Asthma in Children – Common Symptoms and Causes

Asthma is often a condition that will affect the air passageways that will permit the flow of air in and out of the lungs.  These are long term diseases that can inflame and irritate the passageways where air flows through.  When the airways get inflamed, it becomes sensitive to the allergens, which makes the muscles in the area to constrict and tighten.  When this happens, there is less air that flows into the system, and will eventually lead to the person to have harder time breathing.  For others that have severe conditions of asthma, a white sticky fluid that is called mucus or phlegm will be produced, which will even make the person harder to breathe.

Children, particularly boys, have a high rate of developing asthma.  At this very young age, they are most likely to get it out of their system during their teenage years or perhaps early adulthood.  However, there are some others out there that will have severe cases and still have it during these stages.  For those that outgrow it, there is that slight possibility that it may recur during their adult lives.  This would mainly depend on the kind of lifestyle they would lead as unhealthy habits like smoking, alcohol and drugs may aggravate the asthma cases in adults.

Causes of Asthma

There are several causes that have been noted to be causes for asthma.

Genetics – when there is a history in the medical records of one family member having this disease, there is that possibility that your child may also acquire it.

Environmental factors- when children are directly exposed to the allergens, such as mold and pollen, irritants like smoke and air pollutants, and climate changes especially those during winter, and others, it can lead to triggering an attack of asthma.

Hygiene Hypothesis Theory – this is a theory that is explained by medical experts that children that are exposed to symbiotic bacteria and microorganisms will have their immune systems to be highly developed to fight off any allergens and irritants that they may come into contact with.  Hygiene hypothesis would generate this theory that cleanliness may prevent children from acquiring diseases.  However, when they are not exposed other bacteria at a young age, their immune systems will get weak, and they lose a partial ability to fight off diseases that are caused by allergens and irritants.  For this reasons, the asthma disease is more prevalent in the US and other communities that are well developed.

Symptoms of Asthma

The asthma in general will showcase different symptoms for every person, which includes the degree of the indications.

Coughing – continuous and irritating cough that occurs during night and early morning are sure indications of an attack.

Wheezing – children will often display this most apparent indication to the disease.  Breathing difficulties characterized with this whistling sound while breathing is another sure sign of an incoming asthma attack.

Chest tightness and congestion – there are cases when the feeling of congested airways will act as the symptom for asthma.  The presence of too much mucus and phlegm will add to the discomfort of breathing.

Diagnosis of Asthma

Asthma in children, particularly in infants is quite hard to diagnose and determine.  However, doctors would conduct the usual tests of x-rays, medical records, and physical examinations.  The lungs and the heart are the two primary areas that are checked and reviewed to diagnose asthma.

Treatment of Asthma

Asthma is an incurable disease, but there are certain treatments that one can take with proper care to at least relieve or prevent the attacks.  It is necessary for you to understand that each person will have varying degrees of the asthma attack.  To ensure that proper treatment is taken, consultation with doctors and proper parental supervision must be done.

Inhalers and puffers are the most common ways of medicating the disease.  These are devices that have some sort of gas that are inhaled into the lungs and airways.  Generally, there are two types of these inhalers, the relievers and the preventers.  The latter is those that are administered to cure the symptoms while the former is those medications that are taken to treat the attacks.  For children that are finding it difficult to use the inhaler, a spacer is used.  This is a tool that is a long tube clipped to the inhaler.  Steroid tablets are also used as support to the medications.

When sudden attacks to the child occur, it is advised that the inhalers should not be used immediately.  Instead, have the child sit down for at least five to ten minutes until the attack goes away.  Otherwise, if it persists, then it would be advisable to get to the hospital as soon as possible.

Childhood asthma is perhaps one of the most traumatic experiences you can have.  It is a challenge that you have to meet and deal with as long as you are aware of the do’s and the don’ts of the disease.  This condition may not be curable, but there are definitely ways that you can increase the morale of person and make them live with it.