Asthma or Something Else? Your Googlechondriac Questions Answered


Asthma is a big deal in the United States–it kills thousands every year and sends 2 million people to the emergency room.

No wonder when people Google asthma they get worried. Dr. Arash Tirandaz of Texas Health Plano said many patients jump to the conclusion because symptoms often mimic the common cold.

“You get people just because they have a cough they automatically think they have asthma,” Dr. Tirandaz said. “It’s kind of like temporary asthma that you only get when the weather is cold, you only get it when you exercise and you only get it when you have an upper respiratory infection.”

An estimated 25 million Americans have asthma and a lot more people think they do–in fact some foods can trigger asthma-like symptoms.

“So sometimes people may not may the connection that every time I have spaghetti sauce, every time I have raw onions, every time I eat lots of fried foods I get short of breath and I get asthma like symptoms,” Dr. Tirandaz said. “It’s really not asthma; it’s heartburn that causes that.”

A spirometry test will tell if you have asthma or not–it basically gauges air flow before and after treatment–if you’re not breathing better you probably have something else, maybe a cold.

So there you go, another Google question–answered.


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