How An Allergic Reaction Can Cause Asthma Symptoms
If youve ever taken a bite of peanut butter and immediately broken out in hives, youâve experienced an allergic reaction. Allergens, like peanut butter in this case, are substances that are inhaled, consumed, touched, or injected into the body that result in an allergic reaction.
An allergic reaction occurs when antibodies, or immune system proteins, incorrectly identify a harmless substance like peanut butter as harmful and invasive, according to Mayo Clinic. Your immune system then binds antibodies to the allergen and releases a chemical substance called immunoglobulin E in an effort to protect the body.
Too much IgE results in typical symptoms of an allergic reaction such as:
- Itchy eyes
- Difficulty talking, swallowing, or breathing
And in some cases, allergens may cause mild or severe inflammation in the lungs and airways, triggering symptoms of asthma like coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath.
What Is Childhood Asthma
Childhood asthma is the same lung disease adults get, but kids often have different symptoms. Doctors also call this pediatric asthma.
If your child has asthma, their lungs and airways can easily get inflamed when they have a cold or are around things like pollen. The symptoms may make it hard for your child to do everyday activities or sleep. Sometimes, an asthma attack can result in a trip to the hospital.
Thereâs no cure for asthma in children, but you can work with your childâs doctor to treat it and prevent damage to their growing lungs.
Diagnosis Of Asthma In Children
Diagnosing asthma;in children younger than;5;years can be difficult because;children cough or wheeze;for many different reasons.;Take your child to the doctor if:;
- the wheezing happens more than once with or without an illness;
- constant coughing or bouts of coughing become worse at night;
- you are concerned about any breathing problems in your child.;
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How Asthma Is Treated
While there is no cure for asthma, there are a number of treatments that can help control the condition.
Treatment is based on two important goals, which are:
- relieving symptoms;
- preventing future symptoms and attacks
For most people, this will involve the occasional or, more commonly, daily use of medications, usually taken using an inhaler. However, identifying and avoiding possible triggers is also important.
You should have a personal asthma action plan agreed with your doctor or nurse that includes information about the medicines you need to take, how to recognise when your symptoms are getting worse, and what steps to take when they do so.
These symptoms are often worse at night and early in the morning, particularly if the condition is not well controlled. They may also develop or become worse in response to a certain trigger, such as exercise or exposure to an allergen.
Read our page on the;causes of asthma for more information about potential triggers.
Speak to your GP if you think you or your child may have asthma. You should also talk to your doctor or asthma nurse if you have been diagnosed with asthma and you are finding it difficult to control the symptoms.
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Asthma Tips For Teachers
Teachers can help children with uncontrolled asthma get the help they need to take control of their disease. Teachers with proper asthma education are key to helping prevent fatal asthma attacks from occurring at schools. Below we have outlined some key tips for teachers to understand this chronic disease.
Asthma Management in Schools Best Practices Patient-developed resource to educate parents, schools and children on the roles and responsibilities for asthma-friendly environments.
Letter to Parents This letter is designed to assist teachers in communicating their observations of classroom behaviour that may indicate deteriorating asthma control, to parents. ; ; ;
Medication Tracking Form This form will help teachers to record each time a student needs to use his/her blue inhaler for relief of asthma symptoms.
Saras Ready Preparing for the September Asthma Peak Back to School brings sick days and visits to the hospital for children. Learn how to avoid September Peak through proper asthma management.
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What Are The Treatments For Asthma In Children
IIf your child has asthma, you will work with their health care provider to create a treatment plan. The plan will include ways to manage your childs asthma symptoms and prevent asthma attacks, such as
- Strategies to avoid triggers. For example, if tobacco smoke is a trigger for your child, you should not allow anyone to smoke in your home or car.
- Short-term relief medicines, also called quick-relief medicines. They help prevent symptoms or relieve symptoms during an asthma attack. They include an inhaler to have for your child at all times. It may also include other types of medicines which work quickly to help open your childs airways.
- Control medicines. They work by reducing airway inflammation and preventing narrowing of the airways. Not all children will take control medicines. Whether or not your child needs them depends on how severe the asthma is and how often your child has symptoms.
If your child has a severe attack and the short-term relief medicines do not work, get medical help right away.
Your childs provider may adjust the treatment until the asthma symptoms are controlled.
