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Everything You Need to Know About Asthma in Children

Asthma is a condition in which your airways to the lungs inflamed and swollen. The air tubes become narrow with sticky mucous. All this makes it difficult for air to go in and out of tubes and can make breathing difficult and trigger coughing, wheezing (a whistling sound) when you breathe out and shortness of breath. Asthma can be minor or it can interfere with daily activities. In some cases, it may lead to a life-threatening attack. The causes of asthma are not completely understood. However, risk factors for developing asthma include inhaling asthma triggers, such as allergens, tobacco smoke and chemical irritants. Symptoms * Coughing * Wheezing/whistling sound while breathing * Chest tightness * Shortness of breath * Coughing following exercise DIAGNOSIS Diagnosis is based on history of symptoms of cough, breathlessness and wheezing which occurs in relation to trigger factors like seasonal changes. It can be confirmed with lung function tests and allergy test. Your doctor will take a detailed history, look for eczema, nasal polyps and listen for wheezing. TREATMENT

The foremost step to take when diagnosed with asthma is to identify the triggers and avoid them.

Medications are of two types: Preventers: A preventer protects the child's air tubes by making them less sensitive to asthma and triggers. Take preventers daily as needed. Reliever: A reliever hould be used on an “as and when needed” basis. How long does the treatment take? Some children who have mild asthma do grow out of it. But we don’t know exactly why or exactly which child will grow out of it. So, even if your child has mild asthma, don’t let it get worse. Start the right treatment as soon as possible, ensure that you follow the doctor’s advice and take your child for regular check-ups. This will ensure that they can enjoy a normal and active childhood.

Dr. Aparna Reddy

Pediatric Pulmonologist

Rainbow Children's Hospital, Banjara Hills