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.
Why Do Some People Outgrow Asthma While Others Dont
The AAAAI says that even if outgrowing symptoms is possible, it wholly depends on the environment the baby or child grows up in. If both parents deal with prevalent asthma or allergy attacks, then the childs chances of outgrowing their own symptoms decreases. Additionally, they will probably deal with asthma for life if one or both parents smoke, if the child already has allergies, or if they were diagnosed with atopic dermatitis.
It seems the reason some children will outgrow their asthma symptoms while others wont comes down to a few things. The first is family history. Second, environmental factors. Growing up in a household where parents smoke cigarettes can affect a childs lungs as they breathe in secondhand smoke. That may contribute towards their predilection to get asthma.
Finally, a childs health is a big determinant of their future with asthma. If a child has health issues like wheezing, respiratory infections and other illnesses, then their asthma is more likely to stick around.
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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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.
How Do You Give Your Child Asthma Medication
You will be giving your child asthma medications using a valved holding chamber device or a home nebulizer .
Your child may be able to use a metered dose inhaler with a VHC. A VHC is a chamber that attaches to the MDI and holds the burst of medication. Talk with your child’s provider to see if an MDI with VHC is right for your child.
The nebulizer delivers asthma medications by changing them from a liquid to a mist. Your child gets the medicine by breathing it in through a facemask or mouthpiece.
There are some asthma medications that are also breath-actuated, or come as a dry powder. These medications are given to older children who are able to demonstrate the appropriate technique for using them.
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How Do I Know If My Child Really Does Have Asthma
A doctor’s work-up will start with a medical history including symptoms and family history. A physical exam will also be done. Pulmonary function testing with spirometry can provide information about lung function and severity of the asthma. A chest X-ray may be ordered to help visualize the lungs. Allergy testing can be done to determine if allergies play a role in symptoms. Additional tests may be done to investigate other causes of symptoms.
How Do I Get Rid Of Asthma Forever
Is asthma permanent? At least at some level, yes, asthma typically is permanent. But while theres no cure for asthma, there are many steps you can take to avoid asthma symptoms.
The most important of these steps is to take the long-term controller medications that your doctor prescribes. Even if your symptoms start to improve, you should keep taking the medicines. If you dont, your symptoms can return and require you to use fast-acting inhalers and other rescue medications, which isnt ideal.
Its also helpful to avoid your asthma triggers as much as possible. For example, if you smoke, you should try to quit. You should keep pets out of your bedroom if pet dander is one of your triggers. You should also wash your bedding weekly and keep your home clean. Doing so is easier the fewer soft surfaces you have, so you might consider replacing your carpet with hard flooring and your curtains with blinds.
Its also a good idea to avoid exercising outside in cold weather, as this can trigger an asthma attack.
If you have allergic asthma, you can take over-the-counter antihistamines during allergy season to minimize your asthma symptoms. Also, your doctor may recommend that you consider immunotherapy.
So, while most asthma patients never get rid of their symptoms entirely, its possible to reduce them, potentially to the point where they have very little impact on a persons quality of life.
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How Will You Know When Your Child’s Asthma Is Well
You will know that your child’s asthma is well-controlled if, while on medications, your child:
- Lives an active, normal life.
- Has few troublesome symptoms.
- Performs daily activities without difficulty.
- Has had no urgent visits to the doctor, emergency department or hospital.
- Has few or no side effects from the medications.
Which Children Are At Risk For Asthma
Certain factors raise the risk of asthma in children:
- Being exposed to secondhand smoke when their mother is pregnant with them or when they are small children
- Genetics and family history. Children are more likely to have asthma if one of their parents has it, especially if it’s the mother.
- Race or ethnicity. Black and African Americans and Puerto Ricans are at higher risk of asthma than people of other races or ethnicities.
- Having other diseases or conditions such as obesity and allergies
- Often having viral respiratory infections as young children
- Sex. In children, asthma is more common in boys. In teens, it is more common in girls.
