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.