Millions of people suffer from asthma each year, and sadly, one of the biggest demographics is children. Asthma is an inflammatory disease that affects the respiratory system, making it difficult to breathe and causing attacks that can be deadly, particularly in the lungs of children. Asthma can be exacerbated by exposure to certain allergens, like pollen and dust, and can be triggered by exercise or overpowering smells.
Here are three things you need to know about childhood asthma:
1. The symptoms come and go
The main symptoms of asthma are wheezing and breathlessness, however, some parents might find that their children don’t wheeze, or that they only present with a wheeze when they have a cold or lung infection. It is important not to avoid a diagnosis of asthma just because the child doesn’t wheeze, as this can lead to serious consequences, which are explained by this infographic by FilterBuy.
Without a diagnosis of asthma, there’s no way to avoid or manage the triggers that can start an attack. However, by correctly managing the condition through carrying an inhaler, the child can live a normal, risk-free life.
2. Asthma can develop because of environmental factors
The development of asthma can be initiated due to many reasons, but one of the best ways to reduce the risk is to avoid the environmental factors that may cause it. For instance, traffic-related pollution has been shown to increase the risk of asthma in children, as the high levels of ozone emitted in exhaust fumes can affect developing lungs.
Similarly, exposure to chlorinated water through swimming programs can lead to changes in the airways of children. Research has shown, however, that when children grow up with a cat or a dog in the home, it can reduce the risk of developing asthma and allergies, so this may be a route you want to take with your child.
3. Asthma can be very treatable
Modern medicine has come a long way, and this means that the outcome for children with asthma isn’t as dire as it once was. There are medications that can be used to relieve the symptoms of asthma, but along with that, we now have ways to prevent the attacks altogether. A steroid inhaler can be used every day in order to completely reduce the risk of an attack, as this strengthens the airways and helps them to work more efficiently.
In fact, these treatments are so effective that affected kids aren’t limited in the things they need to do anymore. Experts say that when asthma is controlled by modern treatments, they can undertake activities such as exercise, camping and sports just like all the other kids.
Asthma is the most common chronic condition in children, but a diagnosis of asthma no longer means that a child needs to be limited in their quality of life or the activities they can take part in anymore. Thanks to modern medicine, attacks can be prevented and treated as easily as using an inhaler each day. If your child is affected by asthma, be sure to see your pediatrician to see if these treatments are right for your child.
By Stuart O’Riley.