Asthma’s Impact on Activity Level

I had heard of asthma, but until my 9-year-old son, Brody, was diagnosed with it, I never thought twice about the condition. During our initial visit, my son’s pediatrician mentioned that nearly 10% of the children in the United States were asthmatic. With childhood obesity rates rising, I had to ask myself, was it possible to maintain Brody’s activity level if asthma could potentially hold him back?

Physical activity is one of asthma’s primary triggers, so we knew it was important to learn to manage symptoms quickly and effectively. If common symptoms such as shortness of breath, chest tightness, wheezing and coughing reared their ugly head, a simple 30-minute soccer game could quickly become an increasingly difficult – even frightening – ordeal.

When faced with this predicament, my first thought was for Brody to simply utilize his inhaler. His physician had mentioned that using it prior to physical activity can be helpful to prevent wheezing or further inflammation of the airways. But if you’re looking to effectively control your asthma and limit its overall intrusiveness on your daily life, repeatedly reaching for your inhaler can become problematic. So what other options are there?

Outside of using bronchodilators, steroids, or other anti-inflammatory medications the options are somewhat limited. Sure, oxygen therapy can help, but again most people find these to be short-term solutions for a long-term diagnosis.

Asthma is a condition that Brody will most likely struggle with for his whole life. We were excited to learn that a potential new treatment was being tested in our area. If he qualifies, Brody would see a board certified doctor at no cost and potentially get to try the new medicine.