having two different things," Dr. Nugent said.

The four cardinal symptoms of asthma are coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath or chest tightness.

Dr. Nugent says Asthma is the most common chronic condition among kids and adults and should not be ignored. Asthma often occurs after exercise so children won't see symptoms right away.

"The kid will be out running, and playing and playing some sports, and then afterward having some trouble breathing or coughing or they'll look like they're having labored breathing or they'll often be hunched over...asthma will kick in at that point."

The timing of the symptoms can be confusing for parents.

"There's just way too many things that look like asthma that aren't asthma so you better check with you pediatrician," Ross Waltz, a parent said. "You can be tricked into thinking you know what's going on when really you don't."

There is no cure for asthma, but it can be controlled. Eleven-year-old Jonathon has had asthma since he was 3 years old, but with skiing, baseball and marching band practice, he remains and active lifestyle.

"I've outgrown asthma for the most part...it doesn't affect what i do in life."