Pediatric Asthma

by Dr Khadijatou Aboulmaali M. Sid Ahmed on October 24, 2018
Articles

What Is Asthma?

  • Asthma is a chronic disease of the tubes that carry air to the lungs. These airways become narrow and their linings become swollen, irritated, and inflamed.
  • In patients with asthma, the airways are always irritated and inflamed, even though symptoms are not always present.

What are the Symptoms of Asthma?

  • Wheezing, the classic symptom
  • Cough
  • Tight chest
  • Trouble breathing

What are the Symptoms of Asthma?

  • Wheezing, the classic symptom
  • Cough
  • Tight chest
  • Trouble breathing

What are the Causes (Triggers) of Asthma Attacks?

  • Infections that affect breathing (like colds or the flu)
  • Pollens (trees, grass and weeds)
  • Animals (like cats or rabbits)
  • Tobacco smoke
  • Irritants (such as smog, car exhaust, menthol vapors, barns, dirty basement)
  • Food Allergy (Serious). Asthma attacks caused by food allergy can be life-threatening (anaphylaxis). Examples are nuts or fish.

Asthma Attack Scale

  • Mild:
    • No Shortness of Breath (SOB) at rest. Mild SOB with walking. Can talk normally. Speaks in sentences.
    • Can lay down flat.
    • Wheezes not heard or mild.
    • Green Zone: Peak Flow Rate 80-100% of normal rate)
  • Moderate:
    • SOB at rest.
    • Speaks in phrases.
    • Wants to sit (can’t lay down flat).
    • Wheezing can be heard. Retractions are present (ribs pull in with each breath).
    • (Yellow Zone: Peak Flow Rate 50-80% of normal rate)
  • Severe:
    • Severe SOB at rest.
    • Speaks in single words.
    • Struggling to breathe.
    • Wheezing may be loud or absent. Retractions may be severe.
    • (Red Zone: Peak Flow Rate less than 50% of normal rate)

Peak Flow Meter:

A peak flow meter measures Peak Flow Rates (PFR). It tells us how well a person can move air out of the lungs. A PFR can be used in children 6 years and older.

How is asthma treated?

  • Asthma is treated with different types of medicines. The medicines can be inhalers, liquids, or pills.
  • Your doctor will prescribe medicine based on your child’s age and his or her symptoms.
  • Asthma medicines work in 1 of 2 ways:
    • Quick-relief medicines stop symptoms quickly. These medicines should only be used once in a while. If your child regularly needs these medicines more than twice a week, tell his or her doctor.
    • Long-term controller medicines control asthma and prevent future symptoms. If your child has frequent symptoms or several severe episodes in a year, he or she might need to take these each day
  • Almost all children with asthma use an inhaler with a device called a “spacer.” Some children also need a machine called a “nebulizer” to breathe in their medicine. A doctor or nurse will show you the right way to use these.
  • Asthma that is not treated with the right medicines can:
    • Prevent children from doing normal activities, such as playing sports
    • Make children miss school
    • Damage the lungs

What is an asthma action plan?

An asthma action plan is a list of instructions that tell you:

  • What medicines your child should use at home each day.
  • What warning symptoms to watch for (which suggest that asthma is getting worse)
  • What other medicines to give your child if the symptoms get worse
  • When to get help or call for an ambulance

If you would like to talk, feel free to reach out to us. An LifeWorks therapist would be able to help.

Dr. Sravani Behara
Dr. Sravani Behara
Specialist Psychiatrist - English, Hindi and Telugu
MBBS, MD - Experience: 12 Years
Cintia Ramos
Cintia Ramos
Psychologist - Spanish and English
Master’s Degree in Psychological Intervention in Clinical and Social Fields - Experience: 12 Years
Dr.Bassem Badr
Dr.Bassem Badr
Consultant Psychiatrist,Holistic Approach - Arabic and English
Master of Science in Neuropsychiatry - Experience: 25 Years
Dr.Marwa Abd El Hamid
Dr.Marwa Abd El Hamid
Clinical Psychologist - Arabic and English
Ph.D. in Psychology Ain-Shams University - Experience: 10 Years
Iva Vukusic
Iva Vukusic
Clinical Psychologist - English, Croatian and German
Master of Psychology, Training of Trainers (ToT) Community
Jyotika Aggarwal
Jyotika Aggarwal
Clinical Psychologist - English
M.A.(Clinical Psychology), RE-CBT - Experience: 7 Years
Sailaja Menon
Sailaja Menon
Counseling Psychologist - English
CAGS (Multicultural Counseling), Johns Hopkins University, USA - Experience: 25 Years
Sneha John
Sneha John
Psychologist - English, French
Masters in Clinical Psychology from University of London, UK, Bachelor of Psychology with Counselling, UK, Diploma in Child Development, UK.

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