(BPT) - Summer is here, and while many spend their summer vacation outdoors swimming, playing sports and enjoying the sunshine, for those who have asthma, it can be a worrisome season.
While springtime is often the time people think about asthma triggers, summer weather can also cause issues for people with asthma because of the increasing heat, humidity and summer allergens. To ease some of these concerns, Dr. Purvi Parikh, a New York City-based allergist and immunologist and national spokesperson for the Allergy and Asthma Network, shared her recommendations to help asthma patients stay safe and healthy this summer. Dr. Parikh has been working with Teva Pharmaceuticals to bring you this program.
'During the summertime, the common combination of high heat and humidity can often trigger asthma symptoms. Patients should be on the lookout for early warning signs of an asthma attack while participating in outdoor activities in the summer months,' said Dr. Parikh.
With asthma attacks accounting for 1.6 million emergency room visits in the U.S. each year, Dr. Parikh advised that it is essential for those with asthma to always carry their rescue inhaler with them. And to help ensure the inhalers are always ready when needed, she recommends using one with a dose counter, which shows how much medication is left.
According to Dr. Parikh, since rescue inhalers may not always be used on a daily basis, it can be easy to lose track of how much medicine the device still contains. That can present a potentially dangerous situation if and when an asthma attack does occur. In fact, a national survey showed that nearly half of the responding asthma patients found their rescue inhalers empty at least once when they needed it during an asthma attack.
'Dose counters are very helpful in not only keeping track of how much medication is left in a device, but also in empowering patients to take control of their own care,' said Dr. Parikh. 'Many parents I talked to are fond of them, especially for their adolescents with asthma. It allows them to be proactive, accountable and vigilant in managing their condition, particularly when they're away from their parents participating in summer activities like camps and sports.'
Though the hotter months can mean additional asthma triggers, a dose counter is a helpful tool to make sure medication is available and at the ready.
'If I could offer one piece of advice to people living with asthma, it would be not to take those early warning signs lightly and to keep a close eye on your dose counter - you never want to be caught without medicine in a pinch,' said Dr. Parikh.
For additional information on the importance of dose counters, visit KnowYourCount.com.
Dr. Parikh has been compensated for her time in contributing to this program.