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Keeping Allergies Under Control

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Nasal allergies affect around 50 million people in the United States, and asthma affects 26 million. Respiratory diseases can make breathing difficult and frustrating for many of us, especially during the summer months when pollen, dust and much more take to the sky. But having these diseases does not have to mean the end of summer fun. Treating and understanding them can lead to a summer of suffering into a time of fun.

Baseball is one of America's biggest pastimes. It’s a staple of summer for boys like Isaac Telle who plays ball in East Grand Forks, with dad in the dugout and mom in the stands.

Isaac’s dad, Scott Telle, says, “He's running around like you expect him to run around.”

Isaac says, “I enjoy catching the ball.”

But for the Telle's, night's like this were in doubt just several months ago.

Isaac’s mom, Linda Telle, says, “Back in October, he had a pretty severe asthma issue. We were hospitalized for a few days.”

Scott says, “That was a real eye opener. This is real. This is something that you don't screw around with.”

Isaac battled allergies and asthma for years. But it wasn't until his severe attack that his family met with an allergist to change their approach and to change Isaac's life.

Dr. Fatima Khan says, “Up to 70 percent of children who have asthma also have allergies on top of that so they do go hand in hand.”

The rate of individuals with asthma has tripled in the last 5 to 7 years. The prevalence of people with allergies is also increasing, with 40 percent of children now being affected.

Dr. Khan says, “They'll show you by coughing more or coughing at night.”

New techniques such as scratch testing and tablets that dissolve under the tongue are improving the ways allergies and asthma are diagnosed and treated.

Dr.Khan says, “We want them to be living a normal, healthy lifestyle, and if they want to be active with sports. The sky is the limit. Should be just like everybody else.”

Linda says, “We've really been able to get him managed.”

So Isaac can be like any other kid, playing the games he loves, and dreaming of being like his favorite player, who he says is Ivan Rodruiguez

Scott says, “He's out doing what he loves. He dreamed of being a catcher for his baseball team and there he is. He's a one in a million. He's a great kid. Love seeing him out there doing what he loves to do.”

Symptoms of asthma and allergies can mirror those of common colds.