How Can We Avoid A Trip To The Er
Well-managed asthma is rarely life-threatening. Taking asthma medicines as prescribed can help prevent severe asthma flare-ups and the need for emergency care.
Be sure to schedule and keep follow-up visits with your doctor and to track your child’s asthma.
It’s important to monitor your child’s asthma using the written asthma action plan your doctor helps you create. This plan will outline day-to-day treatment, symptoms to watch for, and step-by-step instructions to follow during a flare-up.
Taking asthma seriously and working to manage it can make it less likely that your child will need to go to the ER.
What Types Of Asthma Are There
Healthcare providers identify asthma as intermittent or persistent . Persistent asthma can be mild, moderate or severe. Healthcare providers base asthma severity on how often you have attacks. They also consider how well you can do things during an attack.
Asthma can be:
- Allergic: Some peoples allergies can cause an asthma attack. Molds, pollens and other allergens can cause an attack.
- Non-allergic: Outside factors can cause asthma to flare up. Exercise, stress, illness and weather may cause a flare.
Reasons You Must Never Forget You Have Asthma
In the first season of “The Biggest Loser” one of the final contestants lost a ton of weight, and he proclaimed in his ebulient New York accent something like, “The best part of losing all this weight is: my asthma is gone. Gone! GONE!!!”
This happens to a lot of people. The reason is because asthma is a strange disease, in that it can be bothersome one minute, and then it can go into remission for days, weeks, months and even years. In essence, it can appear to be gone, and weight loss, if you are diagnosed with obesity can help to limit asthma.
Yet it’s not actually gone, it is likely in remission. And because it’s not you must continue to know you still have asthma, and you should continue to work with your doctor. That’s right: it’s a myth that asthma can simply resolve or go away.
In some cases your asthma may get so much better your doctor may actually allow you to quit taking your asthma medicines. Again, this simply means that your condition is in remission or a dormant-like state.
The following are some reasons your asthma might seem to be resolved, and why you must never forget you have it:
You are on the best asthma medicine: Some people have good control of their asthma because of the newer asthma medicines and treatments. Thus, if you stop taking your asthma controller medicines your asthma symptoms may come back.
What Other Conditions Feel Like Exercise
Other conditions have symptoms similar to exercise-induced asthma. Some of these arent serious, while others need medical attention.
- Being out of shape. If you havent exercised in a while, then getting a little bit of exercise can make you feel out of breath quite easily. This is different from exercise-induced asthma, however. If your symptoms go away quickly when you stop exercising, theyre more likely due to being out of shape than exercise-induced asthma. If youre just getting back into exercise, start slowly. Take time to warm up, and listen to your body. If you arent sure, talk to your doctor.
- Chest pain /heart troubles. Chest pain can be a symptom of asthma. But it can also be a sign that you are having trouble with your heart. If you have chest pain when you exercise , talk to your doctor right away.
- Exercise-induced laryngospasm. Sometimes, exercise can cause a temporary spasm of your vocal cords. This can feel like exercise-induced asthma, because you might experience difficulty breathing, coughing, and chest pain. But exercise-induced laryngospasm starts fast and goes away quickly when you stop exercising. It only affects air flowing into your lungs, not out of your lungs, often causing a strange noise to your in-breath. Asthma medicines like albuterol wont help with laryngospasm. This condition is usually diagnosed based on symptoms. But sometimes a provider may use a camera test to look at your vocal cords while you exercise.
Things You Might Not Know About Childhood Asthma
Follow me on Twitter @drClaire
Asthma is one of most common chronic diseases of childhood; almost 9% of children in the United States suffer from it. And yet I find its a disease that lots of people dont understand even parents of children with asthma.
Lungs are made up of lots of little tubes that lead into bigger tubes; they look almost like sponges. In asthma, the tubes get irritated and narrowed, making it hard for air to get in and out. Lots of different things can cause that irritation, such as allergies, cold air, chemicals in the air, exercise, the common cold, or even stress.
