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Today in Health & Wellness
HEALTH CONDITIONS

Asthma in Children

Overview
Symptoms
Risk Factors
Commonly Prescribed Drugs
Treatment and Management
Doctors to Consult
Overview

Common name: Hika, hapo (Tag.); angkit (Iloc.); singap (Pangasinan)

Asthma is a chronic or long-term disease associated with inflammation of the airways. It is a lung disease that causes tightening of the muscles around the walls of the airways making them narrower, and the lining of the airways becomes inflamed causing difficulty of breathing, coughing, wheezing, and chest tightness. Asthma attack occurs when you are exposed to allergens.

Symptoms
  • Shortness of breath
  • Coughing and wheezing
  • Chest tightness
  • Weakness or tiredness
  • In young children, lower ribs are drawn in when breathing in
Risk Factors
  • Nasal allergies (Hay fever)
  • Eczema (Allergic skin rash)
  • Family history of asthma
  • Exposure to allergens and respiratory irritants e.g. animal fur, dust mites, mold, certain food, pollen, grass and cigarette smoke.
Commonly Prescribed Drugs
  • Inhaled corticosteroids act on multiple targets, e.g. inflammatory cells within the airway.
  • Oral corticosteroids are given in combination with other drugs for acute and severe attacks, or for long term treatment.
  • Leukotriene antagonists prevent either the production or action of leukotrienes (chemicals produced by inflammatory cells that cause muscle constriction around airways, which are helpful in the management of severe asthma and are considered alternative to inhaled steroid in the treatment of mild persistent asthma.
  • Chromones are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs which are well tolerated by children and young adults. They prevent asthma caused by allergens, exercise and cold air.
Treatment and Management

Prevention

  • Remove or avoid whatever triggers an child's asthma attack i.e. feather pillows, carpets, drapes, upholstered furniture, stuffed toys, and other potential sources of dust mites and allergens from the child's room.
  • Eliminate cigarette smoking in areas where the child spends time.
  • A doctor may desensitize the child by using allergy shots, if a particular allergen cannot be avoided.
  • Use asthma drug before engaging in physical activities, exercise and sports, as needed.
  • Always carry prescribed medications
  • Take vitamin supplements
Home Remedies
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