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Asthma

Asthma

Acute asthma is the severe inflammation of the airways that lead to the lungs. As the inflammation increases, the airways become tighter and narrower making it harder for the air to flow freely into the lungs. Asthma is a chronic illness considered to be one of the leading causes for children to miss school. In most children, asthma develops before 5 years of age, and in more than half, asthma develops before 3 years of age.

Types of asthma include:
  • Intermittent asthma with brief episodes of wheezing and other symptoms
  • Mild persistent asthma with 1 or 2 episodes of wheezing and other symptoms per month usually at night
  • Moderate persistent asthma with daily symptoms affecting normal physical activity and requiring medication
  • Severe persistent asthma with continuous symptoms requiring emergency treatment and sometimes hospitalization
Causes

The airways, known as "bronchi", are very sensitive to a number of internal and external triggers such as weather changes, exercise, stress, allergies, viral infections and smoke. In case of inflammation, the airways swell up and fill up with mucus. This in turn causes the airways to become narrower and blocked resulting in a wheezing sound when the child breathes.

 
Triggers
  • Pollution
  • Smoke
  • Dust
  • Plant Pollen
  • Mold
  • Exercise
  • Cold, dry climate
  • Viral infections
Symptoms
  • Coughing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest tightness or pain
  • Rapid breathing
  • Thick mucus
  • General fatigue
  • Wheezing
 
Diagnosis

Your pediatrician can determine whether your child is asthmatic by asking a number of common questions related to the symptoms above.

Treatment

The best treatment for asthma is prevention. Make sure your child stays away from common allergens and maintains a healthy diet to boost his/her immune system.

Asthmatic children will have two types of medications: a reliever and a controller. Bronchodilators, or relievers, relax the muscles in the air pipes to facilitate breathing. Inhaled steroids such as corticosteroids, or controllers, are taken daily to prevent asthma symptoms.

Your pediatrician may prescribe chewable pills for younger children. Moreover, infants are often given
granules that are mixed with milk or food.

Are Asthma Medications Dangerous?

When it comes to asthma, parents are often concerned about giving their child an inhaled steroid. In a recent study, 71% of parents were concerned with the role of steroids in asthma treatment, but more than half (53%) of them addressed fears from side effects.

Unlike regular steroids, corticosteroids do not possess androgen properties. This means your child will not become muscular from corticosteroid use. Moreover, corticosteroids have not been linked with any significant long-term side effects.

Is Asthma Inherited?

Asthma is often genetic and inherited from family members. If one or more of your direct family members suffer from asthma, there's a huge chance your child will have it too. The severity of the asthma differs from one child to another. Even if no one in your family has asthma, your child may suffer from asthma, as the exact cause of asthma has not yet been discovered.

Asthma Statistics
  • 300 million people around the world suffer from asthma
  • 80% of asthma deaths are preventable through proper medication
  • administration and care
  • Asthma is the leading cause of hospital admissions among children Asthma is one of the leading cause behind children missing school days
 
 
 
 

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