Heat and humidity take toll on asthmatics in Kentuckiana

Louisville, KY - By Lori Lyle - bio | email

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The heat and humidity are making summer miserable for people suffering with asthma. In our weekly check of 'What's Going Around,' we found the doctors' offices of Family Allergy and Asthma filled with patients throughout Kentuckiana.

The symptoms can be quite scary for little ones, but even the veterans of the illness need to take heed. Dr. Damon Coyle says the asthma flare will cause an extreme feeling of tightness in the chest, so keep the rescue inhalers within reach.

If a patient does experience a flare-up, Coyle says the first line of defense is to make sure medications are being used properly. He says underlying allergies may need to be evaluated too, and call the allergist if symptoms persist.

In the meantime, Coyle has some advice to get through these hot, humid days: keep windows and doors closed and use air conditioning both at home and in vehicles if at all possible. Stay indoors and don't exercise during the hottest parts of the day and avoid any known allergy triggers.

That same advice goes for people suffering sinusitis, and the docs at Family Allergy and Asthma say they're treating a lot of that too. Coyle says the symptoms include stuffy head, chest congestion, itchy, tired eyes, facial pain above or below the eyes and possibly a toothache.  Post nasal drip is common too.

A sinus rinse can sooth symptoms, but Coyle advises an antibiotic may be needed to clear up the infection. If allergies are the cause of the infection, it's also important to stay inside during peak pollen counts - typically between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Also, when doing yard work Coyle recommends wearing a Niosh N-95 mask to help protect your sinuses from all the allergens.

Copyright 2010 WAVE News. All rights reserved.