If you have asthma, you likely know that allergy season can make your asthma worse. Allergens, like pollen and dust, can trigger asthma attacks. Here are some tips to help limit your exposure to allergens so you can enjoy the spring and coming summer.
“If you are asthmatic, make sure your medications are filled and you are taking them consistently during allergy season. If your reactions are not settling down, see your primary care provider,” recommends Jeanna Warman, respiratory therapist and manager of Prowers Medical Center’s Cardiopulmonary Services.
Warman suffers from asthma herself. She offers tried and true tips for limiting the impact of pollen during allergy season, including:
- Shut your windows at night to keep pollen and dust out.
- Use a HEPA filter to keep indoor air clean.
- Shower before bed to get allergens off your body and hair.
- Watch the pollen count on the local news and limit outside exposure on those days that pollen counts are high.
- Use an over-the-counter nasal saline rinse once or twice a day.
- Try not to make any changes to your routine medications during allergy season.
“During the spring in southeast Colorado when the wind blows it fills the air with pollen and dust, so it’s best to limit your time outside, especially with exercise,” Warman says.
If you have a child with asthma, watch them closely for signs of respiratory distress. The combination of allergies and asthma can make it harder to control your child’s asthma, making it difficult to breathe, draining them of energy to function throughout the day.
As a parent, it’s reassuring to know that Prowers Medical Center uses the same treatment protocol for asthma as Children’s Hospital in Denver. If your child needs emergency care or hospitalization due to a bad asthma attack, they will receive the same care they would if you drove all the way to Denver.
“Our local pediatrician has modeled our pediatric asthma program after the Children’s Hospital program, so kids here go through the same process and receive the same evaluation and treatment as they would in a pediatric hospital. It’s a fast and furious treatment approach to get their airways open and working quickly. We’re rural, but our healthcare is not,” Warman says.
Prowers Medical Center offers pulmonary function testing—a test that measures the lungs ability to move air in and out, and also tests for obstructions in the lungs, and measures how the lungs respond to bronchodilator medications. Asthma specialist Dr. Kristopher Fultz with Pueblo Pulmonary Associates is available to sees patients in Lamar on the second Monday of each month.
“With proper treatment and dedication to self-care, you can keep your asthma under control, even during allergy season,” Warman concludes.
To learn more about cardiopulmonary services at Prowers Medical Center visit prowersmedical.com/services/cardiopulmonary or call 719-336-4343. The medical center offers a variety of treatments, tests and procedures for infants, children and adults.