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Asthma in Chicago

From by Aaron Krager – … Chicago’s two coal-fired power plants, health experts and community organizations in the Pilsen neighborhood rallied around a 20-foot inflatable asthma inhaler.

Summer is finally is here and the recent change in the weather can cause all types of havoc for asthma suffers. According to the AAFA (Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America) Asthma Capitals 2014 “The Most Challenging Places to Live with Asthma” report Richmond, VA is ranked 1, while Chicago has moved up to the top 10 ranking for 2014. The study examined each state and ranked them along the following categories: prevalence factors, risk factors, and medical factors.

In 2013 Chicago was ranked as 17, but it has moved up to number nine on the AAFA list. This is due to Chicago being “worse than average” when it comes to crude death rate for asthma.  The city got  three “worse than average” in the medical factors such as ER visits for asthma, use of quick relief meds, and use of control meds.

If a person has allergies they have a higher chance of being diagnosed with asthma. “But you can have allergies without asthma and you can have asthma without allergies,” said Dr. Kyle Hogarth, expert in pulmonary diseases and professor at the University of Chicago.

In order to reduce asthma attacks in young adults they have to be proactive when it comes to their health. For those who suffer from asthma they have to remember to take their daily medications every single day.

“Just like a diabetic takes insulin every day to survive,  the asthmatic needs their controller inhalers every single day,” said Hogarth. “[They have to] learn that the rescue medications (albuterol, their nebulizers) are to be used AS NEEDED and that if you’re needing them more than once a week then you are not on enough controller medications.”

An asthmatic must learn to avoid their triggers as much as possible because it will stimulate their asthma. Some of the most common triggers are cats, dogs, dust mites, mold, and cockroaches. “For example: If you are an asthmatic allergic to cats, then you can’t own a cat. It’s that simple,” said Hogarth. “But many people don’t follow those rules.”

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