Winter allergies a danger to asthmatics

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ARDMORE, Okla. (KXII)-- The flu may be one of the most common illnesses associated with the winter season, but this time of year also brings increased risk of asthma attacks.

Mercy Hospital's Ears, Nose and Throat physician Dr. Jason Sigmon says 10% of all children in Oklahoma are at risk for asthma. It's also one of the leading causes of deaths in children.

And Sigmon says this time of year the problem is even worse, with the prevalence of allergens such as mountain cedar and the weather.

"In Oklahoma we deal with the ups and downs of atmospheric pressure, and humidity, and temperature and wind, and that's hard on asthma patients." Sigmon said.

He says if left unchecked, asthma can be very dangerous, even deadly; especially since those with asthma are more likely to contract other illnesses such as the flu.

"Every year children succumb to asthma, and often times its because they don't know what their triggers are," Sigmon said. "So its really important that families, if they're concerned or not even certain that their children has asthma, that they get it diagnosed and get it treated."

He also recommends regularly cleaning your home to keep it free of indoor allergens such as dust, which are commonly found in carpet, furniture and bedding.