North Hills ENT

Asthma

Asthma in children is a condition that can lead to serious complications. Asthma can be diagnosed by a pediatric asthma specialist, and there are many treatment options available. Find out about the symptoms and solutions of asthma.

Causes and Concerns

Asthma is a condition that makes it hard for your child to breathe due to swelling and inflammation of the airway structures. Airways become tight and narrow during an asthma attack, leading to breathing difficulty as air is unable to pass through the lungs. Attacks can also range in severity from minor to severe. While the cause of asthma is unknown, there are things that put your child at risk for developing this condition. These include:

  • Heredity: Usually runs in the family
  • Allergies: Associated with this condition
  • Environment: Pollution and other factors

Symptoms and Signs

If you suspect your child has asthma, you should consider scheduling an appointment with one of our caring asthma specialists. There are a few different symptoms related to asthma, and these can become worse at night and during allergy season. These include:

  • Coughing
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Wheezing
  • Fatigue during physical activity
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Shortness of breath
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss

Solutions and Options

A doctor can diagnose asthma by examining the child and performing some tests. These tests will help the doctor determine the extent of the disease. Some of the tests are spirometry, X-rays, and allergy testing. Spirometry is a test that measures the air flow into and out of the child’s lungs. X-rays are sometimes done to rule out infections. Also, allergy testing helps the doctor determine the allergen that may be contributing to the symptoms.

Because asthma does restrict the airways, trouble breathing is a main symptom, and this can often be scary. Asthma can be controlled long term, however, through the use of medications and an action plan. An action plan helps you track your child’s symptoms and progress through a chart, and report it to your doctor. It is typical for a child to be on an inhaled corticosteroid medication daily to help reduce the number and frequency of attacks.

Asthma can also be treated at the time of the attack. Asthma attacks are life threatening and require immediate medical attention. The doctor will prescribe a quick acting medication (albuterol) for your child to use during an attack.

Summary

Monitoring your child’s symptoms is important with asthma. You need to make sure that the medication is working to keep the asthma under control. Medical attention is necessary for a severe asthma attack. With proper care, you can help your child manage his or her asthma. Come in to see one of our asthma specialists, and the doctor will work with you to help find a solution to your child’s symptoms.

Call us at 817-595-3700 to schedule an appointment.

Additional Reading:  http://www.webmd.com/asthma/tc/asthma-in-children-overview