What To Do In An Emergency
Follow these steps if your child is having an asthma attack:
What Are Signs And Symptoms Of Adult Onset Asthma
Regardless of age, asthma symptoms can include:
Dry cough, especially at night or in response to specific triggers
Tightness or pressure in the chest
Wheezing a whistling sound when exhaling
Shortness of breath after exercise or physical exertion
Colds that go to the chest or hang on for 10 days or more
Using Medicine As Prescribed Can Prevent Asthma Attacks
- Inhaled corticosteroids and other control medicines can prevent asthma attacks.
- Rescue inhalers or nebulizers can give quick relief of symptoms
- But . . . about half of children who are prescribed asthma control medicines do not use them regularly.
SOURCE: National Health Interview Survey, 2013.
The Federal government is
- Working with state, territorial, private and non-government partners to support medical management, asthma-self management education, and, for people at high risk, home visits to reduce triggers and help with asthma management. ,
- Providing guidelines, tools such as asthma action plans, and educational messages to help children, their caregivers, and healthcare professionals better manage asthma.
- Promoting policies and best practices to reduce exposure to indoor and outdoor asthma triggers such as tobacco smoke and air pollution.
- Tracking asthma rates and assuring efficient and effective use of resources invested in asthma services.
Doctors, nurses, and other healthcare providers are
Some payers/health insurance plans are
Parents and children are
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Asthma Emergencies In Children
Symptoms of an asthma attack can worsen and develop into an asthma emergency. To prepare for an asthma emergency, make sure your childs doctor has written an asthma action plan for your child.
Have a copy of your childs asthma action plan pinned up somewhere easy to access at home, and send a copy to anyone who cares for your child, including their school, kinder, childcare service, family members and friends. You may like to take a photo of their asthma action plan so you always have a copy with you.
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.
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Why Are More People Getting Asthma And Allergies
Some researchers put the increase in asthma and other allergic conditions over the last few decades down to the fact that we live in much cleaner, more urban conditions. This means we have less contact with the friendly bacteria that thrive in more rural, natural environments.
Along with fewer childhood infections, this has resulted in lowered immunity, and more chance of allergies, including asthma.
The ‘hygiene hypothesis’
The idea that were missing out on exposure to useful microbes early in life began to be considered a while back with a theory known as the hygiene hypothesis. This was based on evidence that children growing up in large families, in unhygienic homes, had fewer allergies, including asthma.
More recent research suggests babies exposed to friendly bacteria in the first few months of their lives are thought to have less risk of developing asthma and allergies.
This is why some studies show that children growing up on farms have fewer allergies, and other studies show that having a dog in the house when your baby is very small can protect them from allergies and asthma. The studies are based on exposure to friendly microbes in babies less than two or three months old.
But being around animals, or being in a natural environment, may not necessarily protect your child against asthma other factors need to be taken into account, such as if theres a family history of allergy and asthma.
Asthma Doesnt Always Cause Wheezing
Wheezing is probably the most familiar symptom parents cite when considering the possibility that their child has asthma. But not all children wheeze when having an asthma attack, and not all wheezing is related to asthma.
Wheezing can certainly be related to asthma. But upper respiratory tract infections, allergies, and even certain digestive issues such as gastroesophageal reflux disease can also cause wheezing in children.
Dr. Soos considers a combination of symptoms when determining whether your child may have asthma. These symptoms may include:
- Coughing at night, after activity , or when exposed to extreme temperature changes
- Rapid or labored breathing
- Complaints of chest pain or tightness
- Reduced energy thats often accompanied by an unwillingness to engage in physical activity
- Complaints of feeling weak or tired
- In infants, excessive grunting during feeding
The inability to take in enough air can also cause your child to become quite anxious, which can worsen the tightening effects of asthma. This is often due to an emotional response as well as a psychological response caused by the brains panic over dropping oxygen levels.
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What Kind Of Physician Treats Adult Onset Asthma
Many older patients are treated for asthma by their internist or family physician however, if your asthma symptoms are not under control within three to six months, or if you have severe persistent asthma, or if you are having asthma episodes that need emergency treatment, it may be time to see an asthma specialist. Allergists/Immunologists or pulmonologists are specialists who treat asthma. Those who have completed training in those specialties are usually called board-certified or board-eligible.
How Safe Is Allergen
Many women who have allergies and would like to have children try out allergen-specific immunotherapy . This treatment aims to help people react less sensitively to substances that trigger allergies . Immunotherapy usually takes three years or longer to complete.
Some women might consider starting this kind of treatment during pregnancy. This is not recommended, though, because too little is known about the benefits and dangers of immunotherapy in pregnancy. There is also a small risk of serious side effects that could even become life-threatening. Women who started allergen-specific immunotherapy before becoming pregnant are usually only advised to continue the therapy if it is well tolerated. But the dose should not be increased during pregnancy.
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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.
What Are The Symptoms Of Asthma In Children
The symptoms of asthma in children include
- Chest tightness
- Wheezing, which causes a whistling sound when they breathe out
- Trouble eating or sucking
These symptoms can range from mild to severe. They may happen often or only once in a while.
When children have an asthma attack, their symptoms get much worse. The attacks may come on gradually or suddenly. Sometimes they can be life-threatening. Warning signs of a severe attack include severe coughing, serious breathing problems, and turning very pale or blue in the face, lips and/or fingernails. If your child has those symptoms, get medical help right away.
