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Who has asthma in your family?

It's all over my family.  I've got asthma, as do both of my kids.  DH had it as a kid, but swears he doesn't anymore. *coughwhatevercough* Not diagnosed, but I'm pretty sure my brother and dad have mild asthma.  Bro's only flares in houses with LOTS of cat dander.

Who has asthma in your family?

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Comments 55

  • Melanie Carver

    All of my siblings, my children and myself have asthma. Most have mild asthma, but one has severe asthma. We all have different triggers.

  • Kathy P

    I do and both my kids do. For us, it's mainly allergic asthma, but my dd also has had issues w/ exercise induced asthma. I'm pretty sure my bro had asthma all along – also allergy triggered. He never dealt with it and now has COPD.

  • kandicejo

    Both kids do. DD is only taking singulair these days though. hasn't used an inhaler in a couple of years. DS is very well controlled. I think he used an inhaler as a precaution when he had other stuff going on. I have reactive airway and keep a rescue inhaler around. No extended family diagnoses, although I have 1 nephew who has lots of resp issues, not the least of which is the fact that his parents are both smokers  

  • Sue1949

    My aunt, a niece, and a first cousin has/had asthma. All of us have/had allergies. I also suspect that my dad and now my son have it.

  • Kathy P

    Welcome! Sorry you need to be here,but glad you found us. Sounds like you suspect some members have asthma, but it hasn't been diagnosed.

  • MrsMegD

    Very new here! ONLY my 5 year old daughter has been diagnosed with asthma, as well as several allergies (dust, mold, pollen, dogs, cats, rabbits). Nobody else in our family has asthma. My husband has seasonal allergies (pollen). This all started with a 7 day hospital stay in October for my daughter, which she had the adenovirus with pneumonia. It was a very scary experience! She came out of it, but just about every month since she was back in the doctor for some cold or infection. She finally saw a pediatric pulmonologist beginning of January, and got the official asthma diagnosis. We found out about the allergies only 2 weeks prior to that. She's on a preventative and a quick relief, as well as taking Nasonex daily. She was doing well, and then BAM…caught another virus. I have never head experience with asthma until now, so I am educating myself in every way possible. It's scary stuff! And I hate that she can't bounce back from a cold like other kids can. She's missed so much school…I guess I should be thankful it is only pre-school.

  • Kathy P

    Welcome aboard! That sounds really scary! We have a similar issue here my ds is winding up w/ "something" about every 6 wks or so. It's so hard to get things calmed down and keep it calmed down. Mine is a HS Jr, so missing is school is a very bad thing! The doc is throwing everything at him at the moment! It's a struggle to keep up with all the meds – UGH!

  • MrsMegD

    Thanks KATHY P. It's such a different experience then what I had with my oldest (who is 10). She has hardly ever been sick her entire life! Maybe like 3 colds. She had eczema and seasonal allergies that she outgrew by 3 years old. Yes, it has been an adjustment with all the meds, but she is such a trooper. She knows her plan and she asks "Am I in the green or yellow zone Mommy?".

  • Kathy P

    Aw what a cutie asking about her PF zones!

    I was asking our allergist whether we were missing something since ds was getting sick so often. He was saying that once you are sick, your resistance is down for a few weeks, so that can set up the cycle. We are clearly in that cycle and trying to figure out how to break it!

    For us, it's not viruses, but winding up w/ congestion from allergies and a secondary bacterial infection. Little kids just tend to get every virus and cold going around especially in child care/school settings.

  • Mandy

    Just me so far in my family. I really hope my little one's don't end up in the same boat as me. Severe

  • Kathy P

    Welcome Mandy!  Fingers crossed the little ones don't develop asthma. Sorry to hear yours is severe.

  • Grace

    I am the only one. Diagnosed with asthma at 18. I have tried Spiriva, Pro Air HFA, Ventolin HFA, Advair, Singulair and now Duoneb treatments. 

  • Melanie Carver

    Hi!

    I want to welcome Grace, Mandy, MrsMegD, Sue1949, Phawno, Yvette, Kandi and Kathryn!

    Thank you for joining us here.

