Childhood Asthma

Childhood Asthma Introduction

It is a disease affecting the lungs whereby the lungs are hypersensitive. It is one of the most common chornic disease in childhood. Adults can have asthma too.

If you have asthma, you have it all the time, but you will have asthma attacks only when something bothers your lungs.

In most cases, there is no identifiable cause for asthma. And there is no cure for it as well. We can only prevent an attack and try to keep it under control.

Asthma Signs and symptoms

It can be hard to tell if someone has asthma, especially in children under age 5.

Some of the symptoms can be persistent coughing mostly at night, chest tightness, wheezing, and colds lasting more than 10 days, or after physical exertion or certain times of the year.

Family history of asthma, allergies, or other breathing problems is important because many times, if your family has it then you can have it too.

What Is an Asthma Attack?

An asthma attack may include coughing, chest tightness, wheezing, and trouble breathing. It happens when your lung is triggered by some unknown trigger which causes it to go into a hypersensitive mode whereby, as the air moves through your lungs, the airways become smaller, like the branches of a tree are smaller than the tree trunk. During an asthma attack, the sides of the airways in your lungs swell and the airways shrink. Less air gets in and out of your lungs, and mucous that your body makes clogs up the airways even more.

You can control your asthma by knowing the warning signs of an asthma attack, staying away from things that cause an attack, and following your doctor’s advice. When you control your asthma you would not have symptoms of wheezing and coughing, sleep better and you would not have to miss school or go to hospital and you can take part in all physical activities.

What Causes an Asthma Attack?

An asthma attack can happen when you are exposed to “asthma triggers” and these can be very different from those of someone else with asthma. Knowing your triggers and learning how to avoid them is important. Some of the most common triggers are tobacco smoke, dust mites, outdoor air pollution, cockroach allergen, pets, mold, and smoke from burning wood or grass.

How do you control asthma?

Mostly with the help of inhalers and sometimes, with the help of pills. Asthma medicines come in two types—quick-relief and long-term control. Quick-relief medicines control the symptoms of an asthma attack. If you need to use your quick-relief medicines more and more, visit your doctor to see if you need a different medicine. Long-term control medicines help you have fewer and milder attacks, but they don’t help you while you are having an asthma attack.

Asthma medicines can have side effects, but most side effects are mild and soon go away. Ask your doctor about the side effects of your medicines.

Remember – you can control your asthma. With your healthcare provider’s help, make your own asthma action plan. Decide who should have a copy of your plan and where he or she should keep it. Take your long-term control medicine even when you don’t have symptoms.


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