Asthma & Breathing
Asthma is a respiratory condition that causes the airways to become constricted.
What is asthma?
Asthma is a respiratory condition that causes the airways to become constricted and narrow, making it difficult to breathe. The symptoms of asthma can range from mild to severe, and can even become life-threatening in some cases.
The exact cause of asthma is unknown, but it’s believed to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Asthma often runs in families and is common in children who live in heavily polluted areas.
What are the symptoms of asthma?
Asthma doesn’t look the same in every case. Some children will experience infrequent asthma attacks during specific times (like physical activity), while others will experience symptoms almost constantly.
The most common symptoms of asthma include:
- Shortness of breath
- Tightness in the chest
- A whistling sound when exhaling
The symptoms of asthma can be triggered by a number of things. Typically, children experience exercise-induced asthma and/or allergy-induced asthma.
How is asthma diagnosed?
In order to properly diagnose your child’s condition, the doctor will do a series of tests, including a physical exam to rule out any other condition like a respiratory infection or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) that could be causing the symptoms.
The doctor will then test your child’s lung function. Lung tests help determine how effectively air moves in and out as your child breathes. Depending on your child’s condition, a number of other tests like allergy testing and X-rays could also be done to help your doctor come to an accurate diagnosis.
How is asthma treated?
Prevention is the best approach to treating asthma. After your child has been diagnosed, your doctor will help you determine what triggers worsen their symptoms or cause asthma attacks. By avoiding these triggers, you can help keep your child’s symptoms under control.
Two groups of medications can help keep asthma under control: long-term asthma control medications and quick-relief medications.
Long-term medications like Inhaled corticosteroids are used to prevent asthma flare-ups, while quick-relief medications offer short-term relief from asthma attacks and symptoms. Allergy medications can also be used to help children with allergy-induced asthma.
Can children outgrow asthma?
Although asthma isn’t curable, it’s possible for some children to stop having symptoms as they get older. Although asthma is an ongoing (chronic) condition and doesn’t really go away, it’s believed that as children age, their airways grow larger, causing much of the inflammation caused by asthma to go unnoticed.
If your child is showing signs of asthma, book an appointment by phone or online or drop by Night Watch Specialized Urgent Care today.