As a pediatrician, I see children with asthma almost every day and have lots of conversations with their families. Over the years, Ive found that there are lots of misunderstandings about asthma, and those misunderstandings can cause real problems for children with asthma.
Here are three things you might not know about childhood asthma.
If A Child No Longer Has Asthma Symptoms Can You Assume The Asthma Is Gone Too
Kids may become asymptomatic, but the âchronic stuffâ in their lungs probably doesnât go away, says Derek K. Johnson, a pediatric allergist in Fairfax, Va. Only a biopsy of lung tissue would offer certainty about the state of a personâs airways.
âTo follow changes , you need to look at it on a microscopic level. Itâs not something we do routinely,â says Johnson, the former director of the division of allergy and clinical immunology at Temple University Childrenâs Medical Center in Philadelphia.
Diagnosing Asthma In Young Children
Healthcare providers are often reluctant to give a diagnosis of asthma to infants and very young children because children often cough and wheeze with colds, chest infections like bronchitis, and other conditions responsible for asthma-like symptoms.
Since there is no diagnostic test available for children younger than six years of age, making a diagnosis in this age group is more difficult than in older children. Over the age of about six it is possible for a child to have a spirometry test. This is a simple test that measures a childs airflow through the large and small airways. Results reveal if the childs airflow can be improved with medication. Reversibility of airway obstruction is a key feature of asthma. If administering a bronchodilator reverses airway narrowing significantly, the diagnosis is probably asthma.
Why Do More Boys Outgrow Asthma Than Girls
Although a recent study found that boys were more likely than girls to outgrow asthma, Rachelefsky says there isnât enough research to make any conclusions about gender and the progression of asthma.
Panettieri says more girls develop asthma after the onset of puberty; boys develop it before.
âItâs not that boys outgrow it, but now there are more women with it,â he says.
Some studies have suggested that hormonal differences may factor in to a higher prevalence of adult asthma in women.
Will My Child Outgrow Asthma
Asthma is rarely outgrown it often persists into adulthood. However, some parents see the symptoms of asthma go away as their child grows. This could be the result of the childs lungs growing larger or the immune system adapting over time. However, sensitivity to allergens as an asthma symptom trigger may still remain. And for many, symptoms often reappear years later.
Asthma Symptoms In Infants And Young Children
In young children, cough is often the only symptom of asthma.
Asthma symptoms generally include coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath, but asthma symptoms vary widely among children. Some cough all night but are symptom-free during the day, while others seem to get frequent chest colds that just wont go away.
Children have very small, narrow airways, and can wheeze when they have a viral infections. First episodes of cough, runny nose and fever that happen in cold and flu season is likely not asthma. If your child has several more episodes of wheeze and cough, it is more likely to be asthma. The most common cause of asthma in infants and children under three years of age is a cold. Even after the cold is gone, asthma symptoms and airway swelling can last for several weeks.
Can Babies Have Asthma
See Related Pages
We dont always know why a baby develops asthma but some causes can be:
- Family history of asthma, allergies or eczema
- Premature birth
- A viral infection , especially when the baby is less than 6 months old
- A mother who smokes during pregnancy
As many as 80% of children that will have asthma develop signs and symptoms before the age of 5.
Keep Taking Prescribed Medications
Long-term controller medications may also help treat your asthma and prevent symptoms from returning. Its important not to stop taking your prescribed medications even if your symptoms are better.
If you stop taking your medications as prescribed, this could cause your symptoms to return at a higher severity, leading to an over-reliance on fast-acting inhalers and other rescue medications.
Presentation Of Asthma: Late Childhood
Symptoms in this age group transition more from discrete episodes of wheezing in response to viral infections to allergic triggered exacerbations. In this age group, exercise-induced symptoms manifest more clearly which may be due to a true change in the clinical presentation of asthma in this age group or also due to sports and exercise becoming a more discreet activity for children of this age wherein caretakers are able to appreciate the symptoms of dyspnea or cough with exertion. In children who avoid or develop a loss of interest in exercise or physical activities, it is important to consider that asthma may be underlying.
