It is not always the diagnosis of bronchial asthma is set quickly and without difficulty. Many children can be diagnosed with chronic bronchitis for many months or even years, although there are wheezing and difficulty breathing, especially in the face of infections. But they are often taken for features of the common cold. If the diagnosis is made, there are difficulties with taking medications, including in the form of inhalations. In addition, the child may have side effects of treatment, including quite serious manifestations, which requires a review of therapy.
Bronchitis or more serious problems?
The doctor does not always have clear criteria and symptoms to determine if a child suffers asthma attacks is bronchial asthma. Often, doctors can determine a multitude of conditions to explain wheezing, breathing difficulties, noises, including bronchitis, including obstructive, laryngitis, and even pneumonia. The lack of an accurate diagnosis or the placement of chronic bronchitis delays the appointment of appropriate therapy and often leads to the fact that nothing is done to prevent the next attack. It is especially likely that asthma attacks will be mistaken for recurrent bronchitis, if it is a young child, up to 4-5 years. An additional criterion in favor of an incorrect diagnosis of bronchitis is the association of seizures with episodes of acute respiratory viral infections or childhood infections, and breathing problems during other periods of time are not always obvious and obvious.
What speaks in favor of bronchial asthma?
Of course, none of the doctors want to mistakenly put a serious diagnosis – bronchial asthma associated with chronic inflammation in the bronchi, especially if it is a child of preschool age. It is necessary to conduct a number of examinations, exclude any other pathologies, before being sure that this is bronchial asthma. Usually, it is exposed only when the child has several episodes of wheezing, difficulty breathing and a connection is detected with certain triggers (not necessarily allergens, there may be infections, exercise, or some medications). The following factors help in making a diagnosis:
- A rather obvious unfavorable heredity of allergies or the presence of bronchial asthma in close relatives is determined;
- The child had relapses of the same symptoms for a rather short period (several months);
- The child already has atopic dermatitis (eczema) or pollinosis, other forms of allergies.
Problems of a child with asthma
One of the serious problems of almost any child diagnosed with asthma is timely and proper medication. Unlike adults, not all children can easily use inhalers, drink all prescribed pills without reminders and whims. One of the important steps to encourage a child to use medications for asthma is to explain what each drug does for treatment. And parents themselves should be clearly aware that medication should be taken every day, even if there are no symptoms. These medication Do not give asthma to become a problem when it gets out of control. In order for a child to get used to taking medications, it is best to associate medication intake with a constant phenomenon that occurs every day, for example, waking up in the morning and hygienic measures or going to bed. For drugs that require the introduction of more than two times a day, it would be nice to associate the reception with food. Taking drugs should not be considered as a punishment, but as an important way to avoid problems. Positive reinforcement is the best way for some children to remember to take medication.
Drug separation: basic and emergency
Medicines that serve to relieve symptoms (emergency treatment) should be identified as being different from the mainstream drugs. They are used when a child experiences severe symptoms, such as shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, are used during the exacerbation phase. When these symptoms appear, it is very scary for children, and they may not take their medications properly. Parents can prepare for this in advance by practicing when the child does not have an attack, explaining in detail how to use the drugs. Basic medications are taken continuously, it is important that parents control their intake, and the child does not miss the next dose.
Corticosteroids (steroid drugs) are medicines used to treat many chronic diseases. Corticosteroids very well reduce inflammation, swelling of the bronchi and inhibit the formation of mucus in the airways. They also help quick-acting drugs work harder. Steroids (corticosteroids) used to treat chronic diseases of the bronchopulmonary system are significantly different from anabolic steroids that are illegally used by some athletes to build muscle. Corticosteroids do not affect the liver and do not cause infertility, but this does not deprive them of their side effects.
Inhalation – the method of delivery of drugs in the bronchi
The most common method of delivering steroids to the bronchi is inhalation. Steroid drugs for inhalation are usually prescribed as a long course of treatment, allowing to suppress inflammation and control attacks. This means that the inhalation medication is used every day to continuously monitor the child’s bronchial asthma and prevent symptoms. Inhaled during inhalation doses of steroids prevent and reduce swelling of the mucous membranes inside the respiratory tract, making them less sensitive to environmental triggers. Drugs can also reduce mucus production.
It is important to understand that inhalation of steroids does not provide rapid relief of bronchial asthma symptoms. Therefore, the attending physician usually recommends an initial dose to control the symptoms, but may adjust the dosage of inhaled steroids depending on the symptoms of the child, as well as how often the child uses the quick-acting drug to control the symptoms and peak flow measurement data. Children suffering from bronchial asthma may also need a short intake of oral steroids (in pills) if they have more serious symptoms and the condition progresses.