  • Grace

    For the most part. Today has been bad. Hot and humid weather in Louisiana isn't helping matters. I am using Singulair, Claritin, Advair, Prednisone and have done 5 Duoneb treatments. Finally getting relief tonight. 

  • Kathy P

    That sounds miserable. I don't do well w/ hot and humid either. I'm glad you've gotten some relief. Duoneb is good stuff…when it works!

  • Grace

    I even have a humidifier in my room for when I run the central heat at night ( back down in the 20's on Tues, go figure). That seems to really help.

  • Kathy P

    Be careful with the humidifier is you are allergic to dust mites or molds. Although I guess that is already an issue if it's humid.

  • Lori H

    My 3yo daughter has asthma.  She was born with Laryngomalacia and now has been diagnosed with asthma. She spends more time in the yellow zone then in green and it just kills us watching her have such difficulties with her breathing. 

  • Mandy

    Oh it must be so hard Lori…Can't even imagine. Sending green zone vibes your way!

  • Lori H

    Thanks Ladies!!! We just switched pulmonary doctors to one at children's hospital of Philadelphia so hoping to start getting some answers. 

  • Jen

    Whether just one person in your family has asthma or multiple people do, it can be tricky to manage.  My sister has asthma.  I was diagnosed with cough variant asthma as a teenager.  Didn't have any issues for years (stopped using asthma meds etc).  I had bronchitis about 6 years ago and have had occasional, mild, issues when sick since then.  I have some sort of sinus thing going on now.  The pnd is driving me crazy.  I don't think it's triggered anything yet (usually coughing is my main sx, maybe very slight shortness of breath), beyond some coughing.  I happen to have an appt with my primary on Thurs (he manages things for the moment, bc they are under control and I've never had major issues).  It's just a checkup, but he always takes a good listen to my breathing.  The timing for this appt works out quite well.

  • Katie D

    I suffered from EIB as a child and teen, and thankfully haven't had issues for many years.  My DH typically has a few asthma flares a year associated with his seasonal allergies.  

  • K8sMom2002

    Hi to all the new-to-me faces! Mrs. Meg and Lori, I feel you — it is SO difficult to see your little one struggling for air! 

    My family is known for its weak lungs — my mom and my aunt had asthma, my surviving maternal aunt and my cousin have asthma. My sister does but she is in DEEP denial. My dad has COPD and asthma and has real struggles every winter due to colds and URI triggering problems — plus he's overweight and has diabetes, so the staggering amount of prednisone he takes during flares really does a number on his diabetes. 

    Of course, DD has asthma as well – since she's adopted, that means she has a whole family medical history we don't know about. 

    I wasn't formally diagnosed with asthma until DD was 3. I kept having breathing issues where I couldn't get air out, so I couldn't get air IN. Finally I was at work one day and was really struggling for air, and it got so bad I panicked. I had a coworker take me to a nearby doctor. The doctor took one look at me and slapped me on a breathing treatment. I was lucky that my O2 sat levels were holding steady, or he would have put me in the hospital. He told me I had asthma, and I argued with him — I didn't wheeze, and you had to wheeze when you had asthma, right? 

    He laughed, took the palms of his hands and pressed on both sides of my rib cage, and said, "Now exhale." I did — and I sounded like a tea kettle with a full head of steam. He said he could hear me wheeze with the stethoscope and THAT's what doctors meant when they said you wheezed with asthma.

    Don't know if he was right, but I know that I was VERY grateful that he "fixed" me and explained what that awful "breathing through feathers" feeling was that I'd had all my life. Now if I avoid my triggers and I use my inhaler as I should and I get proper rest and exercise, I'm blessed to have very few really bad asthma attacks. 

    I know I'm blessed — there are folks out there who do "all the right things" every day and they still struggle. 

  • HikaControl

    Some of my cousins and from what my mom said, my grandmother.

    Does anyone here feel, despite that increase in asthma diagnosis, that the condition is largely due to genetics/family history?

  • K8sMom2002

    I have to believe that plays a part…my family is famous for its "weak lungs."

    But there's a lot I can do to overcome asthma — genes might give me a predisposition, but I'm the one who can help my lungs get stronger. 

