Asthma is a condition that affects millions of children and adults across the globe. When one or both parents have asthma, a child will have a greater risk of having lung disease, but the reality is that many children can develop asthma even if there is no family history of the condition. As an asthma doctor, I still meet parents who are unable to tell the difference between the common cold and asthma so today we will help clear the air and help your child breathe easier.
Asthma is a long-term lung issue that causes a patient’s lungs to react in an extreme manner when it is irritated by a certain trigger (allergens, infections or cold air). A trigger can cause the muscles in the lungs to tighten, swell and create excess mucus, which makes air less available to get into the lungs and impair breathing.
A common cold is usually a mild condition that involves the upper respiratory tract. Sneezing, scratchy throat and runny nose are the first signs of a cold that usually lasts for a week or less in children.
A cold is typically not an indicator of asthma, but certain symptoms may seem similar in children. In a perfect world a child will only show signs of one or the other, but there are ways to tell when asthmatic symptoms are present in a cold. If a child with asthma catches a cold, the symptoms seem to last longer than a week. Symptoms of asthma include:
- Persistent coughing
- Intense wheezing
- Chest pain
- Tightening of the chest
- Shortness of breath
How Can I Tell the Difference Between Cold and Asthma?
For many children and adults, colds can trigger asthma symptoms and about half of people with asthma have constant wheezing with their cold symptoms. Colds are infections in the nose and throat, which can begin abruptly. During a cold in a child they may only encounter the following:
- Runny nose with clear mucus
- Sore throat Fatigue
- Slight fever
As mentioned before, asthma symptoms occur typically in the lungs and airways. Wheezing is usually the hallmark of asthma, and sounds like a high-pitched whistling noise when air attempts to move through narrowed airways when breathing. Other big indicators of cold and asthma symptoms overlapping include coughing, tightness in the chest, and shortness of breath. If these symptoms sound like they occur in your child, then visiting with an experienced asthma doctor New York patients trust can help you create an effective asthma treatment plan.
Asthma Treatment New York
Clinical examinations and research for children with asthma is very innovative and assertive in controlling asthma. Recently, a study of inner-city children found that those who were exposed to allergens and germs within the first year of life may be more protected against development of asthma and allergies. As per The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, an official publication of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, out of 560 children with high risk for asthma around the east coast only 17 percent of patients had recurrent wheezing after exposure to cockroaches, mice and cat allergens within the first year of life. In comparison to a second group who were not exposed to the three allergens 51 percent experienced recurrent wheezing. These findings suggest early exposure to certain allergens may be beneficial as a preventive strategy for asthma, but further testing must take place in order to be established on a broad spectrum.
For now, schedule a consultation with Dr. Mayan Shukla, the asthma doctor New York residents choose most to diagnose children’s asthma. It is particularly important to diagnose early, especially since children with asthma are considered to be at a higher risk for other respiratory diseases. Don’t ignore your child’s wheezing during the common cold, call our office and schedule a plan of action against asthma today.