Some children in this age group will have few day-to-day symptoms, but have severe asthma attacks in response to specific triggers such as cold weather, cigarette smoke, or seasonal allergies. Virally triggered asthma exacerbations occur in this age group but less often than in the 06 year age range and may contribute to the lower rates of healthcare utilization in this age group as compared with younger years of 04 years .
Adult Phenotypes Of Asthma
Late Onset Eosinophilic
Characterized by both clinical and biologic features of later onset, predominately female, and elevated sputum and serum eosinophils. Late-onset eosinophilic asthma is defined clinically by adult-onset, severe disease and is associated with sinusitis and less allergic sensitization compared to early onset disease. Biologically patients have increased IL-5 and IL-13 in the airways and elevated eosinophils in the sputum and serum . No cut off for sputum and serum eosinophils have been universally agreed upon however it is generally accepted that a sputum eosinophil count of >2% or a serum eosinophil count of >300 cells/uL indicates eosinophilic asthma . Despite a high prevalence of positive skin prick tests this form of asthma appears to be less allergic but is often associated with sinusitis, nasal polyps, and aspirin exacerbated respiratory disease . A family history of asthma is seen less frequently than those with early onset asthma . This type of asthma can be relatively steroid resistant but biologic therapies targeting T2 pathways have been shown to be highly effective in this group of patients .
Allergic Bronchopulmonary Aspergillosis
Link Between Early Transient Wheeze and COPD
Can Asthma Go Away On Its Own
Asthma is a lung condition that causes breathing difficulties. It affects people of all ages and often starts in childhood, although it can also develop for the first time in adults. Asthma is a long-term condition for many people, particularly if it first develops when you’re an adult. In children, it sometimes goes away or improves during the teenage years, but can come back later in life. The symptoms can usually be controlled with treatment. Most people will have normal, active lives, although some with more severe asthma may have restricted physical activity and other problems.
Minimising Your Risk Of An Attack
It may seem obvious, but the best way to decrease your chance of an asthma attack is to use your medicines if you start having symptoms.
“If you no longer take medicines because you have ‘grown out’ of asthma, but notice symptoms such as breathlessness, coughing at night, a tight chest or wheezing flaring up, make sure you see your doctor to discuss whether you might need to go back on asthma medicines again,” urges Whittamore.
“Your preventer inhaler reduces the inflammation in your sensitive airways over time so you are less likely to react if you come into contact with an asthma trigger, reducing your chance of having an asthma attack or flare-up,” he explains.
Common asthma symptoms include shortness of breath, a tight chest and wheezing. All can put you at risk of a life-threatening asthma attack.
Depending on the severity of your asthma, treatment usually goes as follows:
“The most basic treatment calls for a reliever inhaler to be used as symptoms appear. When the reliever inhaler is used more than twice a week, it is recommended to move the treatment to step two,” says Antalffy.
“Step two calls for a preventer inhaler, usually used twice a day regardless of symptoms, in addition to the reliever inhaler on standby.”
If your asthma is still poorly controlled after these measures, sometimes a third drug will be prescribed alongside inhalers.
Q: What Increases Your Risk For Adult
A: Most childhood asthma disappears in adulthood. But having childhood asthma increases your risk of a relapse in your 30s or 40s. Other factors that increase the risk of adult-onset asthma include:
- Being overweight or obese: A low level of physical activity, changes in lung physiology and higher levels of inflammation are among several factors at play.
- Being female: Hormonal fluctuations in pregnancy and menopause can trigger asthma.
- Allergens: Cats, cigarette smoke, chemicals, mold or dust can trigger asthma.
Whats An Asthma Attack
When you breathe normally, muscles around your airways are relaxed, letting air move easily. During an asthma attack, three things can happen:
- Bronchospasm: The muscles around the airways constrict . When they tighten, it makes the airways narrow. Air cannot flow freely through constricted airways.
- Inflammation: The airway linings become swollen. Swollen airways dont let as much air in or out of the lungs.
- Mucus production: During the attack, your body creates more mucus. This thick mucus clogs airways.
