In the modern world, asthma in children is one of the “diseases of civilization” that annually reaps an increasing “harvest”. It is estimated that more than 150 million people worldwide suffer from this disease. Moreover, the number of patients is constantly growing.
Among the causes of asthma, various allergens, viral and bacterial infections, as well as stress, have been registered. Childhood asthma is a reactive disease that can be very debilitating, especially for atopic causes. Allergies are the most common cause of asthma in children. This clearly indicates a relationship between the increase in the number of allergy sufferers and the growing number of asthma patients.
In this regard, it makes sense to pay attention to the factors that contribute to the occurrence of such a disease. These are, in particular, tobacco smoking, chronic, viral respiratory tract infections and allergens.
Allergens (substances that irritate the immune system) include tobacco smoke inhaled by passive smokers, dust mites living in home furniture, mold and mildew that grow in damp living spaces, exhaust fumes and smoke. This list also includes plant pollen, animal hair, some medicines and food.
Asthma leads to a limitation of the upper respiratory tract, some uncontrolled contractions of the bronchi, as well as the accumulation of thick mucus in them. This incurable disease is characterized by the following symptoms: wheezing, constant coughing, a feeling of suffocation in the chest during attacks.
How to recognize symptoms in children?
Asthma attacks sometimes occur immediately after eating. In other cases, it happens after exercise. Sometimes it all starts with a dry cough, which gradually turns into an attack of suffocation. An attack of bronchial asthma in children, as a rule, is accompanied by a significant increase in heart rate and blood pressure, as well as difficulty with speech. Attacks usually go away after a few or several tens of minutes. And if they do not pass even after using the inhaler, you need to call an ambulance.
When should i see a doctor?
The symptoms of bronchial asthma in children are much more difficult to diagnose. Most of all, it is necessary to pay attention to wheezing and tachypnea, which can be the main prerequisite for determining subsequent symptoms. At the same time, one must be aware that not in every case when wheezing appears in a child, this indicates the presence of asthma. In many cases, other lung conditions can cause similar symptoms.
Studies have shown that obese people are more likely to develop asthma, as opposed to those who lead a healthy lifestyle and practice enough physical activity. A similar relationship also exists between smokers and non-smokers. Another way to protect your child or yourself from asthma is to avoid being in rooms where the air conditioner is actively working. Also where highly corrosive or irritating chemicals are sprayed. If we talk about prevention in relation to the risk of asthma in newborns, it is important to control the air quality in the room or other place where the child is. Breastfeeding is equally important. Breast milk contains many antibodies that protect the young immune system from the allergens of the modern world.
There are two types of medicines used to treat bronchial asthma. The main task of type 1 drugs is to expand the bronchi during the onset of an attack. They provide relief, but are not responsible for treating inflammation in the bronchi. The main brunt of the fight against asthma is taken by anti-inflammatory drugs, which are colloquially called “steroids”.
It also makes sense to mention that there are oral medications for asthma, however, they are significantly less effective than inhaled ones. The tablets must pass through almost the entire gastrointestinal tract to enter the bloodstream and from there begin to affect the bronchi. Inhalers deliver directly targeted doses of the drug to the area requiring treatment. Therefore, there is no risk for the liver, kidneys and other organs, which can become victims of side effects.
Diagnosing bronchial asthma in children can be problematic due to potential confusion. It can be mistaken for other respiratory infections. The symptoms listed earlier do not allow for unambiguous definition. At the same time, it is recommended to remain calm – stress does not improve the situation and the well-being of the asthmatic. It is also worth taking care of a healthy lifestyle for the child and sufficient physical activity. Thanks to this, asthma will be almost asymptomatic.