April 9, 2020 8:18 am Published by

Asthma is an extremely common disorder, affecting 600 million people globally and 10% of the pediatric population. While it can occur at any age, most children who are prone to developing the condition do so before the age of five. Equally, many children may become free of asthma as they get older.

In essence, asthma is the inflammation of the tubes of the lungs (airways), hence narrowing them and causing breathing difficulties, wheezing and/or coughing.

Causes of Asthma

Asthma is not infectious but does have numerous triggering factors precipitating an attack, including genetic ones.

In children these might be; viral respiratory infections, dust, animal dander (skin cells), air pollution, fumes, perfumes, or food allergies. Exercise, emotional factors and weather changes may also aggravate asthma.

Management and Treatment

There are a number of ways to manage and control asthma.

First, Avoid contact with irritants and environmental factors such as those mentioned earlier.

Second, use Reliever/Rescue medications, such as inhalers, to relieve ongoing symptoms. Those help in the relaxation of the airway muscles and their widening – helping free air movement and breathing. (example: Ventolin or Atrovent)

Third, use preventive Prophylactic medications. Those should be taken daily even if the patient feels well, i.e. symptom – free. They are designed to prevent symptoms and reduce airway inflammation on the long-term. (example: steroid inhalers)

While milder cases of asthma could just be easily handled at home, more acute cases can be extremely serious and the patient has to seek medical attention. The treatment of asthma has also come a long way and there is a number of strategies your doctor can choose from to manage your condition. Your doctor will also show you how to recognize the alert signals and how you can self-manage the condition at home, along with the prescribed medical treatment.

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