Ask the Doctor: Asthma - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Ask the Doctor: Asthma

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Do you - or someone you know have asthma? We're talking about in our Ask the Doctor segment? 

We're talking with Dr. Jeffrey Bacon, Pulmonologist at Saint Mary's Pulmonary and Critical Care.

If you have any questions, call 858-2222 between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. tonight. 


What is asthma and what are some of the symptoms?

Asthma is a chronic lung disease that inflames and narrows the airways. Asthma causes recurring periods of wheezing (a whistling sound when you breathe), chest tightness, shortness of breath, and coughing. The coughing often occurs at night or early in the morning. Asthma affects people of all ages, but it most often starts during childhood. However, people of all ages can be diagnosed with asthma.

What causes asthma symptoms to occur?

Many things can trigger or worsen asthma symptoms. Triggers may include:

•    Allergens from dust, animal fur, mold, and pollens from trees, grasses, and flowers

•    Irritants such as cigarette smoke, air pollution, chemicals or dust in the workplace, compounds in home décor products, and sprays (such as hairspray)

•    Medicines such as aspirin or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and nonselective beta-blockers

•    Sulfites in foods and drinks

•    Viral upper respiratory infections, such as colds

•    Physical activity, including exercise

When should someone see an asthma specialist or pulmonologist?

You may need to see an asthma specialist or pulmonologist if:

•    You need special tests to help diagnose asthma

•    You've had a life-threatening asthma attack

•    You need more than one kind of medicine or higher doses of medicine to control your asthma, or if you have overall problems getting your asthma well controlled

•    You're thinking about getting allergy treatments

A pulmonologist will be able to help patients control their asthma, prevent chronic and troublesome symptoms, reduce your need for quick-relief medicines, let you maintain your normal activity level and sleep through the night and Prevent asthma attacks that could result in an emergency room visit.

Call 775-770-7640 or visit for more information.

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