Asthma is a chronic lung disease that inflames and narrows the airways. It can cause wheezing, coughing, and shortness of breath. Asthma affects people of all ages, but children are more prone to it. In fact, asthma is the leading cause of child hospitalizations in the United States.
Fortunately, there are things you can do to help improve your child’s asthma prognosis. With proper treatment and management, most children with asthma are able to lead normal, active lives.
Let’s talk about the treatment measures you can adopt to improve your child’s asthma prognosis and where you can go in Purchase, NY, for outstanding pediatric care.
What Is Asthma and What Are Signs of Asthma in Kids?
Asthma is a lifelong disease affecting the lungs in which individuals experience significant respiratory distress, like wheezing and breathlessness, from certain triggers. Asthma in children is a serious concern as it can interfere with a child’s normal activities. Symptoms of asthma in children include coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness. These symptoms can make it hard for a child to breathe and lead to an asthma attack. Asthma attacks can be very dangerous and can even be life-threatening.
Causes of Asthma in Children
While the causes of asthma are not fully understood, asthma is thought to develop when it is an inherited genetic condition, when children get frequent respiratory infections at a young age, and when they are chronically exposed to air toxins from air pollution and cigarette smoke.
Asthma varies in intensity over time. Certain substances or activities that irritate the airway are known as “triggers” as they can trigger or cause an “asthma attack” or a quick and severe onset of symptoms. Asthma triggers are included but not limited to:
- The common cold or other respiratory infections
- Vigorous physical activity
- Exposure to tobacco smoke or other air pollutants
- Exposure to pollen, mold, pet dander, or any other breathable substances that a child is allergic to
How to Improve Your Child’s Prognosis?
Although asthma is a lifelong condition, most kids with asthma can lead normal lives if they get the right treatment and manage their asthma well. There are some things you can do to help improve your child’s asthma prognosis, including:
- Taking your child to the doctor for regular check-ups
- Treating your child’s allergies
- Keeping your child away from tobacco smoke
- Teaching your child how to use an inhaler correctly
Treatment Options for Asthma in Children
There are many treatment options available for children with asthma. The best treatment plan for your child will depend on the severity and symptoms of their asthma. Some common treatment options for children with asthma include:
- Bronchodilators – this kind of medication rapidly reduces symptoms during an asthma attack and is usually administered with an inhaler.
- Inhaled corticosteroids – this kind of medication, administered with an inhaler, helps calm down inflammation in the airway.
- Leukotriene inhibitors – this is an oral medication that is taken daily to prevent asthma symptoms.
- Allergy shots (immunotherapy) – this type of treatment gradually exposes your child to allergens to help them develop a tolerance and decrease the severity of asthma attacks. Allergy shots are given once a week for a couple of months, then once a month for 3-5 years.
Pediatricians in Purchase, NY
If you think your child may be struggling with asthma, we are here to help at Westchester Park Pediatrics. Our pediatricians are board-certified in pediatrics, and two of them are fellows of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Our goal is to ensure the children we treat lead healthy lives by treating and managing any health issues they face, from asthma to acute illnesses to lifelong conditions.
To schedule an appointment with us, call our wonderful office staff today at 914-761-1717, or click here to fill out our new patient appointment request form.
We hope to see you soon and help your child to feel better and play without worrying about their health!