Islanders with asthma should prepare for flu season, doctor says – CBC

‘In general just make sure your environment is as trigger-free as possible’

Sep 04, 2023

The weather is getting colder in P.E.I., and for Islanders with asthma, it’s time to get ready.

Dr. Jason Chan says people with the chronic condition tend to have a tougher time during the flu season as there are additional triggers in the environment that can set off their asthma.

“When you have asthma, you tend to hyper-react to everything, so different allergens or things like dust, chemicals perfumes and … germs,” Chan said.

Asthma attacks can lead to symptoms like wheezing, shortness of breath, coughing and lots of mucus production.

The increased likelihood of flare-ups during the colder seasons means people with asthma may be taking more days off from work or school. Those with more severe conditions are also more likely to end up in the emergency room, Chan said.

“If you’re bad enough to end up in the hospital, chances are that the doctors are going to put you on some strong steroid medications, which in that context is super appropriate, … but can cause a lot of long-term side effects,” he said. “Things like diabetes, high blood pressure, osteoporosis.”

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