San Tan Valley Area Information

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Uptick in asthma flare-ups linked to monsoon

Uptick in asthma flare-ups linked to monsoon

Kimberly Byrne is the Pediatric Asthma Program Manager at Banner Children's at Cardon Children's Medical Center. She says each year after monsoon storms they see an increase in the number of patients in the emergency room and inpatient clinics.

"I'm busy for the next three to four days after a storm just because of the allergy levels," Byrne said adding, "allergies affect your asthma."

It's a link Valley mom Laura Cooper knows personally. Her 9-year-old twin boys both have asthma.

"It's a constant worry, constant watching," Cooper said.

Over the years, she said they have had to make a few ER trips due to severe asthma attacks.

Those experiences have helped her better manage their asthma but as monsoon season approaches, it can be a little more challenging.

"Anytime it's super dusty or stormy or when we get our wind storms and you can just see the trees shedding pollen everywhere and there's stuff all over the place, I can hear a difference in their breathing, a difference in their voice," said Cooper.

She does what she can to prepare like making sure inhalers are readily available at all times and trying to keep a close eye.

All steps Byrne says are completely appropriate.

"You're never over reacting when it comes to oxygen," Byrne said.

In addition, Byrne suggests creating an asthma action plan which lists medications, danger signs and more to have handy year-round.

During the monsoons, she says just using common sense can help lessen potential asthma attacks for kids and adults.

"You can't avoid dust storms here but when it is dusty and windy, it's best for everybody to come inside," she said.

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