Pediatric Asthma Care Questions and Answers
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Asthma is a common condition that affects more children than it does adults. It is also more prevalent in boys than it is in girls. Approximately 1 in 12 children have asthma, making it one of the most common childhood illnesses. Fortunately, there are medical professionals who dedicate their careers to helping children manage their asthma and prevent attacks from occurring.
What is Pediatric Asthma?
Pediatric asthma is the most common chronic disease affecting children. The bronchial tubes are very narrow in children and when they become inflamed, can restrict even further. Common symptoms associated with pediatric asthma include:
- Coughing, especially at night
- A wheezing or whistling sound, especially when exhaling
- Trouble breathing or fast breathing that causes the skin around the neck or ribs to move inward
- Frequent colds that settle in the chest
How is pediatric asthma diagnosed?
Diagnosing children under the age of 6 years old is difficult due to lack of pulmonary function testing, as children under the age of 6 cannot typically do the test reliably, and due to an overlap of viral symptoms with asthma symptoms. A pediatric asthma diagnosis is based on asthma history, including recurrent episodes of wheezing, cough, difficulty breathing and chest tightness, and a physical exam confirming airway obstruction that improves with short acting beta agonist (SABA). It may also be diagnosed due to the absence of an alternative explanation. The most common test used in diagnosing asthma is a lung function test, such as spirometry, which measures the air capacity of the lungs.
Does childhood asthma go away?
Childhood asthma can go away, but not in all cases. As children grow, so do the airways in their lungs. This growth and widening of the airways can reduce symptoms in some children, and in some cases, even diminish completely. However, this is not the case for every child, as asthma symptoms can persist into adulthood. Sometimes if asthma goes away on its own, it was never there to begin with but was improperly diagnosed. This is rather common as asthma can be very difficult to diagnose, especially in children. This is due to a few reasons, such as other conditions or illnesses producing similar symptoms or young children not being able to clearly articulate their symptoms.
How is Pediatric Asthma Treated?
Pediatric asthma is typically treated with the use of medications, educating the patient how to deal with symptoms as they arise, how to avoid symptoms and when to seek emergency care. Your child’s pediatrician will develop a treatment plan, commonly called an asthma action plan. Generally, the medications used to treat asthma include quick-relief medications and long-acting medications. Quick-relief solutions help manage sudden symptoms and are used for fast relief during an asthma attack. Long-acting medications work to prevent inflammation of the airways, keeping symptoms under control. These are typically taken every day.
If your child is experiencing symptoms of asthma and requires a diagnosis, or needs help managing their condition, come to SoCal Urgent Care today. Our kind and compassionate professionals are experienced in treating pediatric asthma and can help provide your little one with the care they need. For more information on our pediatric asthma care, call our office and get in touch with a member of our specialist team. To book an appointment with our pediatric asthma specialist, visit our website or speak with us over the phone today.