Understanding Asthma to Help Your Child Breathe Easy
By Child & Adolescent Clinic
November 01, 2017
Category: Children's Health
Does your child ever wheeze, cough or feel tightness in the chest? If so, your child may be suffering from asthma. For most kids breathing is simple. They breathe in through their nose and out through
their mouths with the air going into the windpipe, which then travels through the airways and into the lungs. However, children who suffer from asthma do not have as much of an easy time breathing, as their airways are very sensitive, making breathing a lot more difficult.
And when your child has an asthma flare-up, or an asthma attack, it can be alarming and nerve-wracking. When an asthma attack occurs, a person’s airways get swollen and narrower, making it harder for air to get in and out of the longs. By understanding asthma, and asthma attacks, you can help your child breathe easier and better.
What Causes My Child’s Asthma Flare-Up?
Various triggers can cause your child’s asthma flare-up. Some kids are sensitive to allergens, which are substances that cause allergic reactions in the airways. Some common allergens for kids with asthma include:
- Dust mites
There are a lot of children who suffer from asthma flare-ups when they are near furry animals, such as dogs and cats because they have what is called animal dander in their fur. This dander is a type of dandruff that is a trigger that can cause a powerful reaction in the airways.
Some substances can trigger flare-ups because they irritate the airways. These substances include:
- Chalk dust
- Cigarette smoke
If your child has asthma, they should try to avoid things that can cause their airways to tighten. Some triggers, such as cats, colds and chalk dust, can’t always be avoided. In instances where the trigger cannot be avoided medication can help your child manage their asthma. Not everyone’s asthma is the same, but there are different types of medicine available to help treat and manage asthma.
When treating asthma it is not like curing a sore throat or an earache, when everybody gets the same medicine. Instead, your child’s pediatrician will think about the causes of your child’s asthma flare-ups, how fast they happen and how serious they are. With that, your pediatrician will decide on the best kind of treatment for your child.
Some children will take asthma medication only once in a while, when they have a flare-up. This treatment is referred to rescue medicine because it works fast to open the airways, so that the person can breathe properly. Other kids may need to take controller medicine every day, which works to keep flare-ups from happening.
If your child is suffering from asthma, visit your pediatrician for further diagnosis and treatment. Depending on the asthma triggers, your pediatrician may prescribe an inhaler or other forms of treatment to help your child breathe better.