Seeing your child coughing or wheezing can be heartbreaking, especially if you do not know its underlying cause and what should be the right treatment. It is difficult to determine whether your child is exhibiting signs of asthma attacks or not as many possible conditions have the same symptoms.
If your child develops signs and symptoms of asthma, visit a doctor for accurate diagnosis and prompt treatment. While waiting for your appointment, this article will show you how super moms can diagnose asthma in kids.
Asthma in Children
Asthma is an inflammatory disease of the lungs. The prevalence of this condition is increasing, as well as other allergy conditions like hay fever, food allergies, and eczema. A number of conditions can also have asthma-like symptoms, such as airway abnormalities, rhinitis, acid reflux, sinusitis, and bronchitis.
In cases of asthma attacks, the airways become swollen and irritated that make breathing difficult. It is crucial to observe your kid’s behavior and to work with your child’s physician so you can prevent or control asthma attacks.
Can Allergies Trigger Asthma?
Exposure to allergens such as pet dander, pollen, dust mites or mold can trigger the symptoms of asthma. It may also worsen symptoms in asthmatic people. This condition is called allergic asthma.
Seasonal allergies or hay fever do not usually cause any problems until your child is 5 as it takes that long to develop sensitivity to them. However, allergies to pet dander, dust mites, or mold may occur earlier.
About 80 percent of children with asthma have allergies. If you think that your child has allergies to food or certain substances, it is best to see a doctor for further evaluation and proper treatment to prevent symptoms from occurring.
Other possible triggers include common colds, cold air, and smoke. If your child wheezes and coughs after playing, he may have exercise-induced asthma.
How to Diagnose Asthma in Kids
Diagnosing and controlling asthma in kids can be tough as many health conditions have similar symptoms. Signs of asthma can also be different from one person to another. Not all coughs and wheezing are due to asthma, so using asthma treatments for a different health condition may delay the child’s recovery.
Common signs and symptoms of asthma in children include:
· Coughing at night
· Wheezing, producing a high-pitched whistling sound
· Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
The patterns of the symptoms may also vary:
· Short periods of wheezing and coughing
· Frequent episodes of coughing and wheezing
· Symptoms become worse at night
Other symptoms are uncomfortable feeling in the chest area and poor endurance. The condition is commonly aggravated by:
· Viral respiratory infections
· Acid reflux
· Changes in weather
· Exercise or activity
· Allergens, such as pollen, pet dander, smoke or dust
Without proper treatment, asthma attacks can be life-threatening. Take your child to the nearest emergency department if you notice symptoms of asthma attack.
Symptoms of an asthma emergency in small children include:
· Difficulty speaking due to restricted breathing
· Gasping for air
· Breathing in hard that the stomach area is sucked below the ribs
Diagnosing asthma in younger children can be challenging as the primary symptoms can also be signs of other condition. With older children, a doctor measures how well lungs work by using a breathing test.
Your doctor will also ask questions to make an accurate diagnosis, such as:
· How often do symptoms occur?
· How long do symptoms last?
· How often do episodes of trouble breathing occur?
· Is there a family history of asthma?
· Does wheezing or coughing wake your child?
· Does your child have allergies?
Allergy test, blood test, and chest X-ray may be performed to check if your child is allergic to certain substances and rule out other health conditions.
How to Treat Asthma in Children
The treatments for asthma in kids aim to:
· Reduce and treat inflammation in the lungs and airways
· Keep symptoms under control
· Minimize the effect or avoid all possible triggers
If your child has asthma, it is important to work with his doctor so you can make strategies for preventing and controlling asthma attacks. You will need to identify what triggers the symptoms and make sure that your child avoids those.
Your doctor may prescribe rescue inhalers or quick relievers for your child to inhibit an asthma attack.
These drugs relieve the spasms in the airways quickly to help your child breathe easier. Short-acting or quick-relief medications like albuterol (Ventolin HFA, ProAir HFA, others) are administered using a metered-dose inhaler or a nebulizer machine.
Types of short-acting medications include:
· Short-acting beta agonists
· Oral and intravenous corticosteroids
· Ipratropium (Atrovent HFA)
· Immunomodulatory agents
If your child has to use a short-acting drug too often, your doctor will recommend long-term treatment. Long-term controls are usually taken every day.
Types of these medications include:
· Inhaled corticosteroids
· Oral corticosteroids
· Long-acting beta agonist
For children with mild symptoms, short-acting medications may be the only treatment necessary.
For children who use long-term control medications and have persistent asthma, short-acting drugs are only used as quick-relief to treat asthma attacks.
You can also try these natural remedies for asthma if you don’t want to start medication straight away.
Asthma can be triggered by air pollution, allergies, weather conditions, certain foods, and respiratory infections. It is essential to observe the behavior of your child and check the symptoms carefully.
The common symptoms of asthma include wheezing, coughing, difficulty breathing, and chest tightness. If your child develops symptoms that worry you, it is best to see his doctor for proper diagnosis and right treatment.
1. Treating asthma in children under 5. Viewed at: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/childhood-asthma/in-depth/asthma-in-children/art-20044376
2. Diagnosing Childhood Asthma in Primary Care. Viewed at: https://patient.info/doctor/diagnosing-childhood-asthma-in-primary-care
3. Asthma in toddlers. Viewed at: https://www.babycenter.com/0_asthma-in-toddlers_11412.bc
Oladimeji is an experienced health writer pursuing his passion for blogging at Homeremediesforlife.com. While not watching soccer, he enjoys researching various topics and coming up with solutions for natural home medicines. Interested in knowing more about this home remedies expert? Follow him on Facebook!