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What Causes Asthma In Children
The exact cause of asthma is unknown. Genetics and environment likely play a role in which children get asthma.
An asthma attack can happen when your child is exposed to an asthma trigger. An asthma trigger is something that can set off or worsen asthma symptoms. Different triggers can cause different types of asthma:
- Allergic asthma is caused by allergens. Allergens are substances that cause an allergic reaction. They can include
- Dust mites
Asthma triggers may be different for each child and can change over time.
How Is Asthma Treated In A Child
Treatment will depend on your childs symptoms, age, and general health. It will also depend on how severe the condition is.
Your childs healthcare provider may refer you to a pulmonologist. This is a doctor with special training to treat lung conditions. Your child may also be referred to an asthma and allergy specialist. Your childs treatment is based on how severe his or her symptoms are and how easily they are controlled. Treatment includes finding triggers and ways to avoid them. It will also include medicines.
Asthma medicines include:
- Bronchodilators. These medicines are used to help open the narrowed airways. They may relieve coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, or difficulty breathing.
- Anti-inflammatory medicines. These medicines help decrease the inflammation in the airways.
- Anti-leukotrienes. These medicines help decrease the narrowing of the airways. These are usually given by mouth.
- Immunotherapy. This can be used for severe asthma attacks in children ages 12 and older.
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Know What To Do If Asthma Gets Worse
If your childs asthma is not improving, talk with your doctor and:
- Review your childs asthma diary to see if he or she has a new or previously unidentified trigger, such as animal dander. Talk to your doctor about how best to avoid triggers.
- Review your childs medicines to be sure he or she is using the right ones and using them correctly.
- Review your childs asthma action plan to be sure it is still right for his or her condition.
- Find out whether your child has a condition with symptoms similar to asthma, such as sinusitis.
If your childs medicine is not working to control airway inflammation, your doctor will first check to see whether your child is using the inhaler correctly. If your child is using it correctly, your doctor may increase the dosage, switch to another medicine, or add a medicine to the existing treatment.
If your childs asthma does not improve with treatment, he or she may require more treatment, including larger doses of medicines. An asthma specialist typically prescribes these medicines.
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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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Eczema And Allergies May Increase Your Childs Risk Of Developing Childhood Asthma
A recent study cited by the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology notes that children with eczema and allergies, such as hay fever, are seven times more likely to develop asthma by age 3 than children without either condition.
Because its often impossible for very young children to describe how theyre feeling, medical experts like Dr. Soos rely on a combination of diagnostic measures to identify asthma. This often includes a detailed discussion with parents about your childs symptoms as well as your own health history since allergies, eczema, and asthma tend to run in families.
Other factors that increase your childs risk of developing asthma include:
- Exposure to environmental pollutants
- Inhaled substances, such as secondhand cigarette smoke
- Frequent upper respiratory illnesses
What You Can Do
There is no one way to deal with your asthma, but there are some things you can do to improve how you live with asthma:
- Acknowledge and accept the feelings your asthma brings up. Facing your feelings head on can help you identify problems and ways to cope. Talk to your kids about how theyre feeling about their asthma, both in their daily lives and during an attack.
- Take an active role in taking care of yourself. Learn about your asthma and ask questions. Help your kids understand what asthma does. Just knowing whats happening can help you feel more in control.
- Teach others. Helping others understand asthma and how it works can help them better support you, help you feel included, and help you become an expert on your asthma.
- Ask for help.In 2011, 1 in 12 people suffered from asthma. Youre not alone. Your family and friends can be a wonderful team to support you and help you tackle stressful situations.
- Find a care provider you trust and feel comfortable with. Trusting your doctor and his treatment is an important part of overcoming stress caused by your asthma.
- Try relaxation exercises. Yoga, Pilates, meditation, deep breathing, muscle relaxation, and clearing negative thoughts can all help you reduce stress.
- Live a healthy lifestyle. Eating right, exercising, and getting a good nights sleep can help you recharge physically and emotionally, which can reduce stress and asthma attacks.
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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.
Avoid Exposure To Pollutants
Radon, second-hand smoke, household chemicals and air pollution can worsen asthma symptoms. According to an American Lung Association State of the Air 2011 report, the area comprised of Los Angeles, Long Beach and Riverside, is fourth in the nation with the worst short-term air pollution. It’s the second worst for year-round air pollution and number one for worst ozone pollution.
That’s why it’s so important for local parents to check news reports and keep asthmatic children inside when pollution levels are particularly high. A simple way to prevent your child’s exposure to smoke is also not to do it around your children.
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What Is Asthma In Children
Asthma is a long-term lung disease that causes your child’s airways to become sensitive to certain things . Several things happen to the airways when a child is exposed to triggers:
- The lining around the airways swell.
- 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 causes the symptoms of asthma.
Its Difficult To Say For Sure Why People Get Asthma But Thanks To Research Were Clear About Some Of The Risk Factors That Make Asthma More Likely
What causes asthma is different to what triggers asthma:
- The causes are the underlying reasons why someone gets asthma in the first place.
- Triggers are things like dust mites or pollen that can make asthma symptoms worse.
Here we look at what causes asthma, and where its possible for you to lower the risk. The good news is that some of these risk factors are things you can do something about.
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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