Who Is Most Likely To Outgrow Asthma
It might be easier to point out who is not likely to outgrow asthma. While most wheezing in early life is due to viral respiratory infections such as the respiratory syncytial virus, differentiating viral illness from asthma can be difficult. Children who experience multiple wheezing episodes before age 3 and contain at least one of the following risk factors are at increased risk of continuing to wheeze:
- Parent with asthma
- Have a diagnosis of eczema
Or 2 of these symptoms:
- Food allergy
- Wheezing episodes not associated with colds
- Elevated levels of eosinophils in the blood
Research at National Jewish Health found that only 6% of children followed for 9 years were considered in complete remission from asthma with no asthma activity meaning no asthma symptoms, medication use, or urgent care visits for asthma.
The following factors have been associated with increased likelihood a period of remission or improving asthma:
- Boys are more likely than girls
- Older the age at diagnosis
- Wheezing only with a cold, but otherwise being symptom-free
- Lower levels and other biochemical indicators of asthma severity
- Decreased sensitization and exposure to allergens
- No diagnosis of allergic diseases like eczema
- Less need for rescue medication and fewer asthma attacks
What Are Signs And Symptoms Of Asthma In Babies
In infants and toddlers, it may be hard for parents, and even doctors, to recognize signs and symptoms of asthma. Bronchial tubes in infants, toddlers and preschoolers are already small and narrow, and colds and other illnesses can iname airways, making them even smaller and more irritated.
Asthma symptoms will vary from child to child. The challenge with infants is that they cannot tell you how they are feeling.
Babies with asthma may experience difficulty breathing you may notice their bellies moving more when inhaling or exhaling and the nostrils of their nose may flare out. You might also notice:
- Wheezing or a whistling sound when breathing
- Fast, shallow breathing
- Blue tint to skin and fingernails
Side Effects Of Asthma Medication
If you are worried about possible side effects from asthma medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop or reduce doses of medication for your child without speaking with your doctor. Common side effects from inhaled asthma medication:
- sore mouth and throat
- fungal throat infections.
Using a spacer reduces the risk of these side effects. as does rinsing the mouth with water after using an inhaler.
- fast heart beat.
Other Childhood Asthma Clinical Presentations:
In clinical practice, there are different clinical presentations of symptoms that point to an underlying diagnosis of childhood asthma, and clinical improvement can occur in response to starting a child on preventive asthma therapy, such as a daily-inhaled corticosteroid and use of bronchodilator therapy for acute episodes.
Q: How Well Does Treatment Work For Adults With Asthma
Asthma can be more difficult to control in adults for several reasons:
- Asthma medications can be less effective later in life, particularly for those who are obese.
- Oral steroids can worsen glaucoma, cataracts and teoporosis.
- Being on beta-blockers for heart problems can increase the severity of asthma.
- The lungs and chest walls are stiffer and the muscles supporting deep breathing are weaker in adults.
For these reasons, adults with asthma are at increased risk for flare-ups and even hospitalization.
Everyday Treatment For Asthma In Children
The main aims of day-to-day asthma treatment are to:
- keep symptoms under control
- keep lungs as healthy as possible
- stop asthma from interfering with school or play
- help your child enjoy a full and active life.
Your doctor will help you to develop a plan to manage your childs asthma which will include an asthma action plan , and will prescribe the correct medication to help you do so.
What Does Asthma Remission Look Likeand Can You Flare After Being In Remission
According to the NIH study, the small number of people who see their asthma completely clear up never experience asthma symptoms again, nor do they need required inhaled treatments. Other adults simply see their asthma symptoms become more and more infrequent, Dr. Li says. “The diagnosis may ‘stay’ with the patient as they are at risk of a recurrence of the symptoms, but they may not need daily controller therapy if their symptoms are intermittent or are mild,” she explains.
And sometimes, even in those who have technically experienced asthma remission, symptoms may reappear, according to a 2003 paper published in Opinion in Pulmonary Medicine. The paper also shares that some adults can start to experience asthmatic symptoms even if they haven’t suffered from any since childhood.
