Asthma is a condition in which a person’s airways become inflamed, narrow and swell. Also, an excess amount of mucus is produced and all these factors lead to difficulty in breathing. It is a very common condition and affects people across all age groups. The severity of asthma can range from a mild to a life-threatening condition and hence, immediate treatment must be provided. Paediatric asthma is not a permanent illness like adults. Most babies outgrow these issues with age.
As already stated, asthma affects people of all age groups and asthma is also quite common among children. Childhood asthma can interfere with the daily activities of the child and cause problems while playing, sleeping, studying, etc. Childhood asthma is not that different from adult asthma. With proper precaution and care, the symptoms of asthma can be managed to a large extent and damage to the lungs can be prevented.
Here are some of the most common symptoms of asthma in children:
These symptoms can make activities like playing sports, cycling, exercising, etc, difficult. If you notice the above symptoms, it is highly recommended to visit a paediatrician. Moreover, if your child faces extreme difficulty in breathing or shortness of breath, the condition may require immediate medical intervention.
Managing asthma in children is a bit more difficult as compared to adults, as children often cannot convey the difficulty or the symptoms in a clear manner. Moreover, various other conditions like rhinitis, sinusitis, etc. may also cause symptoms like that of asthma, making diagnosis even more difficult. The common diagnostic tests for asthma include:
Spirometry: the doctor may do several lung functions tests like spirometry to diagnose type of airway obstruction accurately. Spirometry measures how much air your child can exhale and how quickly
Exhaled nitric oxide test: if lung function tests are not enough, the doctor may do an exhaled nitric oxide test to confirm the diagnosis.
It is to be noted that these tests are not very effective in very young children (below five years of age) and hence the diagnosis may require additional information from you or the child.
The treatment method depends on many factors like the age of the child, the severity of asthma or if the condition is triggered by allergy, etc. The doctor may prescribe long-term medications like inhaled corticosteroids, leukotriene modifiers etc. Besides, if the condition is triggered by an allergy, the doctor may prescribe allergy medications or immunotherapy. These may be complemented by lifestyle changes, reducing the exposure to allergens, etc.
Management of paediatric asthma requires immense skill and experience. Motherhood’s team of highly qualified paediatricians and other specialists are well-experienced in treating childhood asthma. At Motherhood, we constantly strive to provide your child with comprehensive and holistic paediatric care.
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