There is no single test for the detection of bronchial asthma in children. To confirm the diagnosis, you need to write to the allergist and conduct a full examination. After the child has been diagnosed and the severity of the pathology has been determined, the doctor will select the necessary basic medications for continuous use, as well as medications (including inhalations) for emergency care in attacks.
Writing to an allergist: what will the doctor find out?
Is required an allergist entry if a child who is predisposed to allergies or who has allergies in the family has difficulty breathing, coughing or shortness of breath. After writing to the allergist, before the first visit, it is important to record all the symptoms that are present, their connection with infections, food intake, exercise and other events. This is important for diagnosis.
The doctor learns about the symptoms of the child from the parents, whom he also asks about situations where the child has breathing problems. It is important to report all the nuances of a family history of asthma, allergies and eczema, or the presence of allergic reactions in a child at the moment or earlier. This significantly helps to improve the accuracy of diagnosis. Writing to an allergist may also involve a series of examinations — a chest X-ray, which measures any blockage in the bronchioles, may indicate tissue swelling and mucus accumulation.
Also assigned a blood test that assesses the amount of eosinophils. High eosinophil levels can be a sign of allergic bronchial asthma. The information collected using the above procedures helps the allergist to make an accurate diagnosis. In the future, the doctor will monitor the child’s possible personal consultations and by phone at.
Treatment of bronchial asthma: approaches to therapy
Unfortunately, bronchial asthma today is not completely cured, not a single medicine has been found that completely eliminates asthma in all children. Reducing the frequency of symptoms and preventing attacks of bronchial asthma is the only way to cope with this disease. Therapy is aimed at long-term treatment of the disease, there are several ways to deliver drugs to the body. Bronchial asthma involves treatment based on the patient’s age and severity, basic medications are used that must be taken continuously, and emergency treatment used during attacks.
Drug delivery modes: inhalation, nebulizer
A variety of equipment and procedures are used to administer asthma drugs to the child’s body. A nebulizer is a device the size of a small box. Liquid medicine is poured into the container inside. The device evaporates the liquid into the mist that passes through the tube, which ends in a mask worn by the child around the nose and mouth. The nebulizer is the most preferred device for delivering drugs for asthma in children, as it is easy to use, and it allows the most accurate dosage of drugs.
Dosed inhalation with portable devices. Inhalers give a small dose of medication and require simultaneous injection and inhalation of medication. In children with asthma, such inhalation is difficult, so the device is often used with a spacer. It is a small tank with a mask at the end, which can be securely fastened on the face of the child. During inhalation, the drug is released into the spacer container and directly into the child’s mouth, and then into the lungs. This ensures that the child receives all the medicine without loss.
A dry powder inhaler — a portable device that resembles a small disk — delivers medication in the form of a dry powder. Powder filled capsules are loaded manually into the disc. This can be a sealed powder disc inside, and the device must be replaced with a new one after the powder has been exhausted. Inhalation is similar, but without spacer. The mouthpiece is inserted into the mouth and the button is pressed. The device releases powder under pressure, forcing it to penetrate directly into the breathing tube, from where it reaches the bronchioles.
What drugs can be used in children?
There are three main types of drugs used in the treatment of bronchial asthma:
- Long-acting drugs;
- Quick acting drugs;
- Remedies for allergies, which provokes bronchial asthma.
In each category there are several drugs that are used in childhood.
These are medications used to permanently treat asthma; a child takes them daily to effectively prevent symptoms and suppress bronchial inflammation. The severity and prognosis of asthma as they grow up will determine whether the child needs to take these medicines for the rest of their lives. The most commonly used inhaled corticosteroids: they help reduce inflammation of the inner lining of the bronchioles. Corticosteroids are the drugs of choice among medicines for a child, as they have minimal side effects and can be used daily.
Long acting beta agonists are chemicals that expand the smooth muscles of the bronchioles. These drugs significantly relax the airways, making breathing easier. They are administered only in combination with corticosteroids, since only beta-agonists have harmful side effects. Some drugs may contain beta-agonists and corticosteroids in one bottle, therefore, are called combined. It is important to know that beta-agonists are prescribed to children only if there is no improvement with corticosteroids alone.
Rapid-acting medication for a child
They are also called first aid drugs and are delivered either through an inhaler or intravenously. Medicines provide instant relief of shortness of breath, chest tightness and improve the breathing of the child. They are not a long-term solution and are aimed only at immediate improvement and relief of an asthma attack.
Short-acting beta-agonists act quickly, but with an effect of limited duration. The drugs are administered immediately during an asthma attack using a nebulizer or spacer. If the child uses them for a long time, they can have side effects with long-term use. Therefore, they are recommended only for immediate recovery of breathing after an attack.
Ipratropium is a medicinal compound used to make breathing easier for bronchitis, but it is also effective against asthma attacks. The medicine is a bronchodilator and relaxes the smooth muscle fibers on the bronchioles. The child can only use it urgently, with long-term admission side effects are possible.
Intravenous corticosteroids, as opposed to inhaled, provide short-term relief and are used only in cases of severe asthma attacks. The medicine is considered to be the last resort in an asthma attack, and it is used in emergency cases for the child.