Watching your child struggle to breathe during an asthma attack is frightening. And poorly treated asthma can prevent your son or daughter from participating in sports and other activities they enjoy. The pediatricians at Tanasbourne Pediatrics in Beaverton, Oregon can develop a successful asthma care plan that lets you and your child breathe easier. Call today to make an appointment, or try their convenient online scheduling service.
Asthma is a fairly common condition in children and teens that causes the small airways in your lungs to swell and fill with mucus, which makes it difficult to breathe normally. The muscles around these airways also tighten and make the passages even narrower. Asthma can be life-threatening, so you should never ignore the symptoms.
During an asthma flare, your child may have:
Asthma may be mild, requiring only periodic treatment, or become severe enough to require daily asthma medications.
Doctors aren’t really sure why some people develop asthma. It may be a hereditary issue since it tends to run in families. People who are overweight also seem to develop asthma more frequently than those who are not. Environmental issues may also play a role.
However, it’s well-known that certain things can cause asthma attacks or flares, which are often called “triggers.” These triggers may include:
Asthma treatment focuses on preventing flare-ups by avoiding triggers and using medications to reduce the inflammation, muscle tightness, and mucous buildup causing your child’s airways to narrow.
Your pediatrician works with you to help identify triggers and make suggestions for reducing your child’s exposure. For instance, if dust and cat dander are triggers, you can decrease your child’s exposure to these triggers by changing bed linens frequently, vacuuming regularly, and keeping kitty out of your child's bedroom.
Because exercise is important to overall health, it’s not recommended your child stop exercising altogether. Rather, if exercise is an asthma trigger, your child’s pediatrician may recommend using an inhaler before the activity to help prevent her airways from tightening.
Asthma medications are typically inhaled and may include a short-acting or rescue inhaler to use for sudden symptoms. These inhalers work rapidly to widen airways, but do not last long. Your child’s asthma may require treatment with a daily inhaled medication that works long-term to reduce the airway inflammation that causes asthma.