Due to the deterioration of the environment and a significant increase in respiratory infections, children’s immunity is greatly reduced. That is why we meet infant asthma and various allergies more often nowadays. Canadian HealthCare Mall will ennumerate all the necessary items you should know about asthma.
What is asthma?
Asthma is a chronic disease caused by airway inflammation and, consequently, a spasm of the bronchial tubes, which begin to secrete large amounts of mucus. This prevents the normal passage of air going through the respiratory tract. Bronchial asthma is classified into two types:
- atopic (allergen);
- non-atopic (non-allergenic).
The first type of asthma can be caused by exposure to allergen particles: dust, pollen, certain foods, cat or dog hair, perfume and so on. In case of children, 90% of the diseases are atopic. Non-atopic cases are quite rare and occur only in case when a child’s organism has excessive sensitivity to infectious allergens.
Bronchial asthma has three forms of the disease severity:
- medium gravity;
Depending on the severity of attacks, it is necessary to use some means aimed at arresting them. In most cases, children suffering from diseases such as bronchial asthma have predisposition to this illness since birth – in their genes. Out of 100 asthmatics at least 60 of them have relatives suffering from the same disease. In addition to heredity, bad environment affects the child’s genes very badly.
Signs and symptoms of children’s asthma
It’s difficult to diagnose children with asthma at once. This happens due to the fact that quite often the disease has the same symptoms as the common cold and viral respiratory diseases. Often parents do not realize that some of the symptoms indicate a much more serious disease than the common cold.
However, at asthma ichildren do not have fever, even if the cough is very frequent and dry. Before the asthma symptoms there usually occur precursors a few days before. Their duration is different for each child. During this time, children are often angry, scared, are in constant agitation, they sleep poorly.
Forerunners proceed in the following way:
- Initially the baby’s nose starts selecting watery mucus, due to which the child often sneezes and rubs his nose;
- After a few hours a child acquires slack dry cough;
- After dinner or after a nap a cough becomes much stronger, but a little wet;
- Smptoms are manifested only after 1-2 days, when the coughing gets paroxysmal nature;
- When the precursors are over, there occur attack symptoms.
The main symptoms of children’s asthma in the first year of life
- strong dry cough, often episodic, occurs immediately upon waking or before going to sleep;
- cough may reduce if a child takes the vertical position.. When returning to the horizontal position, cough becomes intense again;
- just before the attack, the baby can be very capricious, cry due to the ensuing nasal congestion;
- there is shortness of breath;
- breathing becomes intermittent, breath – frequent and short. Inhaled and exhaled air is accompanied by whistling and noise.
Children older than one year (in addition to the above features) are also having following symptoms:
- a lot of pressure in the chest, the inability to make a full breath;
- when trying to breathe through the mouth there is a strong dry cough;
- itching, watery eyes, or skin rashes – atypical symptoms of asthma;
- long dry cough without sputum;
- coughing fits begin at the same conditions (a pet nearby, the use of any colors, in the street, or immediately on arrival home, visiting the library, the presence of a fresh bouquet of flowers at home, etc.);
- parents should be careful when they notice these symptoms they should monitor the child body’s temperature. This is necessary to ensure that cough is reasoned not by a cold. If your child has asthma in the severe form, the attacks can occur during the day.
Causes of children’s asthma
The most important reason for the asthma attacks is bronchial hyperreactivity of children, they react to various irritants too quickly, especially of allergenic nature.
All the reasons for developing the disease, are divided into several groups.
According to internal factors at the genetic level and health:
Gender. Among children with asthma boys get sick more often. This happens due to the structural features of bronchial and respiratory system;
Excess weight or obeseity. These children have asthma more often because of the high position of the diaphragm, lung ventilation in this arrangement is insufficient for normal and free breathing. Therefore, children with overweight often suffer from shortness of breath and asthma;
Heredity. If someone from the family suffers from asthma attacks or allergies, the risk of manifestation of the disease in a child increases significantly.
The impact of external factors:
- Food. Basically these are nuts, dairy products, citrus fruits, chocolate, honey and fish;
- Mould or dampness on the walls of the apartment;
- Wool pets;
- The allergens that cause asthma attack when get in the bronchi;
- Pollen. Inhalation of blooming flowers particles or trees particles, asthma is often seasonal;
- Some medications. Certain antibiotics, aspirin.
Triggers – the reasons of bronchospasm occurance:
- traffic gases;
- too cold or dry air;
- strong physical exercises, causing shortness of breath;
- viral infections, common cold;
- cleaning products, household chemicals;
- strong perfume.
An asthma attack
Parents must timely recognize the attack of asthma in their child and to stop it as quickly as possible. They should take the following important steps to make things right:
Listen to your child:
- Be sure to react to any complaint about problems with breathing or chest pain. Older children who have already faced similar attacks can tell you when it gets hard to breathe, or simply breathe;
- If a child complains of chest pain, do not leave it without attention. At the start of an asthmatic attack, children can feel that their chest is compressed. Soreness of the chest is the result of air obstruction on the airways and increase the pressure in the lungs;
- Always remember that small children or those who have never encountered asthma attacks are not always able to tell you about the dyspnea or pain. A child may be afraid and may hide what happened to him, though he feels that something is wrong, he may be ashamed that he is able to explain the new sensations. Listen to your children.