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What Causes Asthma Symptoms To Get Worse
Triggers are those things that cause asthma symptoms to get worse or cause asthma flare-ups. Each child has different triggers. A very important part of asthma management is identifying triggersand then trying to stay away from them. Asthma triggers include:
Allergens such as pollen, dust, and pets
Upper respiratory infections such as colds or the flu
Inhaled irritants such as secondhand smoke
Certain weather conditions such as cold air
Exercise or physical activity
Emotions such as crying, laughing, or yelling
The Tendency For Asthma
Most people who have asthma were born with a tendency toward the condition. Once you have developed sensitive airways, your respiratory tract tends to stay sensitive to asthma triggers for life. That doesnt mean that youll always be bothered by your asthma. But it does mean that if you had it as a child, even if you seem to have outgrown the condition, you very well may experience symptoms again as an adult.
Experts have studied the condition enough to now know that we dont really outgrow asthma.
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What Are Symptoms Of Asthma In Children
Most children with asthma will show symptoms before they turn 5 years old.3 However, people can develop asthma at any age. Asthma signs and symptoms in infants and toddlers may also be different from older children and teens.
The signs and symptoms of asthma in a baby or toddler include:
- Skin is sucking in around and between ribs or above the sternum
- Exaggerated belly movement
Signs and symptoms of asthma in school-age children and teens may include some symptoms above as well as:
- Shortness of breath
- Waking at night due to asthma symptoms)
- A drop in their peak flow meter reading
Can Babies Have Asthma
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.
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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 its not actually gone, it is likely in remission. And because its not you must continue to know you still have asthma, and you should continue to work with your doctor. Thats right: its 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 You Need To Know About Your Childs Asthma
There are many things to think about and plan for when your child has asthma. It is important to learn as much as you can about the condition. Your doctor and pharmacist are there to help you. Talk to them about any concerns you may have about your childs asthma. To manage your childs asthma effectively, it is important to know:
- the pattern of their asthma
- their asthma medications what they do and how to help your child take them properly
- what to do if they have an asthma attack know and follow asthma first aid.
Make sure you have an updated written asthma action plan and understand how to use it.
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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 .
Link Between Early Transient Wheeze and COPD
What Causes Asthma In Children
Experts dont know exactly what causes asthma in children. But the following risk factors may make a child more likely to have asthma:
- Family history of asthma
- Exposure to secondhand and thirdhand tobacco smoke after birth
- Living in an area with high air pollution
Viral upper respiratory infections are the most important trigger factor for children with asthma.
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Asthma Information For Childcare Kinder Or School
To assist childcare and preschool workers and school teachers in the care of your child with asthma:
- 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.
Half Of Kids With Severe Asthma May Grow Out Of It
University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s
Fully half of children and adolescents being treated for severe asthma will improve over a three-year period, according to a new 11-institution longitudinal study of children and teens ages 6 to 17 being treated for severe asthma. This major finding provides evidence for the idea that some of these patients can outgrow their severe asthma while on proper treatment.
It is good news, says Kristie Ross, MD, Division Chief of Pediatric Pulmonology at UH Rainbow Babies & Childrens Hospital and lead author of the study.
Many children who have severe asthma during earlier childhood seem to improve during adolescence, she says. We know these patients did well even though their level of controller therapies decreased over time. Its reassuring to know that decreasing the dose of controller medicines can be safely done with close monitoring.
Although severe asthma affects approximately 4 percent to 5 percent of children with asthma, it accounts for a disproportionate fraction of the morbidity, mortality and cost of asthma.
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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.
Can Asthma Flare Up After Years
The degree and pattern of asthma symptoms are different for every asthma patient. But, yes, for people whose symptoms go away for a time, asthma can flare up after years in remission. Its estimated that of those people who have childhood asthma that resolves as they move into their teens, 25% will have symptoms return by age 21 and 35% will relapse by age 26.
So, if your asthma symptoms go away but then return later, youre not alone.
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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.
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:
- 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
- No diagnosis of allergic diseases like eczema
- Less need for rescue medication and fewer asthma attacks
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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.