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Asthma & Allergies

Sima Stein, MD -  - Pediatrician

Sima Stein, MD

Pediatrician located in Bay Area, San Jose, CA

A frequent runny nose, itchy skin rashes, and nighttime coughing spells may indicate your child has allergies or asthma or both. Dr. Sima Stein is a well-known pediatrician with offices in San Jose, California. She can determine what’s causing your child’s symptoms and then design a personalized treatment plan that helps keep them under control. Call Sima Stein, MD today for an appointment or book your visit online.

Asthma & Allergies Q & A

How do I know if it’s allergies or asthma?

It’s often difficult to separate allergy symptoms from asthma because many children have both. Also, the same environmental substances (allergens) that cause allergy symptoms can also trigger asthma, which may include:

  • Pollen
  • Pet dander
  • Dust mites  

Allergy symptoms can include:

  • Skin rashes or hives
  • Sneezing, coughing, runny nose, itchy and watery eyes
  • Stomach upset
  • Frequent earaches, ear infections, and a sensation of popping or crackling sounds in the ears

Asthma symptoms can include:

  • Coughing that’s especially troublesome at night
  • Wheezing or a whistling sound that’s typically noted with exhaling
  • Difficulty breathing that’s often characterized by rapid breaths and tightness of the skin around your child’s ribs or neck
  • Frequent colds  

How do you diagnose allergies or asthma?

Dr. Stein starts with a careful review of your child’s symptoms and a thorough physical exam. It’s often helpful if you keep a diary of your child’s symptoms that includes details about when the symptoms occur, how long they last, and what seems to help. This helps identify whether there’s a pattern to your child’s symptoms and what may be triggering them.

Allergies and what triggers your child’s symptoms are further identified through allergy testing that often includes exposure to well-known allergens through a simple skin test. If a bump forms in response to applying an allergen to your child’s skin, it’s considered a trigger that your child should avoid.

Lung function tests are used to confirm the diagnosis of asthma. These simple tests require your child to breathe in and then out forcefully through a tube, which allows Dr. Stein to measure lung volume and function.

What is the treatment for allergies and asthma?

Depending on the severity of your child’s asthma, Dr. Stein may prescribe daily treatment designed to reduce the inflammation in airways that are responsible for the condition. Children with asthma also need a quick response or “rescue” inhaler that quickly relieves the wheezing, cough, and shortness of breath associated with an acute asthma attack, which can become life-threatening if not controlled.

Dr. Stein encourages her allergy and asthma patients to avoid their known triggers whenever possible. For allergy sufferers, she may recommend medication to treat the symptoms and/or immunotherapy to help your child build up a tolerance to specific allergens. This can be delivered via drops placed under the tongue (sublingually) rather than via injections.