For being such a common disease, parents sometimes know very little about asthma. Nearly 7 million children in the U.S. have been diagnosed with asthma, according to the Centers for Disease Control. It is easy for asthma to go undiagnosed and therefore untreated because many of the signs and symptoms could go unnoticed, or be attributed to something else. So how do you know for sure if your child could have asthma? Here are the top 10 struggles that kids with asthma suffer from.
Wheezing, which is a whistling or humming sound that can be heard when your child breathes, is perhaps the most noticeable sign of asthma. It is caused by the air flowing through restricted airways and can occur regularly or before an asthma attack.
2. Tightness in the Chest
Many children complain that their chest feels tight when they have asthma. They may describe it as their chest can’t move or it feels as if someone is hugging them too tight. This is caused by restricted airways.
3. Struggling to Breathe
Some asthmatic children have a hard time catching their breath. They may stop frequently while talking to take a breath. Some children with severe asthma may stop speaking altogether because they are focusing so hard on breathing.
4. Hard Time Exercising
Not wanting to play or exercise can be a symptom of asthma. Kids may have less endurance during sports if they have asthma, especially if that asthma is exercise induced, in which case exercise or sports may trigger an asthma attack.
5. Reaction to Environmental Triggers
If your child reacts in certain environments, such as outdoors or in a dusty room, it could be because of asthma. Pollen, dust and dander are all common triggers for asthma attacks.
6. History of Frequent Bronchitis
If your child suffers from bronchitis or a croup-like cough more than once a year, it could be asthma. Asthma sufferers already have inflamed airways, and bronchitis and other infections could make the asthma symptoms much worse and more noticeable.
7. Seasonal Allergies and Eczema
Allergies, eczema and asthma are all problems with the immune system. Having one of these conditions can increase the risk of having the others. A family history of one of these conditions can also increase the chances of a child having asthma.
8. Persistent Dry Cough
It can be easy to attribute a cough to another problem, but children who have a persistent cough that doesn’t produce any mucus may be suffering from asthma. A persistent cough, called cough variant asthma, may be the only symptom of asthma in your children.
9. Disrupted Sleep
If a child seems restless at night for no reason or has a nighttime cough, it could be due to asthma. This disrupted sleep could lead to lethargy or a lack of energy during the day. These are both symptoms of nocturnal asthma.
10. Worsened Cold or Virus Symptoms
Asthma impairs the airways, so when a child gets a cold or other viral infection, the cold may seem to settle in the chest and affect the breathing more so than usual. Cold symptoms, especially coughing and wheezing, are much worse for children with asthma.
Consult Your Child’s Doctor About Asthma Struggles
If you notice that your child is exhibiting any of these symptoms, talk to your child’s doctor right away. Once asthma has been properly diagnosed, your child’s doctor can help develop an asthma treatment plan that will relieve your child’s asthma symptoms and help keep the disease from progressing. There are many medicines available that can help avoid and treat severe symptoms.
If you are looking for a trusted and experienced pulmonologist with extensive knowledge about pediatric asthma, look no further than Dr. Mayank Shukla. For over 15 years, Dr. Shukla has helped children in New York escape the struggles of asthma and breathe freely. Schedule your consultation with Dr. Shukla today and see the benefits in your child’s breathing.