An asthma attack can be a terrifying experience for both the child experiencing it as well as the parents watching it happen. If you suspect that your child has asthma, please contact Orchard Pediatrics in West Bloomfield, MI. Our five pediatricians will help you and your child manage symptoms so that you can all breathe a bit easier!
What is asthma?
It is a chronic pulmonary condition affecting more than nine percent of American children, according to reports from the Center for Disease Control (CDC). However, it impacts almost as many adults, including seniors. Whatever the age, the coughing, wheezing, fatigue, and shortness of breath that characterize asthma all require rapid relief and long-term control.
Asthma involves inflammation of the bronchial tree, which takes air through the trachea down into the lungs. Oxygen passes into the bloodstream through highly vascularized air sacs called alveoli, but when this passageway is inflamed, this air exchange is impaired, which can impede everyday function and even life itself!
What are common asthma triggers?
Night time coughing and wheezing typically characterize childhood asthma. These symptoms may be caused or triggered by a variety of environmental factors or health conditions such as:
- A cold, flu, or pneumonia
- Cold outdoor air temperature
- Tobacco or wood smoke
- Car exhaust
- Paint fumes
- Allergens such as dust, mold, pollen, or animal dander
- Stress, excitement, and laughter (according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America)
How is asthma diagnosed?
Your pediatrician at Orchard Pediatrics in West Bloomfield will do a complete physical examination of your child, noting any symptoms and listening to breathing patterns. The doctor will then note possible triggers and may order allergy testing and lab work.
How is childhood asthma treated?
As needed, the pediatrician prescribes fast-acting bronchodilators for sudden attacks. These are often called rescue medications. Also, long-term medications, such as inhaled corticosteroids, are a common choice.
Additionally, you and the doctor will formulate an asthma care plan suited to your child's condition, age, and activity level. Keeping a diary of symptoms is often encouraged, as is measuring peak flow, or the amount of air the patient can expel in one breath. Declining peak flow readings indicates reduced lung function and the possible onset of an asthma episode.
Call Orchard Pediatrics in West Bloomfield at (248) 855-7510 with any questions or concerns that you have about your child's asthma!