Asthma Patterns In Children
Every childs asthma is different. Some children have mild, occasional episodes of asthma or only show symptoms after;exercising, or when they have a;cold. Some experience daily symptoms, while others have symptoms continuously, which limit their level of activity.;
Each pattern of asthma requires a different treatment approach. It is important to remember that children can still have a;severe and even life-threatening attack, even if they generally have mild or occasional asthma.;
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How Can I Tell The Difference Between Cold And Asthma
For many children and adults, colds can trigger asthma symptoms and about half of people with asthma have constant wheezing with their cold symptoms. Colds are infections in the nose and throat, which can begin abruptly. During a cold in a child they may only encounter the following:
- Runny nose with clear mucus
- Sore throat Fatigue
- Slight fever
As mentioned before, asthma symptoms occur typically in the lungs and airways. Wheezing is usually the hallmark of asthma, and sounds like a high-pitched whistling noise when air attempts to move through narrowed airways when breathing. Other big indicators of cold and asthma symptoms overlapping include coughing, tightness in the chest, and shortness of breath. If these symptoms sound like they occur in your child, then visiting with an experienced asthma doctor New York patients trust can help you create an effective asthma treatment plan.
Take Charge: Get Symptoms Under Control
Know the things that trigger your allergy and asthma symptoms and learn how to limit your exposure to them. Work with your doctor to find the best treatment to manage your symptoms, and check in with your doctor on a regular basis.
Because allergy and asthma symptoms can change over time, you may need to adjust your treatment accordingly. Learn the signs that your asthma may be flaring up Ã¢ and know what to do when it does.
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Avoiding Childhood Asthma Triggers
To prevent asthma attacks or to keep them from getting worse, focus on known triggers with steps like these:
- Donât let anyone smoke in your home or car.
- Clean bedding and carpets often to fight dust mites.
- Keep pets out of your childâs bedroom. An air filter can help with allergens.
- Get regular pest control to avoid cockroaches.
- Fix leaks and use dehumidifiers to prevent mold.
- Donât use scented cleaning products or candles.
- Check daily air quality reports in your area.
- Help your child stay at a healthy weight.
- If they have heartburn, keep it under control.
- If exercise is a trigger, your childâs doctor might have your child use the inhaler 20 minutes before the activity to keep their airways open.
- Make sure they get a flu shot every year.
Treatment For Asthma Emergencies In Children
An asthma attack can quickly become an asthma emergency, but if you take quick action, you can reduce the risk of this happening. So, if the symptoms of an asthma attack appear, follow your childs asthma action plan.;
If your child is experiencing a;severe or life-threatening asthma attack, call triple zero for an ambulance and then start asthma first aid.:;
- Sit the child upright.;
- Give;4;puffs of reliever medication , taking;4;breaths for each puff. Use a spacer and mask if one is available.;
- Wait;4;minutes if the child still cannot breathe normally, give;4;more puffs.;
- Continue to give;4;separate puffs of reliever medication, taking;4;breaths for each puff, every;4;minutes until the ambulance arrives.;
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How Do I Manage Allergic Asthma
The main goal of treating allergic asthma is to control the condition. Your healthcare provider will work with you to develop ways to manage allergic asthma. Some things your provider may work with you on include:
- Learning how to identify triggers. Your provider will help you figure out what is triggering your asthma and find ways to either avoid or manage these allergens. Often, these triggers are found in your environment. Once you know what they are, you can manage your interactions with them.
- Finding the best medication for you. Not every medication is a perfect fit. Your provider will work with you to find which medication will control your asthma symptoms without causing negative side effects. There are many types of medications for allergic asthma . Take the time to work with your provider to see what works best for you.
- Developing an action plan. Its important to have a plan in place that helps you know when to take certain medications, what to do if the medications arent working and who to call in those situations.
Signs And Symptoms Of Childhood Asthma
Not all children have the same asthma symptoms. A child may even have different symptoms from one episode to the next. Signs and symptoms of asthma in children include:
- A cough that doesnât go away
- Coughing spells that happen often, especially during play or exercise, at night, in cold air, or while laughing or crying
- A cough that gets worse after a viral infection
- Less energy during play, and stopping to catch their breath during activities
- Avoiding sports or social activities
- Tight neck and chest muscles
- Feeling weak or tired
- Trouble eating, or grunting while eating
Your child’s doctor should check out any illness that makes it hard for them to breathe.
Experts sometimes use the terms âreactive airways diseaseâ and âbronchiolitisâ when talking about wheezing with shortness of breath or coughing in infants and toddlers. Tests may not be able to confirm asthma in children younger than 5.
When to get emergency care
A severe asthma attack needs medical care right away. Watch for these signs:
- Stopping in the middle of a sentence to catch a breath
- Using stomach muscles to breathe
- A belly that sinks in under their ribs when they try to get air
- Chest and sides that pull in as they breathe
- Severe wheezing
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Parents’ Guide To Managing Symptoms & Ensuring Academic Success
Childhood allergies and asthma are a growing concern. Allergic conditions are the most common health issue among U.S. children and asthma is the third-ranking cause of hospitalization among kids under 15. It’s no wonder parents are worried about sending their little ones off to school. This guide helps parents not only find the right school for their child with allergies or asthma but also offers information on how to manage symptoms and prevent reactions while their kid is away from home. Find some peace of mind and help your child thrive in school.
