Doctors: developing asthma plan can reduce ER visits - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Doctors: developing asthma plan can reduce ER visits

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Ash Golamnobee, 9, developed a constant cough shortly after he and his family moved to Chattanooga about five years ago. Ash Golamnobee, 9, developed a constant cough shortly after he and his family moved to Chattanooga about five years ago.
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

It's no question that Chattanooga has an allergy problem. The city's high pollen count is just one of the reasons the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America has rated the Scenic City second on the list of most challenging places to live with asthma.

The AAFA said asthma attacks account for 2 million emergency room visits a year, but only 500,000 of those visits result in hospitalization.

Experts in Chattanooga said asthma is a chronic disease, and those who suffer from it need to treat it like that. They said sticking to a game plan could keep you from costly emergency room visits.

Ash Golamnobee, 9, developed a constant cough shortly after he and his family moved to Chattanooga about five years ago.

"It was like, I guess, out of control. I couldn't really, you know, breathe," he said.

Doctors at Erlanger's Pediatric Asthma Center diagnosed Ash with asthma. It was triggered by some pretty bad allergies.

A specialist taught him how to deal with it. Doctors said Ash is now a prime example of a patient who keeps his asthma under control. That keeps him out of the emergency room.

"We have a program that's written down for us very specifically, what is asthma, what causes it and how to treat it," said Caroline Golamnobee, Ash's mother.

Many who suffer from asthma don't have a plan. That's a big reason why Chattanooga ranks near the top of the Asthma Capital report.

"The ones that Chattanooga kind of came in worse than average on were the E.D. visits, people needing to use their reliever inhalers, and people not taking their controller inhalers. So these are all medical factors that we actually can control," said Dr. Megan Pierce, Director of Erlanger's Pediatric Asthma Center.

The CDC said asthma cost the U.S. 56 billion dollars in 2007. Talking to a doctor or a specialist about an individualized plan could keep you from contributing to that number.

Caroline says it's worked for her son Ash.

"I think in this city in particular, you really have to have A: the right doctor, and B: you have to really keep on it," Caroline Golamnobee said.

Instead of sitting in the emergency room, Ash can concentrate on having fun with his friends.

"Now that I have the inhaler and the doctors educating me and all that, I feel better," said Ash Golamnobee.

While Erlanger's Pediatric Asthma Center treats kids up to 21 years old, doctors said it's never too late for people to get their own asthma plan.

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