If you or your child has frequent cough with wheezing, wakes up at night with a cough, has difficulty breathing, or easily gets short of breath while exercising, you may have asthma. Take our asthma control test and see your doctor.
If your child has symptoms that are new, worse than usual or do not get better with usual treatment, you should call your doctor.
Children with asthma are encouraged to be physically active. If you get symptoms during exercise, such as cough, wheeze or shortness of breath, tell your doctor. He or she may recommend that you take a bronchodilator (such as albuterol) 15 minutes before exercise. If cold air triggers your asthma, you may want to wear a scarf around your mouth and nose if you’re exercising during cold weather.
Inhaled corticosteroids are prescribed for asthma in very small doses and deposited directly into the lungs. When taken as directed, inhaled corticosteroids prevent asthma attacks by reducing inflammation and mucus production. Since the doses are so small and the medication only goes into the lungs where it is needed, they cause very few side effects. A child with poorly controlled asthma may need to take oral corticosteroids, which are prescribed at much higher doses and cause many more side effects. Therefore, it is preferable to take inhaled corticosteroids at very low doses to keep asthma under control, rather than take the risk of having an exacerbation and needing to take oral steroids.
Inhaled corticosteroids are a very effective treatment for asthma. Up to 88% of children with asthma will have their symptoms well-controlled on a low to medium dose of corticosteroids and will not need any additional medications.
A person with asthma has sensitive airways that react to things in the air that other people normally do not react to. Common triggers of asthma include cigarette smoke, dust, mold, cockroach, and pet dander. Asthma can also be triggered by food allergies, cold air, exercise, viruses, and preservatives in food. Your doctor may recommend allergy testing to find out exactly what you are most sensitive to that may be triggering your asthma
Yes. It is possible for a child who has never had any other health issues to develop asthma. Children whose asthma is well controlled can lead very healthy lives and have an excellent quality of life.
In the beginning your doctor may want to follow up frequently (every 2-4 weeks) to make sure the medications are working well at controlling the asthma. If asthma is well-controlled, you will probably be seen once every 3-4 months or less.
When your asthma symptoms will be worse depends on your individual triggers. For example, someone who is sensitive to cold may have more asthma symptoms during the winter months. People are also more likely to catch colds (upper respiratory infections) during the winter months, which can trigger asthma. If you are sensitive to tree pollen, you may have more symptoms in the spring. If your asthma is triggered by hot, humid weather, you may be more symptomatic in the summer, and if you are sensitive to ragweed (hay fever) you may have more symptoms in the fall.
There is no specific gene that is linked to asthma. However, asthma tends to run in families. It seems that we do inherit from our parents a tendency to develop asthma. Whether or not you will develop asthma depends on a number of different factors, such as whether you are exposed to cigarette smoke, dust, pollution, or other allergens in the environment.
Asthma and allergies are separate conditions, but they are related. Up to 70% of children with asthma also have allergies to substances in the environment. When the body overreacts to these triggers, a chemical called histamine is released, which is responsible for allergy symptoms such as sneezing and itchy, watery eyes. When histamine affects the airways, you may experience cough, wheezing and shortness of breath. Your doctor can perform allergy tests to find out what you’re allergic to and treat it to help prevent asthma attacks.
Snoring is a very common condition, and people assume that because it’s so common, it can’t possibly be harmful. The noise of snoring is caused when air tries to get through blocked or narrow passageways. If someone is snoring, this may be a sign that their airways are blocked during sleep and they are not getting enough oxygen. This condition is called obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Untreated OSA can lead to many health complications such as hypertension, stroke and heart failure.
Up to 30% of children diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) also have sleep apnea. Among children with obstructive sleep apnea, up to 95% of them also have ADHD. Children who are not getting enough proper sleep at night cannot concentrate during the day or perform well in school. Treating obstructive sleep apnea will ensure that the child gets enough restful sleep and is able to be alert and learn well in school.
Awards and Recognition
Dr. Mayank Shukla Top-Rated Pulmonologist 2018 - 2024