Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Asthma Allergies Children: A Parent's Guide Book Review

I was honored when Henry Ehrlich sent me a copy of Asthma Allergy Children: a parent's guide, by Paul Ehrlich, M.D., Larry Chiaramonte, M. D. and Henry Ehrlich. No, not just because I received a free book! ;)

I was honored because, since the birth of little Dylan (I fondly call him that because he is so tiny), my husband and I have been in and out of the hospital helping Dylan fight respiratory issues. They started when he was just days old and didn't seem to get any better as he grew.

We've been through every home remedy, including making a steam room in the bathroom by running a shower of hot water and sitting in there with Dylan for 20 minutes every hour. We've used the nebulizer with Albuterol and Pulmicort for years and we moved to the inhaler about a year ago. We've also tried the humidifiers and air purifiers as well as menthol and eucalyptus rubs. I don't think that we left many stones unturned in regard to helping Dylan breathe normally.

There were a few episodes when Dylan completely stopped breathing...

If you've never experienced watching your child struggling to breathe, let me tell you: it's one of the hardest and scariest things to watch as a mother. 

We take breathing for granted. We don't think about the breaths of air that we take in...we just do it, but when you have respiratory problems, you never take the air that we breathe for granted. Ever!

While planning the move from the Carolinas to the North (New York!) last May, I wondered how the move would affect Dylan's breathing issues. We had lived in the Carolinas since he was born, so there was no telling how the move would affect him. My fear was that the North would be worse on his little body, as the winters are more harsh and the season changes happen quickly...and I couldn't imagine things getting any worse!

But, I was wrong...

By the grace of God, Dylan hasn't had any scary episodes since we moved in May, which tells me something that Asthma Allergies Children: a parent's guide discussed. One of the chapters (12. Allergies and the Environment) outlined information about the actual air that we breathe. The allergens that float in the air that we don't think about normally - those silent predators! It states, "If the air is completely free of the substances an allergic patient is subject to, there will be no symptoms."

Wow! Think about it...if our air was completely pure, breathing issues would not exist. Allergies would disappear. Right? "Pollen and mold spores are the major outdoor allergens responsible for seasonal allergens," according to the book. This quote comes from the section that state, "Geography Matters".

So, what was so different between the South and the North? The South has prolonged season changes, which allows the pollen and other seasonal air raiders more time to gather and bother the respiratory system. I remember one year when the pollen was so thick on the cars, they looked like they were all colored green. Green! Up here, in the North, the seasons change pretty fast and those allergens disappear faster than they would in the South, which means less exposure to airborn allergens.

I am no scientific scholar, but it makes sense...and I'm glad that we made the move, both for financial reasons and for the health of Dylan, who has suffered enough. Since May, when we moved to New York, he has, I think once, fell victim to a respiratory spell when I thought I would have to pull the nebulizer out. I was armed and ready, but the wheezing went away within a day or two.

About the Book

Okay, so I got a little off the subject, which is the book, so let me get back on track...

When I first started reading Asthma Allergies Children: a parent's guide, my immediate reaction was: I love the tone of voice! It's not written in a scientific, struggle-to-understand-what-the-heck-these-doctors-are-saying method, no! The tone is extremely down to Earth, like your friend is talking to you. It's a book that, from the first page to the last page, has a personality. You wouldn't believe that doctors wrote it...no offense to doctors, but you have to admit, their lingo is a little over the top (over my head, anyways!) sometimes.

The chapter break down is perfect for quick referencing, should you need to return to a section later on for advice:

As you can see, they help you gather a good understanding about allergies and asthma, they incorporate images to accompany the explanations and descriptions, also. And, here is an example page from the book to give you an idea of the tone of voice....

Sorry to cut it off right there, but doesn't it catch your attention and make you want to read more? 

And...if you read the above selection from the beginning of the book, you will notice how they mention that the book runs in accordance with their website, AsthmaAllergiesChildren.com because "medicine moves faster than print". This website is also full of resources including journals, weekly, tips, mailbags, and much more.


If you have a child that suffers respiratory issues, Asthma Allergy Children: a parent's guide is definitely a must-have! It's chock-full of information and images and, although I hope that I never have to deal with Dylan experiencing respiratory issues again, I know exactly where the book and the website can be found, if I ever need to reference them again. This book can replace all of your other asthma and allergy reference guides and books that are collecting dust on your bookshelves!

Oh, and need I mention that Henry sent me a personal letter with the book? In it, he told me that "two of the top allergists in the country work at the University of Buffalo Med School". 

So, I conclude that not only is Asthma Allergy Children: a parent's guide the best book that I have read pertaining to allergies and asthma, I also know that our move to the Buffalo, New York area was a blessing for both our family and little Dylan's health. 

Thanks, Henry, for sending me the book! It has a special spot in our home now.

I received the book Asthma Allergy Children: a parent's guide for the purpose of writing this review. I did not receive monetary compensation for this post.

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