What Is Asthma In Children
Asthma is a long-term lung disease that causes your childs airways to become sensitive to certain things . Several things happen to the airways when a child is exposed to triggers:
- The lining of the airways swells.
- The muscles around the airways tighten.
- The airways make more thick mucus than normal.
All of these things will cause the airways to narrow. This makes it difficult for air to go in and out of your childs lungs, and leads to the symptoms of asthma.
Tests For Acid Reflux
Acid reflux is when acid leaks out of your stomach and up into your oesophagus causing an uncomfortable burning sensation in your chest .
Stomach acid irritates your airways and causes inflammation, which can make your asthma worse.
If the tests show that you have acid reflux, your team can treat this alongside your severe asthma. Although its not yet clear whether treating acid reflux improves asthma symptoms, there is some evidence to say it might improve them for some people.
24-hour pH monitoring
This involves passing a thin tube up your nose and down your throat. The tube has a sensor to measure the acidity level in your throat.
The tube may be attached to a recording device thats worn on your waist. Every time you become aware of symptoms, youll be asked to press a button on the device and write down your symptoms in a diary.
A manometry test involves passing a small tube containing pressure sensors up your nose and down into your oesophagus.
The test shows how well the ring of muscle at the end of your oesophagus is working by measuring the pressure in your oesophagus.
The results will help your asthma specialist to rule out or confirm that acid reflux or gastro-oesophageal reflux disease is a cause of your asthma symptoms or is making your asthma worse.
Next Steps To Take With Your Doctor
Most severe asthma can be controlled. Tell your doctor about everything youre doing to manage your asthma.
Also be sure to:
Tell your doctor about your asthma symptoms and describe how they affect your life. Then, your doctor can help you get the best treatment for your severe asthma.
Did you know?
Also Check: How To Make An Asthma Action Plan
How Do You Know If You Have Asthma
If yousometimes have difficulty breathing, you may wonder how to know if you haveasthma. Making that determination can be challenging. However, its importantthat you do because that will allow you to get the proper treatment. Learningabout the condition can give you insight on how to tell if you have asthma. Youshould also talk with your doctor.
Mannitol Challenge Test Used To Diagnose Asthma May Not Be Accurate
|Font : A-A+|
The mannitol challenge test is a cost-effective and easily applied test to detect if the airways are more likely to contract or narrow more than normal. These airway reactions are associated with asthma and airway inflammation. A new study urges caution in the use of the mannitol challenge test for asthma in non-clinical settings. The test is considered widely applicable to detect asthma, but its accuracy outside of patients referred for specialized respiratory management has not been thoroughly explored before.
Diagnosing Asthma In Children
A child is more likely to have asthma if:
- A parent has asthma
- The child has allergies, including the allergic skin condition eczema
- Exposed to tobacco smoke during pregnancy or throughout childhood
- Exposed to indoor and outdoor air pollutants
- The child wheezes with viral infection
- The child is obese
To help your child’s healthcare provider make a correct diagnosis, be prepared to provide information about family history of asthma or allergies, the child’s overall behavior, breathing patterns and responses to foods or possible allergy triggers. Lung function tests are often used to make an asthma diagnosis, but they are very hard to do with young children. The doctor may use a 4- to 6-week trial of asthma medicines to see if they make a difference in your child’s symptoms.
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.
You May Like: Can Asthma Cause Chest Pain On One Side
What Asthma Treatment Options Are There
You have options to help manage your asthma. Your healthcare provider may prescribe medications to control symptoms. These include:
- Bronchodilators: These medicines relax the muscles around your airways. The relaxed muscles let the airways move air. They also let mucus move more easily through the airways. These medicines relieve your symptoms when they happen and are used for intermittent and chronic asthma.
- Anti-inflammatory medicines: These medicines reduce swelling and mucus production in your airways. They make it easier for air to enter and exit your lungs. Your healthcare provider may prescribe them to take every day to control or prevent your symptoms of chronic asthma.
- Biologic therapies for asthma: These are used for severe asthma when symptoms persist despite proper inhaler therapy.
You can take asthma medicines in several different ways. You may breathe in the medicines using a metered-dose inhaler, nebulizer or another type of asthma inhaler. Your healthcare provider may prescribe oral medications that you swallow.
Why Do Doctors Use Tests For Asthma
Asthma tests help to diagnose and monitor asthma. They can also show how your lungs respond to asthma medicine.
Symptoms of asthma, like cough, breathlessness, and wheeze can also be caused by other conditions too. Once your doctor has looked at your symptoms, triggers, and your family and clinical history, asthma tests are the best way to confirm or rule out asthma.
As well as the tests listed here, there are some other tests which asthma specialists might use to help diagnose and monitorsevere asthma.
Most asthma tests are suitable for adults, young people, and children over five. Not everyone will need to do all of these tests.
However, some children over five may not be able to do the tests well enough yet.If so, your GP will continue to treat their symptoms and keep an eye on them.
