Posts for tag: Asthma
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.
Your child struggles when they get a cold. Coughing, wheezing, extreme fatigue--they resolve, but you wonder if something else is happening. Could your child have asthma? The Asthma Initiative of Michigan maintains that one in ten children in the United States has this chronic respiratory condition. Please contact Orchard Pediatrics in West Bloomfield, MI for evaluation of your child's possible asthma symptoms.
Symptoms of asthma
Both children and adults who suffer from asthma have trouble taking air in and exhaling it. Their airways are swollen, constricting their breathing. Copious amounts of mucous accompany this bronchospasm which may be triggered by stress, exercise, allergens (such as grass or animal dander), cigarette smoke, temperature extremes and other weather-related changes, food, colds or the flu and environmental and indoor pollutants.
Specifically, asthma symptoms include:
- Shortness of breath
- Restlessness and fatigue
- Coughing, particularly at night
- A tightness or heaviness in the chest
An increasing problem
The Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta says asthma diagnoses are increasing. While exact causes behind the condition are unknown, parents should understand that asthma is serious, impacting daily functioning and long-term well-being. However, families can manage the symptoms with an asthma action plan from the board-certified physicians at Orchard Pediatrics in West Bloomfield.
An asthma evaluation
It includes a complete medical history and physical. A lung function test, called spirometry, measures how much air your child expels in a single breath. Your pediatrician may order blood work and chest X-rays, too.
With a confirmed diagnosis, you and your child's doctor will formulate an asthma action plan to manage symptoms. This plan will include knowing your child's triggers, their medications (fast-acting bronchodilators and long-term corticosteroids), and what you should during a serious attack. The American Lung Association advocates using this plan to help physicians, parents, school nurses and caregivers coordinate the child's care with accurate information and a sensible way to deal with symptoms, particularly when symptoms are dangerous and potentially life-threatening.
If you suspect your child has asthma, contact Dr. Amy Dunn, Dr. Beth Nadis and Dr. Laurie Fisher at Orchard Pediatrics in West Bloomfield, MI and serving the Commerce Township, and Farmington Hills Areas for a consultation. Together, you and your child's doctor can help your youngster lead an active, happy life. Call the office team at (248) 855-7510.