Asthma Overview and Treatment
If your child has been diagnosed with asthma, it’s important that you educate yourself about the nature of this disease by discussing with your pediatrician in Lubbock or with a specialist in your area such as a child doctor for chronic conditions. While asthma is a serious diagnosis, with the right information and treatment plan you can help your child manage their asthma and fully enjoy life and give you the peace of mind that your child is in the hands of a doctor who specializes in chronic conditions health care Lubbock.
What is Asthma?
Asthma is a chronic disease that impacts the airways. Both the larger airways, known as the bronchial tubes, and the smaller airways deeper in the lungs, known as the bronchioles. Asthma is the swelling and inflammation of these airways. The swelling constricts the airways and reduces the volume of air. Therefore, the volume of needed oxygen can be moved into the lungs when your child breathes in and out.
Asthma can present as one of two types: allergic or non-allergic. If your child is diagnosed with allergic asthma, you may need to seek the additional care of a pediatric allergist who is a type of child doctor for chronic conditions who can help you pinpoint the allergens that trigger your child’s asthma. For children diagnosed with non-allergic asthma, your pediatrician in Lubbock will be well-equipped to help create an asthma control plan for your child.
What are Common Asthma Triggers?
For patients diagnosed with allergic asthma, the triggers that cause the onset of an asthma attack are allergens the patient is exposed to within their daily life. Many common allergen triggers include pollen, molds, pet dander, and even chemicals used to create pleasant scents in common household cleaning products or personal care products. An allergist or an asthma doctor for chronic child illnesses can safely evaluate your child for allergen triggers.
For patients diagnosed with non-allergic asthma, the triggers are more varied and may come and go as the child grows to adulthood. Common triggers for non-allergic asthma include stress, changes in air temperature, such as cold air, exercise, cigarette smoke, and even the common cold or other respiratory illnesses. Again, a skilled doctor for chronic child illnesses can evaluate your child, taking a thorough patient history that will help them determine what may have triggered your child’s non-allergic asthma attack.
What are the Symptoms of Asthma?
Many of the early symptoms of asthma can mimic that of a common cold or upper respiratory infection, such as coughing, wheezing, or shortness of breath. However, when these symptoms persist or worsen and cause your child to experience tightness or pain in the chest when breathing, it may be time for a trip to the pediatrician to explore the possibility of an asthma diagnosis. Frequent coughing at night without a cold or respiratory infection, coughing during exercise or when exposed to cold air can also be symptoms of the onset of asthma. It is important to seek a diagnosis if you suspect your child may have asthma so that your pediatrician can create an asthma control treatment plan and prescribe either control or rescue medications — or combination of the two.
What is the Treatment for Asthma?
Asthma treatment for your child will be based on the type of asthma with which they are diagnosed. For patients diagnosed with allergic asthma, an allergist can pinpoint the triggers and create a plan to avoid or mitigate the triggers. This may be as simple as avoiding certain animals, such as dogs or cats, or may be more involved such as removing chemical triggers from your child’s daily life, such as certain cleaning or care products.
For patients diagnosed with non-allergic asthma, your pediatrician or chronic care specialist can help to pinpoint triggers and offer strategies to avoid them as best as possible, such as cigarette smoke.
For all asthma patients, your pediatrician or chronic care specialist may prescribe a control medication that would be used on a daily basis. There are several bronchial-controller medications that are effective for this purpose.
Your child will be prescribed a rescue medication, such as an albuterol inhaler, to be used in the event of the onset of asthma symptoms, such as wheezing and shortness of breath. Albuterol inhalers should be available to your child at all times, both at home, daycare and at school. It is important to ask your daycare provider or child’s school what paperwork they will require for this.
While the diagnosis of asthma is a serious one that requires treatment plan, asthma is one of the many diagnoses that can be treated in our office, which specializes in pediatric chronic conditions health care Lubbock. We look forward to partnering with you and your family to give your child the best health care possible.