A respiratory attack can be a terrifying experience for a young child. As their parent, you want to make it all better as fast as possible. Unfortunately, diagnosing a respiratory condition in an infant or toddler can be quite complex. A sinus infection, acid reflux, airway abnormalities, and respiratory tract infections share many characteristics. To make matters worse, if your child has regular episodes, your pediatrician will also have to consider asthma as a potential cause or complicating factor. So when to test your child for asthma?
When to Test Your Child for Asthma
Asthma takes time to diagnose properly. In most cases, your asthma doctor won’t be able to make a definitive diagnosis until your child is at least five years of age. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be visiting them regularly. An asthma diagnosis is based on observation and established patterns as well as clinical testing. Therefore, regular visits may be necessary for treatment and diagnosis. Visit your asthma clinic New York for more information. We provide the best treatment for pediatric asthma New York has to offer.
What Tests are used to Diagnose Asthma?
If your child experiences any sort of respiratory episode, then your first call should be to your local pediatric pulmonologist once your child is out of immediate danger. A serious episode could be life-threatening, so treatment has to be taken seriously. As stated above, it is unlikely that your doctor will provide an immediate diagnosis. Still, they can generally implement treatments that will decrease the likelihood of your child experiencing respiratory distress while you figure out the root cause.
In addition to documenting the frequency of your child’s attacks as well as potential risk factors, your child’s asthma doctor will want to perform a few tests to get a better understanding of what could be causing your child’s attacks. According to the Mayo Clinic, you shouldn’t be surprised if your doctor wants to perform any of the following tests once they’re over the age of five.
A Lung Function Test:
This test is designed to see how much air your child can exhale and how quickly they can do it. Doctors will normally conduct this test under different conditions to see if there are dramatic changes between when your child is at rest and when they are active.
An Exhaled Nitric Oxide Test:
This is usually a secondary test only performed if lung function tests are inconclusive. The name pretty much sums up the goal, measuring how much nitric oxide your child is exhaling. Higher levels of nitric oxide typically indicate swelling in the lungs and attached airways.
An Allergy Test:
Allergy tests may seem surprising to you. But some cases of asthma prove exclusively triggered by allergens. By performing a scratch test in a safe and controlled environment, your doctor will be able to determine if your child has any serious allergies and whether they’re contributing to your child’s symptoms.
How is Asthma Treated in Children?
Once your asthma doctor can provide a clear diagnosis, you’re going to have a lot of questions. Luckily, asthma is a highly treatable condition. Some cases are more difficult than others, but there is a very good chance that your child will be able to live a completely normal life as long as they stay on top of their medications.
For many asthma patients, treatment is two-fold because there is a long-term and an emergency component. Children will serious asthma will likely have to take medication every day. Inhaled corticosteroids are the most common, but that will depend on how your child reacts to the medication. There are other options available. They will also typically have a rescue inhaler for instances where their long-term medications cannot keep up. For young children, both forms of medication will typically come from a nebulizer to ensure receiving the proper dose.
Enjoying Life Symptom-Free
It can take a while to determine what treatment plan works best for your child. However, with the help of your local asthma doctor, you can be sure that you’re doing everything you can to give your child the care-free life they deserve.