Asthma, the leading cause of chronic illness in children, affects more than 8 percent of kids in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The lung disease keeps kids out of school and prevents them from enjoying sports and activities. However, thanks to effective asthma treatment plans offered by your West Bloomfield, MI, pediatricians at Orchard Pediatrics, children with asthma can breathe easier!
What is asthma?
Asthma occurs when the small airways in your child's lungs become inflamed and fill with mucus. As a result, the airways narrow, restricting the amount of air that reaches the lungs. It's not always easy to determine why your child has asthma, but several factors may play a role, including allergies, a family history of the disease, exposure to cigarette smoke, frequent respiratory infections, a case of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) as a baby, or low birth weight.
What are the common symptoms of asthma?
If your child has asthma, they may complain about chest tightness or pain. Kids with asthma often also carry a frequent cough, even when they don't seem to be sick. This coughing can affect sleep, leading to daytime fatigue. Wheezing, shortness of breath, and chest congestion may also occur. If your child has asthma and develops a respiratory infection, it may take longer for them to get better. Asthma may also affect your child's ability to play or participate in sports, as symptoms may worsen with activity. If your child has exercise-induced asthma, symptoms may only occur when your son or daughter runs or plays sports.
How is asthma treated?
Oral and inhaled medications are commonly used to treat asthma in children. The medications reduce inflammation, open the airways and relax the muscles that surround the airways. If your child has exercise-induced asthma, they may only need to use asthma medications before and during sports and other activities. Treating conditions that contribute to asthma, such as allergies or gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD), can be helpful in reducing symptoms and flare-ups.
If your child has extreme difficulty breathing or can't finish a sentence without pausing to take a breath, don't wait to see the pediatrician. Take your son or daughter to the emergency room immediately.
Concerned? Give us a call
Are you worried that your child may have asthma? Call the West Bloomfield, MI, pediatricians at Orchard Pediatrics at (248) 855-7510 to schedule an appointment.