The worst week of the year for asthma

Published: Sep. 19, 2023 at 12:36 PM MST|Updated: Sep. 19, 2023 at 5:43 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (13 News) - For many of us, the third week of September is not much different from any other week - but that’s not the case for asthma sufferers. What’s known as “Peak Week” is the worst time of year for them.

This week averages the most asthma flare ups and hospitalizations of the year. It’s especially dangerous for the youngest sufferers.

”There may have been things like dust mites, exhaust from the school bus idling, maybe new furniture in the school offgasing, things that trigger them and this time of year the ragweed and mold allergens are also very high,” said Dr. Albert Rizzo with the American Lung Association.

Doctor Rizzo calls it a “perfect storm” of asthma triggers that impact about 10% of Arizonans, or more than 600,000 people. Tucson is rated “worse than average” by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. This narrowing of the airways makes it hard to breath and causes missed days of school and work, not to mention disrupted quality of life.

This is also the time when viruses that impact respiratory function, such as flu, RSV, and Covid, start to circulate. Smoke from wildfires can make things worse. Arizona used to be a refuge for those with respiratory illness, but deteriorating air quality has changed that. The best thing you can do if you have - or think you might have asthma - is to create an asthma action plan with your doctor.

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