A pulmonologist is a doctor who focuses on the respiratory system. These doctors can diagnose and treat a variety of lung diseases. Lung disease may refer to different types of disorders or diseases that prevent the lungs from working properly. If you have any problems that involve the lungs, seeing a pulmonologist is highly recommended.There…
Childhood Asthma FAQs [Ask a Pulmonologist]
A pulmonologist is a doctor who focuses on lung conditions and respiratory diseases. Pulmonologists can help diagnose and treat a variety of conditions, including asthma. Asthma is a condition that often causes breathing problems. Children may wheeze, be short of breath or cough. Watching your child struggling to breathe is not easy and can be heartbreaking. But the good thing is that asthma can be controlled.
Pulmonologist and childhood asthma
Asthma can affect people of all ages. However, children with asthma have particular concerns. Parents of children with asthma should find out as much as they can about the condition. This will help ensure that children receive quality care. Here are answers to some of the frequently asked questions about childhood asthma.
How is asthma diagnosed in young children?
Asthma can begin at any age even for older people, however, most children develop the first symptoms before they are 5 years old. Asthma in children is usually hard to diagnose. In some cases, it can be hard to determine whether a young child has asthma because some conditions can cause asthma-like symptoms. Not all children who have wheezing episodes when they either get respiratory infections or colds develop the condition. Wheezing may occur when a child’s small airways end up being inflamed by an illness. Since airways grow as children age, wheezing may no longer be experienced when a child who is older gets a cold.
A child who wheezes regularly with respiratory infections or colds has a high chance of having the condition if a parent has asthma. The child is also likely to have asthma if there are signs of allergies like eczema or the child wheezes even without having a cold or another infection. To help the health care provider make a correct diagnosis, the parent should be prepared to provide some vital information about the child. A parent is often expected to inform the doctor of any family history of asthma or allergies and the overall behavior of the child.
The doctor should also be made aware of breathing problems or patterns and responses to foods or allergy triggers. A child may also need lung function tests to help in the diagnosis. However, these tests are often very hard to do especially with young children. Sometimes, a doctor may decide to prescribe asthma medications to see if the symptoms will improve.
How is childhood asthma treated?
Even though asthma cannot be cured, it can be controlled. Treatment may involve taking medicine and avoiding triggers. There are many different ways to avoid triggers. After the identification of the child’s triggers, the doctor will work with the parent to make a plan to avoid them.
Many asthma medicines are inhaled but some are liquids or pills. A doctor may recommend quick-relief medications that act fast and help to open up swollen or tight airways. These medications are used when necessary for quick, short-term symptom relief especially during an asthma attack. Long-term control medications manage the condition by preventing symptoms from happening. These medications reduce the inflammation in a kid’s airways that can lead to symptoms.
If you suspect your child has asthma, you should take your kid to see the doctor. Early diagnosis and treatment will help to control the symptoms. Seeking medical attention may also help to prevent asthma attacks. If you have any questions about childhood asthma, talk to a pulmonologist.
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