They can then try doing tests again in about six months or a year. Find out more aboutgetting a diagnosis for your child.
You may need to do tests more than once
Asthma symptoms can vary over time. So, if one test comes back normal, it doesnt completely rule out asthma. It could just mean that on the day of the test your airways were not as narrow and inflamed.
You may need to do some tests more than once, or a few different tests, to help your GP make the right diagnosis.
Don’t Miss: How To Exercise With Asthma
How Can Eosinophils Cause Asthma To Worsen
Eosinophils are white blood cells that are a normal part of your immune system. When there are too many of them in your blood, they can worsen inflammation in your lungs. They are a key cause of severe eosinophilic asthma and can increase your risk for severe asthma attacks.
Was this helpful?
Your healthcare provider will be able to help you with any more questions you might have.
Was this helpful?
Exposure To Triggers At Work
Occupational asthma is a type of asthma caused by certain things found in the workplace, such as chemicals or dust from flour or wood.
If you havent had asthma before and then get it because of the work you do, and if your symptoms improve when youre not at work, you probably have occupational asthma.
Occupational asthma is a common cause of adult onset asthma.
Recommended Reading: Steroids For Bronchitis Side Effects
Recommended Reading: How Long Can Exercise Induced Asthma Symptoms Last
The Basics: How To Tell If You Have Asthma
Ifyoure curious about how to detect asthma, a good place to start isunderstanding what it is and the symptoms it produces. Asthma is caused byinflammation in the airways that go from your mouth and nose to your lungs.This swelling can be caused by a number of triggers such as cigarette smoke,pollen, animal dander, mold, or even just cold air. The inflammation isaccompanied by tightening of the muscles around the airways, and thecombination of these factors makes it hard to breathe, especially during whatscalled an asthma attack.
The fivemain symptoms of asthma are:
- Trouble breathing or shortness of breath. This is the feelingthat you cant catch your breath. It is an alarming sensation, and it may comeon suddenly. It makes it difficult to perform physical activities.
- Tightness in the chest. People with asthma describe this as anunpleasant feeling that air isnt moving in their lungs or an uncomfortablerestriction in their chest. This symptom can cause anxiety about the ability toget enough air.
- Wheezing sounds when breathing. This type ofwhistling sound is the symptom most people associate with asthma. Its heardmost clearly when exhaling.
- Coughing fits. Coughing associated with asthma ismore common at night. Coughing fits can also be brought on by exercise.
- Poor sleep due to breathing problems. Difficultybreathing can make it hard to sleep. Consequently, people with asthma may feeltired during the day.
What Causes Asthma In Infants And Toddlers
We still do not know what causes some people to get asthma. If a child has a family history of asthma or allergies, a specific allergy or had a mother who smoked during pregnancy, they have a higher chance of getting asthma early in life.
A respiratory virus, an illness that occurs in the lungs, is one of the most common causes of asthma symptoms in children 5 years old and younger. Although both adults and children experience respiratory infections, children have more of them. Some preschool children get viral infections often. At least half of children with asthma show some sign of it before the age of 5. Viruses are the most common cause of acute asthma episodes in infants 6 months old or younger.
Read Also: Ibuprofen For Asthma
Recommended Reading: How To Relieve Asthma Symptoms
How Do I Tell If I Have Asthma
Guadalupe Oliver |
Asthma signs and symptoms include:
Shortness of breath. Wheezing when exhaling, which is a common sign of asthma in children. Trouble sleeping caused by shortness of breath, coughing or wheezing. Coughing or wheezing attacks that are worsened by a respiratory virus, such as a cold or the flu.
Mar 5, 2022
Other Tests Can Be Helpful In Diagnosing Asthma Too
Depending on your asthma symptoms or triggers, your doctor may also order or perform other tests in order to confirm or rule out whether asthma is the cause of your breathing issues.
These other tests can include:
- Imaging tests Your doctor may order a chest X-ray or computerized tomography scan of your lungs and sinuses to look for signs of infection or other abnormalities.
- Allergy tests These tests typically involve seeing how your skin reacts to a potential allergen and can help determine whether your symptoms are allergy related. This can also be determined by blood work.
- Tests for other conditions Your doctor may look into whether you have another condition that can worsen your asthma or causes asthma-like symptoms, such as gastroesophageal reflux disease, chronic sinus disease, vocal cord dysfunction, heart disease, or sleep apnea.
Recommended Reading: Is Ginger And Honey Good For Asthma
Will My Doctor Test For Conditions Other Than Asthma
If your doctor thinks you have something other than asthma or related to asthma, they may run other tests. These might include a chest X-ray, acid reflux test, sinus X-rays, or other specialized tests. Your doctor may also perform allergy tests. Allergy tests are not used to find out if you have asthma. But if you have allergies, they may be triggering your asthma.