Allergies and asthma are chronic conditions that children need to learn how to live with. Self-management can be difficult, but approaching these conditions with a positive attitude and embracing a life without limits can set positive expectations and improve quality of life for children.
Dr. David Stukus
How To Keep Your Kid Safe At School
When it comes to safety at school, Dr. David Stukus of Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio says communication is key. “Talk to teachers and administers before the start of the school year to allow time for school personnel to make any necessary preparations,” he says.
Here are a few more important tips:
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Learning To Manage Asthma
For some people, asthma requires consistent medication and awareness of potential triggers that might lead to an asthma attack. For others, asthma only requires the occasional use of an inhaler for rare flare-ups. But to get to a point where asthma is well-controlled, parents need to be proactive about speaking to a pediatrician if a child presents with any of the symptoms associated with the disease.
Can My Child With Asthma Play With Kids Who Have Colds
Colds can exacerbate asthma. “It’s best to keep young children with asthma away from people who are sick,” Tolomeo advises. “Wash their hands frequently, and ask your healthcare provider about receiving the flu vaccine.”
A recent CDC study showed the flu vaccine reduces asthma flare-ups in children 6 and younger by up to 41 percent — and that vaccinating all children with asthma could prevent as many as three-quarters of asthma-related trips to emergency rooms and hospitalizations during flu season.
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What Symptoms Should You Watch For In Your Child
Contact your childs doctor if common cold symptoms are complicated by any of the following:
- The child is younger than three months
- The child has ever been diagnosed with asthma or reactive airways disease
- The child has a fever
- above 100.4Â° in babies under 3 months old
- above 101Â° in babies 3-6 months
- above 102Â° in babies older than 6 months
or take your child to the emergency room for any of these symptoms:
- Signs of trouble breathing: nostrils widening with each breath; rapid breathing; skin above or below the ribs sucking in with each breath; skin, lips or nails turning blue
- A severe headache behind or around the eyes or the back of the neck; swelling or redness around the eyes
- Persistent vomiting or signs of dehydration: dry or sticky mouth; few or no tears; thirst; discolored or less urine than usual
The Differences Between Childhood And Adult
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute , asthma affects more than 25 million people in the United States, or about 8 percent of the population. Seven million of them are children.
Asthma is common in childhood, but you can develop it at any point in your life. Its not uncommon for people over the age of 50 to be diagnosed with this lung disorder.
Childhood asthma and adult-onset asthma have the same symptoms, and both have similar treatments. However, children with asthma face different challenges.
Many cases of adult-onset asthma are triggered by allergies. Allergens are substances that can cause an immune reaction in people who are sensitive to them.
Children with allergies may not experience asthma from exposure to allergens when they are younger. Yet over time, their bodies can change and react differently. This can lead to adult-onset asthma.
According to the American Lung Association, of the estimated 7 million children in the United States with asthma, more than 4 million experience an asthma attack each year. Asthma is the third leading cause of hospitalizations of American children age 15 and younger. Fortunately, asthma-related deaths in children are quite rare.
- difficulty sleeping
- delayed recovery from a respiratory infection, such as a flu or cold
If you suspect your childs symptoms are the result of asthma, make an appointment with their doctor. Untreated childhood asthma may have lasting impacts.
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What Should I Do If I Think I Have Asthma
If you think that you have asthma, the best thing you can do is see your healthcare provider as soon as possible for proper testing and diagnosis. Many people normalize their symptoms, without ever realizing that a symptom-free life could be possible. Its crucial to never ignore or downplay your asthma symptoms, you never know when something could trigger a potentially fatal asthma attack.
The sooner that you get a proper diagnosis and treatment plan, the sooner you can take control of your asthma and live life to the fullest.
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Can A Child Outgrow Asthma
Once someone gets sensitive airways, they stay that way for life. This is the case even though asthma symptoms can change over the years. As a child gets older, they may be able to handle airway inflammation and irritants better, so their symptoms may get better. About half of those children get asthma symptoms again when they are in their late 30s or early 40s. There is no way to know which children may have reduced symptoms as they get older. New triggers may set off symptoms at any time in people who have asthma. If your child has asthma, keep quick-relief medicines and their Asthma Action Plan on hand , even if symptoms dont happen often.
Medical Review September 2015.
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