What is Asthma and how would I know if my child has asthma?
The majority of people are unaware of the symptoms of asthma.
When a child for example has a constant cough, it normally gets associated with flu, especially if there is no history of asthma present in the family.
Asthma can be genetically inherited.
- Coughing is normally a symptom that is commonly overlooked.
- Frequent colds or chestiness may also be asthma related.
- A child with a weak chest may also be asthmatic.
Asthma is one of the world’s most common respiratory illnesses in the world today.
It affects one out of ten children out of every twenty adults.
At any stage of your life, ever as an adult, asthma can start, but it normally starts at the age of 5 years. Asthma is most commonly the result of an allergic reaction.
I am speaking out of experience when I tell you that it is not a nice feeling when your child gets diagnosed with asthma. Asthma is always the last condition thought about by a parent.
Causes and triggers of asthma!
- Allergens or pollutants, like preservatives and colorants. This is a less common trigger, but it does exist.
- Environmental pollutants like cigarette smoke or pollen can trigger asthma symptoms.
- Outdoor pollutants from motor cars and factories also trigger asthma.
- Allergy to other products for example milk products can trigger asthma.
- The most common trigger is a cold and flu.
- The weather like cold air can trigger asthma.
- Doing exercise can not trigger asthma, but is very dangerous for a child having asthma as the symptoms are not being controlled. With the collect medication and control methods, any exercise can be performed.
- An infection in the breathing tubes because if a virus, can either start or make the asthma symptoms worse. This asthma condition can persist for even 6 weeks after infection.
- Emotions for example anger and rage can trigger an asthma attack.
- Some common used medication like aspirin and other anti-inflammatory meds can trigger asthma.
The most common asthma symptom!
- It reoccurs constantly and is persistent.
- Coughing always occur in spasms and can result in the child loosing his or her breath.
- Symptom is worse during the night and during exercise.
- It can cause the child to vomit.
Can your child outgrow asthma?
According to medical statistics a child can outgrow asthma by die age of 10 years.
What happens to a child’s lungs during an asthma attack?
Asthma affects the breathing tubes, called the bronchioles, by inflaming the linings of the bronchioles, making it more difficult to breathe. This is where the “wheezing” sound or constant cough comes from.
There is 3 main elements to asthma:
- The inflammation
- The mucous plugging
- The bronchospasm
Let me explain these elements better.
Because of the inflammation, brought on by an allergic reaction, the child’s body produces extra mucous which in return creates mucous plugging and then the child gets bronchospasm. This bronchospasm decreases the size of the breathing tubes called the bronchioles. This creates the wheezing sound when a person with asthma exhales, or a constant cough, mainly at night.
Because of the decreased bronchioles, the child’s body is not able to exhale air in the lungs. This becomes trapped. If this continues, it comes to a point where the asthmatic can not breathe.
How do you treat asthma?
The main aim is to get the breathing tubes to function without any difficulty when breathing.
Just like any other, the affect of medication differs from person to person.
This is also the case when using asthma medication.
Asthma medication will help your child with the following:
- The medication controls the inflammation and stops the coughing or breathlessness at night and in the mornings.
- Medication will treat an asthma attack when it happens, it will give quick relief.
- It will avoid symptoms to trigger asthma.
There are 2 main asthma type medications,
These medications are very important and necessary because it prevents asthma attacks on an ongoing basis.
Corticosteroids are a very important medication because of the fact that it reduces the swelling and the production of mucus in the airways.
These medications relieve asthma symptoms. It relaxes the muscle bands that tighten around the airways. By doing that it opens the airways, letting air come out and into the lungs. Because of this your child will breathe much easier.
These bronchodilators also help clear the mucus form the child’s lungs.
If the airways are open, any mucus build-up can move and be coughed out easily.
These medications can be administered in different ways.
Your child’s asthma and exercise.
There are a lot of children with asthma that develop a tight chest after exercise. Dry and cold air can also be a trigger causing the air pipes in the lungs to narrow. If the air pipes only narrow a little bit, the child will only cough after exercise. If however the air pipes narrow a lot, the chest becomes tight and breathing becomes difficult.
This asthma condition occurs about after 10 minutes of exercise.
After the proper medication the chest will open up.
Preferred exercise for a child with asthma.