Asthma is a chronic lung disease that makes it difficult for air to pass through your lungs properly. It can start at any age and nearly 26 million Americans have asthma, 7 million of them being children. Unfortunately, there is no cure of asthma. However, with proper management, people living with asthma can live completely normal and healthy lives without asthma.
The swollen airways in the lungs become sensitive to certain triggers, and when those triggers enter the body, those airways create extra mucus making it difficult to breathe which leads to asthma attacks, complications and sometimes death. The key is to understand the triggers that cause asthma. Sometimes, you may not even know you have it until you’re exposed to those triggers. This means the environment you live in is a huge cause and risk factor of asthma. Additionally, genetics is a risk factor for asthma.
You may be wondering if your child has asthma, but unsure if it’s something else. If any of these symptoms occur chronically or only around certain triggers, they may have asthma:
However, it’s very possible a variety of other conditions are causing these symptoms, such as different allergies. Consult with your pediatrician about whether or not your child has asthma.
Your pediatrician will need to conduct tests to diagnose your child. First, they will ask symptoms, medical history, experiences, etc. to get a good sense if asthma is a possibility. After that, the most common test is called a Spirometry, in which the pediatrician will use a device to measure the air flow of the lungs.
Typically, if your child has the above symptoms, has a parent with asthma and also has allergies (including skin allergies), your pediatrician will conduct lung functioning test. After that, usually, a trial period of asthma medication will be given, depending on the results, with a follow-up appointment to monitor the outcome.
If you think your child has asthma, call Pendleton Family Medicine at (541) 276-1700, or your pediatrician directly to set up an appointment.