Posts for tag: Asthma
It breaks your heart and frightens you. It's your child's asthma, the chronic lung condition that, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, affects 8.3 percent of American youngsters. As difficult as it is, you and your child absolutely can control asthma symptoms, and your pediatrician, Dr. Linda Neely-Shelmire, and her dedicated team in Friendswood can, and will, help.
What is Asthma?
Asthma constricts the narrow airway all the way from the throat down into the lungs and its tiny, air-exchanging alveolar sacs. Inflammation and mucous cause the all-too-familiar symptoms of asthma, including:
- Shortness of breath
- Nighttime coughing
- Chest heaviness
While symptoms vary in intensity, most all asthmatics experience a worsening of symptoms during periods of stress and strenuous physical activity.
What Triggers Asthma
Asthma seems to run in families, so there is certainly a strong hereditary component. However, the environment factors in as well, with common triggers such as:
- Outdoor pollution
- Allergens such as fragrances, pet dander, and plant pollen
- Cigarette smoke
- Cold weather
Treating Childhood Asthma
The identification and subsequent avoidance of asthma triggers is foundational to your pediatrician's child's lung health plan. Dr. Neely-Shelmire asks parents and children (as is age appropriate) to monitor asthma symptoms and possible triggers by keeping a written log.
Additionally, you and your pediatrician in Friendswood will formulate an asthma action plan as recommended by the American Lung Association. This tool will help you track how well your child is breathing (through simple monitoring with a peak flow meter), what medications maintain his or her lung function, which medications are rescue prescriptions, and what to do when your child has an attack or is sick with a cold or the flu.
A Word on Medications
Most children with asthma need a maintenance inhaler and a rescue inhaler. For severe attacks or times of prolonged symptoms, Dr. Neely-Shelmire may advise a nebulized bronchodilator or other medication to keep the airway as open as possible. She also informs parents about when to come into the office and when a hospital ER visit is warranted.
A Normal Healthy Life
Your friends at Good Health Pediatrics make this our goal for each and every patient who walks through the door. Through our proven methods and treatments, your child's asthma can be controlled and its impact minimized. So, if your child has this chronic condition, take advantage of the premier care Dr. Neely-Shelmire offers. If you have any questions or concerns about your youngster's asthma, please call our office at (281) 534-9335.
Childhood asthma is more common than you might think. In fact, it is the most common chronic disorder in children, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. Asthma is a long-term respiratory condition that causes swelling within the airways, making it different for your little one to breathe. How do you know if your child might have asthma? The telltale signs include:
- Trouble or difficulty breathing
- Wheezing or whistling when breathing in
- Tightness in the chest
- Coughing that often gets worse at night
- Fatigue, especially with exercise or play
If your child is experiencing or complaining about any of these symptoms it’s important that you schedule an appointment with a pediatrician as soon as possible. It’s important to write down the exact symptoms your little one has been experiencing, particularly because their symptoms may not be present during their evaluation. If you have a family history of asthma, this is something that your child’s pediatrician will want to know.
During the evaluation your doctor will also perform a physical exam, taking time to listen to both the heart and the lungs for signs of asthma. Sometimes a test known as spirometry will be used to test the lung function (this is most common in children over the age of 6 years old). This test is used to measure how much air is in the lungs and how quickly your child can exhale. Other tests may also be performed to check for other health issues that could be exacerbating your child’s asthma symptoms such as a sinus infection.
Asthma is serious and requires medication to keep this problem under control. While there is no cure for asthma, your pediatrician’s goal for asthma treatment is to prevent the severity and frequency of asthma attacks. We want to prevent your little one from having to rush to the hospital for a severe attack. Luckily, there are medications that your children’s doctor can prescribe to lessen asthma symptoms.
The type of asthma medication your child receives will depend on several factors including age. Infants and toddlers may require inhaled steroids to control asthma symptoms. The dosage will also change depending on your child’s age. Along with long-term medications that will be taken every day to help control symptoms and keep inflammation down there are fasting-acting medications that your child will also be prescribed (e.g. albuterol), which is only used when your little one feels an attack coming on. Before any medication is given to your child, your pediatrician will talk to both you and your little one about how to use asthma medication properly.