Saturday, August 13, 2016

Does My Child Have Asthma?

Regardless of the age of your child, the possibility of asthma can be frightening. Add to the experience the inability for preschool or younger aged children to verbalize dangerous symptoms, and the threat of asthma can be all the more terrifying. If you cannot tell what’s going on with your child, is there any way for your Phoenix asthma doctor to verify this condition?

First, does your child experience these asthma-related symptoms?
Be on alert for these signs if you’re unsure if your child has asthma, particularly in infants and toddlers, who are at greater risk:
  • Colds that frequently settle in the chest.
  • A nagging cough, which worsens at night or is aggravated by triggers (smoke, perfume, pollen, dust, dander…).
  • A wheezing or whistling sound when breathing out.
  • Difficulty breathing or fast breathing causing the skin around the ribs and/or neck to be drawn in.
  • A family history of allergies, hay fever, hives, asthma, or eczema.

If your child has some or all of these symptoms, have asthma diagnosed!

In children, especially the very young, asthma can be difficult to recognize, however it is very important for children to receive proper treatment. That’s why an asthma doctor, often called an asthma specialist, is necessary for accurate diagnosis. How is asthma verified? In children old enough, it’s confirmed with an airflow test, which involves blowing very hard into a tube. Unfortunately, pre-kindergarten age children may not be able to perform this test, so parents and caregivers will need to remain on alert for symptoms.

How is it treated?
Pediatric asthma is typically managed with asthma medications such as bronchodilators (via inhaler or nebulizer) for rapid relief of attacks, and corticosteroid anti-inflammatories to prevent symptoms and attacks. Skin or blood tests may also be performed to identify allergies that trigger symptoms, and an asthma control plan drafted so you can identify when help is necessary.

Unsure if your child has asthma? Don't put your child at risk. Find a Phoenix pediatric doctor specializing in asthma and allergiesnear you today.

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