The lungs and airways become inflamed easily in childhood asthma and allergy especially when exposed to certain types of triggers such as catching a cold, inhaling airborne pollen or any other respiratory infection. There is as such no difference between asthma in children or adults. Unfortunately, asthma has no cure, and its symptoms may continue even when the grow up. But with proper care and the right treatment and taking care of the asthma causes, the problem can be kept under control, and the damage to lungs can be prevented.
Childhood Asthma Symptoms
Common childhood asthma signs and symptoms include:
- Frequent, intermittent coughing
- Trouble sleeping caused by shortness of breath, coughing or wheezing
- A whistling or wheezing sound when exhaling
- Shortness of breath
- Chest congestion or tightness
- Chest pain, particularly in younger children
- Bouts of coughing or wheezing that get worse with a respiratory infection, such as a cold or the flu
- Delayed recovery or bronchitis after a respiratory infection
- Trouble breathing that may limit play or exercise
- Fatigue, which can be caused by poor sleep
Asthma signs and symptoms vary from one child to another and may get better or worse over time depending upon the treatment.
Childhood Asthma Home Remedies
- Proper Cleanliness and dust control – The house should be cleaned regularly to keep the dust away as the particles of dust may cause breathing problems for an asthma patient.
- Maintain low humidity – If the climate around you is damp, ask your pediatrician or asthma doctor to provide a device that can keep the air drier.
- Use Air conditioner – Air conditioner helps in reducing the amount of airborne pollen from trees, weeds, and grasses that find its way to your home. It also reduces the amount of indoor humidity.
- Reduce exposure to cold air – It is better that the child suffering from asthma should wear a face mask as the dry and cold air outside can worsen asthma symptoms.
Asthma treatment aims are to keep the symptoms under control which could mean minimal or zero symptoms, playing outdoors without any limitations, minimal or no side effects from the medication and also reducing the use of an asthma inhaler.
Here is a list of treatments to control asthma-
Long-term Control Asthma Medicines
- Leucrotene modifiers – These are oral medications that include Zafirlukast, Montelukast and Zileuton. These medications help to prevent the symptoms of asthma for up to 24 hours.
- Inhaled corticosteroids– These medications include Budesonide (Pulmicort Flexhaler), Fluticasone (Flovent Discus) and Mometasone (Asmanex). These medications are used for several days or weeks for their maximum benefit. However, there may be few side effects such as slow growth in children but the effects are not much, and most of the people get benefit from this treatment.
- Combination Asthma Inhalers – These medications include an inhaled corticosteroid and Long-Acting Beta Agonist (LABA). In some cases, long-acting beta agonist is linked to severe asthma attacks. Due to this reason, LABA medication should be given to children with an inhaler with corticosteroid inside it.
Quick Relief Asthma Medicines
Quick Relief Medications helps to open the swollen airways that cause a problem in breathing leading to an asthma attack. It is used for providing relief to the child from short-term symptoms. Quick-relief medications are of several types:-
- Short-acting beta agonist – These medications can provide immediate relief during a childhood asthma attack. These medications include Levalbuterol and Albuterol which acts within minutes, and its effect lasts for several hours.
- Oral and intravenous corticosteroids– The work of these medications is that they relieve airway inflammation caused due to severe asthma. If used for long-term, these medications can cause serious side effects.
- Ipratropium – This is an inhaled medication that might be prescribed by the asthma specialist near you to provide immediate relief to the child at the time of asthma attack. These medications also relax the airways and make breathing more comfortable for the child.
Some More Tips to counter Childhood Asthma
- Asthma action plan – If your child has severe asthma, you must have an asthma action plan prescribed by the pulmonary specialist near you. This plan includes written instructions from the best doctor in Lucknow about how to avoid triggers, what medicines to take and their timings and how to deal with flare-ups. If this plan is implemented rightly, the symptoms will always be under control.
- Identify triggers and avoid it – Triggers are something that can lead to an asthma flare-up by bothering airways. Some of the common triggers are weather changes, viral infections and allergens like mold and pollen. It is not easy to identify your child’s triggers, but it is essential to do so to control asthma.
- Take prescribed medicines – Most children who have asthma needs to take the medication. In some cases, your doctors will prescribe long-term control medicines with occasional quick-relief medication. All these medicines should be taken timely and in the amount specified by the doctor.
When to see a doctor
If you suspect that your child may have asthma, it’s always a good idea to take him to the doctor as soon as possible. Early treatment will not only help them control the day-to-day asthma symptoms but also may prevent future severe asthma attacks.
Even if your child hasn’t been diagnosed with asthma, seek medical attention immediately if he or she has trouble breathing.