There are other conditions that have similar symptoms to asthma. Your health care provider may also assess you for conditions such as:
- Abnormal airways
Use Clinical Tests To Diagnose Asthma And To Avoid Overdiagnosis Says Nice
Doctors should use clinical tests to accurately diagnose asthma rather than simply taking a medical history, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has said, because around 1.2 million UK adults may be wrongly receiving treatment for the condition.
No gold standard test is currently available to diagnose asthma, and in current practice doctors mainly check for signs and symptoms. But NICE said that almost a third of people being treated for asthma do not have clear evidence of the condition. Some may have had asthma in the past, NICE added, but
Read Also: How Many People Have Asthma In The Usa
Don’t Miss: Atlanta Allergy And Asthma Douglasville
How And When Do Doctors Use X
Generally, doctors do not use chest X-rays to diagnose asthma. Instead, they may use this test to rule out conditions other than asthma.
Other conditions may cause similar symptoms to asthma. For example, an individual may have something stuck in their airways. An X-ray can identify any foreign objects, and it can also detect the signs of certain heart and lung conditions.
People experiencing severe asthma may also have an X-ray to test for additional diseases or damage to the lungs.
A chest X-ray can detect many potential health concerns, including:
A chest X-ray uses a special type of low dose radiation to create pictures of the chests interior. This type of X-ray allows a healthcare professional to see various parts of the body, including the:
- bones in the chest
No specific preparation is necessary for a chest X-ray. Before the exam, an individual will exchange their clothes for a medical gown and take off any metallic jewelry or other accessories.
During the exam, the individual will stand near the X-ray machine and hold still. A technician will then carry out the X-ray, which generally does not take more than a few minutes.
Finally, a radiologist will examine the results and pass them along to other doctors or specialists as necessary.
Fractional Exhaled Nitric Oxide
Fractional exhaled nitric oxide testing detects and measures a gas produced by cells in the airways when they are inflamed as a result of allergic or eosinophilic asthma. The presence of this gas, nitric oxide, can help diagnose asthma or determine how well anti-inflammatory medicationsÃ¢typically inhaled corticosteroids Ã¢are controlling asthma.Ã¯Â»Â¿Ã¯Â»Â¿
The test is simple and noninvasive: It involves exhaling slowing and steadily into a handheld instrument. The device measures the amount of nitric oxide in the breath in parts per billion . FeNO takes place in a doctors office and the results of the test are available immediately.Ã¯Â»Â¿Ã¯Â»Â¿Ã¯Â»Â¿Ã¯Â»Â¿
FeNo testing was one focus of a National Institutes of Health panel of experts who issued updated guidelines for asthma management in December 2020. According to their recommendations, FeNO testing should not be used alone to diagnose or monitor asthma, but can be helpful as an add-on test when a persons symptoms and spirometry and other tests arent conclusive.
The guidelines apply only to adults and children 5 and over. The panel advised against FeNO testing for younger children as a way to assess wheezing, as studies show it to be an unreliable way to predict if they ultimately will develop asthma.Ã¯Â»Â¿Ã¯Â»Â¿Ã¯Â»Â¿
Recommended Reading: Can Asthma Cause Pain Between Shoulder Blades
How Do Doctors Diagnose Asthma In Children
Diagnosing asthma in children under age 5 is a little different. It involves a careful process of history taking, physical exam, and diagnostic studies. Children this age usually are not given a breathing test. Instead, the doctor asks about certain signs and symptoms of asthma . The doctor may prescribe a bronchodilator if they think your child might have asthma. If the bronchodilator helps reduce your childs symptoms, that is a sign that your child may have asthma.
Want Information Tools And Tips About Nucala Sent To Your Inbox
Sign up to get more about NUCALA
GlaxoSmithKline believes your privacy is important. By providing your name, address, email address, and other information, you are giving GSK and companies working with GSK permission to market or advertise to you across multiple digital and offline channels, or contact you for market research or other purposes, regarding the medical condition in which you have expressed an interest, as well as other health-related information from GSK. GSK will not sell or transfer your name, address, or email address to any other party for their own marketing use. For additional information regarding how GSK handles your information, please see our privacy statement.
Read Also: Is Zyrtec Good For Asthma
Why Do I Need Extra Tests For Severe Asthma
You may have had tests for your asthma already. But if your doctor thinks you could have severe asthma, youll need extra tests to confirm it or to find out what else might be causing your symptoms or triggering your asthma. And if you do have severe asthma, youll need further tests to monitor symptoms and treatments.
The tests will help you and your specialist team find out if you have:
- severe asthma or not
- allergic or non-allergic severe asthma
- other conditions that are causing your symptoms or stopping you from managing your asthma well.
Not everyone will need all of these tests. Your asthma specialist will explain which ones could be useful for you and why. They can also support you if youre worried or nervous about any of the tests.
There may be some tests you need to do more than once to help your asthma specialist make the right diagnosis or monitor you closely.
If you don’t like the idea of having lots of tests, remember they are there to help you manage your asthma better and hopefully get back some control over your symptoms.