Asthma is a chronic respiratory condition that affects millions of children across the globe. It can have a serious impact on childhood development due to the challenges it creates. Wheezing, coughing, and shortness of breath can be scary and overwhelming for children. This is especially true if they have not been properly diagnosed. An early diagnosis and treatment plan is necessary to control asthma. There are many factors that can exacerbate asthma in children. Below you will find information on the link between air pollution and childhood asthma.
Link Between Air Pollution and Childhood Asthma
Air pollution has long been associated with childhood asthma. In fact, the detrimental effects can exacerbate asthma symptoms and trigger asthma attacks. Roughly six million children in the United States have asthma. They are especially vulnerable to the negative impacts of air pollution. Consider the following ways in which air pollution impacts children with asthma.
Air pollutants trigger an inflammatory response in children’s airways. Asthma already causes inflammation and can cause the airways to become more constricted. The added stress of air pollution can exacerbate this and make it much harder for children to breathe. Avoiding air pollution is critical for children with asthma.
Air pollution impacts the immune system in children who have asthma. It essentially impacts the immune system’s ability to differentiate between harmful and harmless substances. Because of this, there may be an overreaction in terms of an immune response. This can trigger asthma symptoms and lead to an asthma attack.
Air pollutants have been shown to decrease lung function, especially among children with asthma. An asthma diagnosis already comes with lung function issues. Therefore, air pollution can exacerbate this issue and lead to more severe asthma symptoms.
The Adverse Impact on African-American Children
African-American children with asthma are especially vulnerable to air pollution. In fact, research has shown that even low levels of pollution can have a serious impact on African-American children with asthma. Inhalers are a common treatment option for children with asthma. Even with inhalers, the children were not protected. The pollution caused lung and other health problems, including reduced lung function. This is because the pollution increased the fatty substances in African-American children’s blood. This is something often seen in adults. Therefore, African-American children are at an increased risk of harm from air pollution.
Treating Childhood Asthma
The first step in treating asthma in children is setting up a consultation with a Brooklyn Asthma doctor. An accurate diagnosis is needed to ensure that your child has asthma. Once diagnosed, an asthma specialist can create a customized treatment plan based on your child’s unique needs. An asthma action plan is necessary to ensure that your child is equipped in the event that they have asthma symptoms or an attack. This may include medications, including short- and long-term medications to control your child’s asthma symptoms. In addition to medication, certain lifestyle changes can improve the condition. Contact Dr. Shukla today to schedule a consultation. Early intervention is key and can help reduce the risk of other harmful health conditions.
Lifestyle Changes and Asthma Management Tips
In addition to following a treatment plan, there are a number of ways you can help your child manage their asthma. Consider the following lifestyle changes that can improve your child’s condition.
- Cleanliness: It’s critical to maintain a clean, allergen-free environment at home
- Healthy Diet: Eating a balanced diet filled with nutritious foods can improve your child’s condition
- No Smoking: Maintain a smoke-free home for optimal air quality in your home
- Regular Exercise: Physical activity can actually be beneficial for children with asthma
- Regular Checkups: Be sure your child attends all of their checkup appointments