Analyze the child’s breathing:
- Follow the respiration rate, at restit makes at least 20 breaths for 60 seconds. If the child is breathing more often ask him whether it is difficult to breathe, whether he feels any breathing problems;
- Look, whether the child has to make some effort to carry out breath. During normal breathing, child’s shoulders should not be lifted and also involve other muscles. Pay attention also to the position of the child, he is trying to take the most comfortable position for breathing;
- During the attacks, the child’s nostrils strongly expanding to inhale as much air as possible. Most often such a feature is common for children under one year, who can not tell their mom what they feel;
- Listen if the child is wheezing when breathing. During an attack, there is a whistling or hissing sound, accompanied by a slight vibration. Wheezing may occur on inhaling and exhaling in case of mild and moderate attack. In severe cases – just while exhale;
- The presence of dry cough also indicates of an attack of asthma. It creates a pressure in the bronchi, due to the airways are opened slightly, allowing to breathe more or less normally some time. If frequent cough prevails at night – it indicates a light attack, while prolonged cough suggests a protracted attack.
Evaluate the appearance of the baby:
- During an asthmatic attack, most children look the same way as during a cold – painful. Therefore, seeing the poor condition of the child, pay attention to it and listen the mother’s instinct;
- In case of asthma all the forces of the body aimed at breathing restoring, so during this time the skin may become sweat and pale. This occurs due to insufficient blood oxygen saturation;
- In severe attacks the skin around the mouth and nose of the child may become bluish. This, in turn, indicates a strong lack of oxygen, this condition of the child requires emergency help.
Help your child:
- If bronchial asthma attack is not the first one, you should have inhalers aat home, which action is directed at symptom relief. An adult must help the child to use an inhaler in the proper way;
- At the first attack, it’s necessary to contact your doctor so that he could examine the child and prescrivethe necessary medicines;
- If attacks are severe, the child requires hospitalization and medication.
Treatment of children’s asthma
Chronic asthma is currently can not be cured. Despite the constant development of medicine there is no such medicine. There are only drugs that can stop an attack, destroy the allergen in the body. Moreover, drugs are prescribed in several stages, with a gradual increase in the dosage of the active substance. Number of received drug depends on the severity of asthma attacks.
Any treatment should take place under the strict supervision of the attending physician. He decides to decrease or increase the dosage of drugs.
Preparations for the treatment of asthma
Current drugs for the treatment of this disease are divided into several groups:
The first group is designed to relieve the spasm of the bronchi and the free passage of air through the airways (bronchodilators). They include tools that are taken in case of emergency during an asthmatic attack, to enable a person to breathe normally. these drugs are used only when needed, but not as prophylaxis.
The second group of drugs designed to relieve inflammation, removing the allergen from the body (Cromones, anticholinergic drugs and antileukotriene, glucocorticoid hormones). These drugs are intended for continuous treatment or prevention of asthma attacks. Unlike the first group, they do not have an instant effect on the removal of spasm of the bronchi and relieve choking. Basic preparations are aimed at minimizing inflammation in the bronchi, its suppression, as well as to reduce the number of asthma attacks or completely stop them.
Anti-inflammatory drugs are usually taken quite a long time. The result of receiving basic drugs appears not once, but only after 2-3 weeks of continuous treatment.
Glucocorticoid hormones have many undesirable side effects (no matter in what form they are taken (tablets or injections):
- set of extra kilos;
- decreased immunity;
- hormonal disorders;
- gastrointestinal diseases, ulcers, gastritis, etc.
However, modern technologies make it possible to create more and more new drugs that are effective against the disease, and the side effects from them are minimal, almost reduced to zero. Inhaled glucocorticoids today are the best local preparations. This is a fairly large group of drugs, which are made of synthetic materials and are available in the form of an inhaler or nebulizer.
In the treatment of asthma, inhaled glucocorticoids have helped to make a really good step forward. They are well tolerated by almost all children, do not have a large list of side effects, do not cause allergic reactions. They can be used not only by children but also by adults.
In addition, there are sprays and other treatments for asthma:
- special physical training;
- breathing exercises with the special equipment;
- acupuncture, electropuncture reflexology and other methods;
- various salt mines, gala cameras and the like.
People also organize specialized schools for children suffering from asthma attacks, which chiildren must attend during treatment. In these schools the child will learn about measures of prevention of attacks, about the correct breathing techniques, learn about preparations that are necessary for the treatment, as well as choose the right and most effective treatment and diet.
Prevention of asthma
You need also preventive maintenance to make asthma attacks rare (in addition to direct treatment). We speak of immunity hardening and the general child’s condition omproving. Prevention is a mandatory measure in cases where a child has a predisposition to asthma at the gene level. What should be done for the prevention of disease:
Breastfeeding of babies from the first days of life and a till minimum 1 year. If a mother can not carry out breastfeeding or she is forced to stop, the feeding mixture must be chosen carefully, in consultation with the pediatrician;
- The need products must be eaten only the doctor’s permission. It’ necessary to avoid allergenic foods (chocolate, honey, citrus fruits, nuts);
- Try to get rid of unnecessary “dust collectors”: carpets, thick curtains, tapestries. Try to keep books in the glass bookcase, not on open shelves;
- Do not take pets to avoid allergies to their hair. Try to give up even innocuous at first glance aquarium fish, because the dry fish food may contain strong allergenic substances;
- Blankets and pillows should have hypoallergenic fillers;
- Use home hypoallergenic detergents and cleaning products;
- Ventilate the room in calm weather as often as possible;
- Do wet cleaning without additional cleaning agents;
- Hardening is a good way to boost immunity and improve health.
In addition, it is very important to have a warm and congenial atmosphere in the home. Children should feel care and support from their parents. On this condition asthma attacks will not be so frequent.