Asthma/Reactive Airway Disease
Asthma is the term used to refer to a chronic illness characterized by inflammation of the airways. Symptoms may include wheezing, or a persistent cough. The cough is significantly worse at nighttime and with exertion. Prolonged coughing can occur resulting in gagging, choking and/or vomiting. Some children with asthma require daily maintenance medications to prevent symptoms, while others only require short acting medications during times of illness. Not every episode of wheezing signifies diagnosis of asthma.
What triggers asthma?
There are many things that may trigger an asthma attack.
Learning what triggers your child and avoiding these things can help to prevent asthma attacks. The most common asthma triggers are:
- Seasonal allergies
- Cigarette smoke/environmental pollutants
- Dust mites
What is the treatment for asthma?
Mild asthma can often be treated with Albuterol in an inhaler or a nebulizer on an as-needed basis. Albuterol is a bronchodilator, which means that it works by opening up the airways helping to alleviate symptoms.
If symptoms are occurring too often it may be necessary to use daily medication to prevent flareups. This is usually in the form of an inhaled steroid. These inhalers do not treat wheezing and must be used on an everyday basis.