Asthma is a commonly observed and long-term inflammatory condition of the lungs. A person's airways become inflamed, narrow and swollen. Thus, there is excess secretion of mucus - which makes breathing difficult.
Asthma occurs in 1 out of every 10 children and the cause is not always known. It is a steadily increasing chronic illness and symptoms can be observed by the age of 5.
There are many factors which lead to the development of asthma in children. They could be one of the following:
1. Allergies - Children with allergies, whether food or environmental, tend to develop asthma unlike other children who do not suffer from any allergies. Allergies cover a broad spectrum and are not limited to any particular type. If your child has certain allergies, it would be a good idea to look out for recurring incidents of breathlessness.
2. Genetic Issues - Asthma can be genetic. If one or more immediate members in the family have asthma, your child might develop it too. Even allergies tend to also run in families.
3. Low birth weight or premature birth can make children vulnerable to conditions such as asthma. To avoid this, you should follow your doctor's advise in relation to diet and medications.
4. Obesity, exposure to tobacco before or after birth, skin conditions, etc can also cause asthma.
5. Asthma is more common amongst biys than in girls. This, again, is due to the different genetic make-up of both the genders.
More and more children are developing asthma these days. Yet, no one is quite able to figure out what the cause might be.
Most agree, however, that the increased pollution, dust and smoke contribute majorly to this condition. Decreasing rates of breastfeeding also lead to problems like asthma since the child's immunity is not at its best.
There are some apparent signs and symptoms which can help you tell if your child has asthma. Here are few of them to look out for:
1. Frequent coughing spells during playing, laughing, sleeping, etc. It is important to realise that persistent cough is enough of a symptom for asthma (consult with your doctor to find out for sure).
2. Decreased levels of energy, needing frequent breaks while playing and rapid breathing are also possible symptoms of asthma.
3. Chest tightening. If your child complains of frequent/ irregular chest pain or makes whistling/wheezing sounds while breathing, you might want to take them to the doctor for a checkup.
4. A few other symptoms of asthma could include - shortness of breath, loss of breath, tightened chest/neck muscles, weakness, dark circles, lethargy, frequent headaches and a loss of appetite.
Parents should note that asthma symptoms vary from child to child. The best way to diagnose and make sure would be to take your child to a doctor. Above mentioned symptoms could quite possibly be from some other illness than from asthma. So, look out for certain indicators, recognise red flags but also kbow that it may not always be dangerous.
Asthma is mainly treated with the help of inhalers - changing depending on the severity of the condition.
- Rescue inhalers are used to treat symptoms
- Controller inhaler are used to prevent symptoms with usually steroids
- Severe conditions may require inhalers that keep the airways open, such as longer acting inhaler steroids
Make sure to keep your children out of dangerous environments where there is too much dust or unclean air. Other therapies such as oxygen therapy or medications (as recommended by your doctor) can also be used to treat asthma.
Asthma doesn't really have any natural cures and one can only take steps towards self-care to prevent extreme reactions such as an asthma attack.
You can use the internet to a limited amount so as to check symptoms, signs, causes, etc. At the same time, do not take matters in your own hands by taking treatment advise from the internet. You need a doctor to diagnose whether your child really suffers from asthma and then to prescribe the proper treatment. So, always mkem sure to keep in touch with youe doctor bedibe you decide to go for any particular medication/course of treatment!