Mercy’s Dr. Kathryn Boling Discusses Treatment for Adult Asthma

May 16, 2016
Lutherville Personal Physicians

Coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath are all symptoms of adult asthma.

Women are more likely to have it. Experts said one reason may explain why women get adult asthma more than men.

Karen Lusas pays close attention to the weather, pollen counts and carpeted floors because these things trigger her asthma.

"You can't breathe. You feel like an elephant's sitting on your chest, and the coughing just gets worse and worse," Lusas said.

"If you have a cough that doesn't go away and you've treated your allergies, you definitely need to be tested for asthma," said Mercy’s Dr. Kathryn Boling of Lutherville Personal Physicians.

According to Dr. Boling, estrogen may contribute to adult asthma being more common in women because in children, asthma is more common in boys than girls until they reach puberty.

"That's when women start to become more numerous asthma sufferers than men do, and then after menopause, when estrogen decreases again, people's asthma will many times spontaneously regress. They may not be totally better, but they do much better. They don't have as many attacks," Dr. Boling said.

Dr. Boling explained that  if people have adult asthma, like Lusas, they can manage it by knowing their triggers, but what's most important is anyone with asthma should always have an inhaler.

"We call it a rescue inhaler and it's a bronchodilator, because people still do die from asthma, and you need to have that inhaler someplace where you can get to it if you have a severe asthma attack and can't breathe," Dr. Boling said.

It's advice that Lusas said makes living with adult asthma much more manageable.

"This weather pattern here has been hard to get through, so since I know what my triggers are I'll do my nebulizer in the morning. If I feel really tired at night, I know that I'm not breathing well so I make sure I do a treatment before I go to sleep," Lusas said.

View Dr. Kathryn Boling’s interview regarding adult asthma.

Dan Collins - Senior Director of Media Relations at Mercy Medical Center

Dan Collins, Senior Director of Media Relations

Email: Office: 410-332-9714 Cell: 410-375-7342

About Mercy

Founded in 1874, Mercy Medical Center is a university-affiliated medical facility named one of the top 100 hospitals in the U.S. by Thomson-Reuters with a national reputation for women’s health. Mercy is home to the nationally acclaimed Weinberg Center for Women’s Health and Medicine as well as the $400+ million, 20-story Mary Catherine Bunting Center. For more information visit Mercy online at, Facebook, Twitter or call 1-800-MD-MERCY.

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