Childhood asthma is the one of the most long term disease for children today. It is leading cause on why so many children miss school and visits to the doctor. Childhood asthma are mainly caused by viral infection such as the common cold or cough.
When your physician suspects asthma in your child, you will be asked questions like
• Is your child unable to sleep due to breathing difficulties
• Does your child have frequent coughing and wheezing
• Is your child able to participate in sports activities without any difficulty
• Is there a history of asthma amongst your family and close relative
If your child is older than five, your child may be asked to do a peak flow measurement. Childhood can be misdiagnosed since wheezing can be caused by the common cold rather than asthma.
If your child is indeed to have asthma, depending on how sever the asthma, different treatment will be prescribed. A physician main approach is first let the child have control over the asthma and reducing the dosage later to reduce the side effect of the medication.
For child found to be suffering from mild asthma, the treatment will be short acting beta2 agonist. These usually will come in the form of MDI (metered dosed inhalers). These inhalers will be use “as when needed” rather than on a regular basis
However, many parents have experience difficulty teaching their children the proper technique of using an inhaler. This is especially true for kids under the age of five. Parents may opt for nebulizer or oral medication. A spacer can also be attached to the inhaler for better medication delivery. If your child is suffering from mild persistent asthma, inhaled corticosteroids will be given.
It will be given in small dosage as corticosteroid has been found to have retard height growth in children.
If your child has moderate asthma, your child will be given long acting beta2 agonist such as salmeterol or formoterol. These medication also help to prevent exercise induce asthma. If symptoms still do not go away, inhaled corticosteroid and theophylline will be given in controlled dosages.
If your child is found to have chronic asthma, the most severe form of asthma, high dosage of inhaled corticosteroid will be needed, together with long acting beta2 agonist drugs. Your child will also be put on oral corticosteroid as well. Parents should consider putting a nebulizer since a nebulizer can give a whole range of medication including short and long acting and corticosteroid as well. Nebulizer also can deliver a greater quantity of medication than a MDI.
Finding out your children have asthma is not the end of the road for them. With proper control and measures put into place at home and in your child's life, it is possible for your child to live a normal life.