Overall though, little is known about who is likely to see remission and who will likely need to stay on an asthma treatment for the rest of their life, so it’s a good idea to keep in contact with an asthma specialist and talk at length with them before quitting any treatments. according to Dr. Li. “My best advice is to see a specialist and understand what type of asthma ,” she says. “From there, with appropriate therapy and follow-up, that person’s asthma action plan tailored.”
To get our top stories delivered to your inbox, sign up for the Healthy Living newsletter
How Do I Know If My Infant Or Child Has Severe Asthma
If you are concerned that your infant or childs asthma may be severe, observe their behavior for the indicators below and speak to your healthcare provider right away.
Observe your infant for any of the following indicators of Severe Asthma:
- Sits up, refuses to lie down
- Stops feeding
- Pale or bluish-looking skin anywhere
- Rapid breathing
- Using accessory muscles of breathing-in, drawing of muscles at the neck when breathing it may look like the skin is being tugged in. If you see this, your child must be assessed by a healthcare provider.
Observe your child for any of the following indicators of Severe Asthma:
- Pale looking or bluish looking skin- anywhere
- Peak flow less than 50% of personal best
- Using accessory muscles of breathing-in, drawing of muscles at the neck when breathing it may look like the skin is being tugged in. If you see this, your child must be assessed by a healthcare provider.
It’s Easy To Get The Care You Need
See a Premier Physician Network provider near you.
You can develop asthma at any time in your life. Its possible not to have asthma as a child and develop it later as an adult. Its also possible to have long periods where asthma is inactive, and then have symptoms return later in life.
What To Expect When You Visit The Doctor
Your doctor may ask whether you have any family history of asthma, eczema or hay fever.
In children, doctors assess the severity of the asthma based on the pattern and frequency of the symptoms.
Lung function tests are difficult to perform in children younger than 5 years and so are usually only used to diagnose and assess severity in children 5 years and older.
It is recommended that a paediatrician or paediatric respiratory specialist diagnose and manage asthma in infants under 12 months. If your infant is wheezing your doctor should refer to you one of these specialists.
How Are Babies Treated For Asthma
Infants can receive asthma medications through an inhaler, but often a nebulizer with a mask is a more efficient and effective way to deliver their asthma medication. A nebulizeris a machine that delivers liquid medication in a warm mist.
Be mindful to follow the medication instructions given to you by your doctor and on the package insert.
How Long Asthma Lasts For
Asthma is a long-term condition for many people, particularly if it first develops when you’re an adult.
In children, it sometimes goes away or improves during the teenage years, but can come back later in life.
The symptoms can usually be controlled with treatment. Most people will have normal, active lives, although some people with more severe asthma may have ongoing problems.
Causes And Triggers Of Asthma
Asthma is caused by swelling of the breathing tubes that carry air in and out of the lungs. This makes the tubes highly sensitive, so they temporarily narrow.
It may happen randomly or after exposure to a trigger.
Common asthma triggers include:
- smoke, pollution and cold air
- infections like colds or flu
Identifying and avoiding your asthma triggers can help you keep your symptoms under control.
What Do The Two Types Have In Common
Exact causes of asthma can be difficult to pinpoint. Allergies and triggers in the environment can cause asthma symptoms and an asthma flare-up, and genetics can also play a role. But the exact reasons why people develop asthma remain unclear.
Childhood asthma and adult-onset asthma share many of the same triggers. For all people with asthma, exposure to one of the following triggers may cause an asthma attack, though different people have different triggers:
Asthma Information For Childcare Kinder Or School
- Tell them that your child has asthma .
- Provide them with a copy of your childs asthma action plan, including emergency contact details. Make sure you provide an updated plan every year, or if your childs medication changes.The school or childcare centre will require this for enrolment.
- Show staff members how to use the medication devices, such as spacers and puffers.
- Make sure your child has an up-to-date supply of medication and a spacer at the centre or school.
- Notify staff if your childs asthma changes.
- Tell the staff about any concerns you may have.