  • Jen

    I definitely think genetics plays a big part.  My daughter's allergist says there is an atopic gene (tendency to be allergic).  If one parent or both (percentages vary depending on if both parents have an allergic condition) has allergies (of any sort), asthma or eczema, then there is a certain probability (I forget the exact stats he quoted) that their kids will have an allergic condition of some sort.  My kids hit the genetic jackpot.  Not much asthma to speak of (though I was dx'd with cough variant asthma as a teen, haven't had issues in years, just might need an inhaler with lingering infections), but definitely plenty of other atopic conditions.

  • HikaControl

    Jen,

    I read a study on asthma on Mexicans and Puerto Ricans. The found that Mexicans who had more indigenous ancestry had lower risks/rates of developing asthma; while Puerto Ricans who had more African ancestry had higher rates of asthma.

    Asians for example are often thought to have lower asthma rates – around 10% I think, but almost 25% of Filipinos have asthma.

  • Jen

    Interesting to hear how ancestry plays a part in terms of differences among cultural groups.  

  • Kathy P

    That actually kind of makes sense on the Puerto Ricans with more African ancestry. African Americans are more likely to have asthma.

  • HikaControl

    I wish they have a free full version of these but here are the abstract on asthma and ancestry

    Also,

    The authors demonstrated that for every 20% increase in Native American ancestry, the odds of developing asthma was 43% lower in Mexicans and other Latinos, but not among Puerto Ricans. In contrast, African ancestry was correlated with increased odds of asthma in Puerto Ricans and other non-Mexican Latinos, with every 20% increase corresponding to a 40% increase in risk. These results did not change when environmental or socioeconomic factors were taken into account, suggesting that genetic differences are the primary cause. In addition, the authors report that measures of lung function among children with asthma were higher in Mexicans, intermediate in other Latinos and lowest in Puerto Ricans. These differences were fully explained by differences in the proportion of African and Native American ancestry, with increasing African ancestry correlating to lower lung function and increasing Native American ancestry to higher lung function.

  • HikaControl

    Being of Filipino ancestry, I would be thrilled with a similar population study. 

    The Philippines generally does not have a proper study of its population with asthma. The government is still cash strapped so funds are mainly directed towards delivering basic health services, and hardly for any research. That being said, the estimates are 12% of the population, which I believe can be grossly underreported given the rates of Filipinos in the US is close to 25%.

  • K8sMom2002

    HikaControl, that's very interesting about the percent of Asians who have asthma. My DD is Asian (adopted from China), and she has the trifecta … eczema (thank goodness not so bad now), asthma and food allergies. 

  • Jen

    I know most of our conversation has been about our personal struggles with asthma.  What about your kids, spouse, parents, etc?  Anyone else in your family have asthma?

  • K8sMom2002

    I think I've mentioned that my DD has asthma. My mom and my aunts both had asthma, and I believe my sister is fooling around with undiagnosed asthma. But who listens to baby sisters who nag, right?

    What about you, Jen? Who has asthma in your family?

  • Jen

    I was dx'd with cough variant asthma in high school.  I have been very lucky the last 15-20 years.  It very rarely acts up – I take zyrtec and singulair for allergies – I know singulair can help for asthma as well.  Other than  that, I don't regularly take asthma meds.  I do have to use albuterol now and then when I get bronchitis or sometimes even with the coughing from a bad sinus infection.

    Other than that, my sisters and nephews all have asthma that they need to use regular meds to prevent/treat.

  • Gloria

    I'm new here. I have had bronchial asthma for less than a year as a result of the flu. (Due to an autoimmune disease I can't get flu shots.) 

    funny, I had not until now considered who else in my family has asthma, but 1) My mother is allergic to my cats 2) My daughter had asthma when she was little. She outgrew it. And 3) My sister has adult onset asthma. 

    Maybe there is a pattern here?

  • Jen

    There is definitely a genetic component to allergic diseases.  There is a gene which makes it more likely to pass along atopic diseases (asthma, allergies, eczema, etc) if you have any one of those diseases.  Take a look at my signature and you can see what we are dealing with in my family.

  • Gloria

    Since both my sister and I have different kinds of adult onset asthma, i never thought of it as anything other than happenstance, but perhaps we were predisposed