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Cold weather can spur asthma flare-ups

Dec 12, 2010 10:08am
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(NECN/CNN) - DJ Lee is a typical 7-year-old, he likes to run, he likes to play, but...

"If I run too long my chest starts to hurt." 

DJ has asthma he developed it as a baby. His mother, Dana says at first it was hard to figure out what was wrong with him. 

"We thought, you know he just has a cold, and we didn't realize the severity of what was going on."

It turns out that mold and dust often trigger DJ's asthma, but his pediatrician Deneta sells says that winter brings additional challenges. Cold air can exacerbate the condition, as can getting sick.   

There are a lot of children who have more problems in the fall and winter, probably due to the fact that there are just more colds and more viral illnesses.
 
These triggers can  cause the airways in the lungs to become inflamed and swollen, sometimes making it difficult to breathe, but the key for DJ and many children with asthma, is using preventive medicines such as a prescription steroid inhaler.   

That breaks down all the inflammation, and keeps the lungs more like a child without asthma.  
 
That allows more running and playing, no matter the season. 

CNN's DR. Sanjay Gupta has more.
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