Allergy-induced asthma rises with high pollen count


HAMDEN, Conn. (WTNH) — The high pollen count is affecting just about everyone. Breathing in the fresh spring air may not be a good idea for many.

Pollen can trigger a host of problems. Allergies can induce asthma.

“It can lead to asthma if it’s not controlled,” said Marlene Scrivani. “Most of them already have asthma. If they have allergies, a lot of them, the allergies cause the asthma.”

This year’s potent pollen season has Scrivani, a Respiratory Therapist and Asthma Educator at Northeast Medical Group, pretty busy with allergy-induced asthma cases.

“We have a lot of unscheduled office visits,” she said. “We have a lot of people calling up because they have shortness of breath and they are having an exacerbation of their asthma.”

People like Carm Casabona are getting their tight airways checked closely.

“The tightness is worse, the asthma, the wheeze, the wheezing is terrible,” she said.

Scrivani instructed Casabona, “You’re going to take a deep breath, and then blow out hard, and blow, blow, blow, keep blowing, keep blowing, keep blowing, and suck in deeply, perfect.”

It is not a good day for Casabona. Test results show her obstruction is down to 40-percent because of her allergies.

“We have to make sure that we adjust your medications and monitor you,” said Scrivani.

Casabona is already limiting her time outdoors. 

“I try not to be too active, then it just kicks up my asthma so I try to be as calm as possible,” she said.

Treatment for allergy-induced asthma includes getting the allergies under control with over the counter medication, prescription nasal sprays, and allergy shots.

The staff at Northeast Medical group also says they are seeing a few people coming in for the first time ever, dealing with allergy symptoms, which could be the trigger for more allergy seasons to come for them.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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