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Does going back to school make asthma worse? | Ask Dr. Sami 
Q.   Does going back to school make asthma worse?  Every year we hear about how asthma episodes increase during the fall. Is this true or a myth?

A.  It’s not a myth. Children with asthma are nearly twice as likely to visit the emergency room when school starts than at any other time of the year.

Not everyone with asthma, however, is at an increased risk in the fall. It’s important to know what sets off your asthma symptoms. If you’re allergic to ragweed, which peaks in September, then your asthma may get worse at that time. But if your asthma is connected to dust mite or pet allergies that occur year-round, the fall shouldn’t be very different from other times of year. Seasonal colds or the excitement of starting a new school year can also aggravate asthma in some children.

Research shows that patients who see an allergist, a doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of asthma, have 76 percent fewer emergency room visits overall.

Make an appointment for a “tune-up” visit with your physician to review your personalized asthma action plan as the new school year begins. When you stick to the plan, you’ll minimize the need for emergency treatment.

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