St. Charles, IL area Allergist discus asthma attacks in children
Asthma is one of the most prevalent chronic conditions affecting children and is on the rise. According to the Center for Disease Control, more than 7 million children in the United States are affected by asthma.
Asthma attacks can be particularly frightening for children. During an attack, the lining of the airway swells as the muscles of the air passages begin to spasm. This causes a narrowing of the airway and difficulty breathing. Asthma attacks typically develop slowly, over a period of up to 48 hours. For some children, symptoms can escalate quickly, worsening the attack.
Symptoms of asthma attack include:
- Rapid breathing
- Unable to eat
- Difficulty speaking
- Blue tinge to the lips, ears, or nails
The causes of asthma are unknown, although studies have shown that it often runs in family. Typically, we are more aware of triggers that can instigate an asthma attack. Some of the more common triggers are:
- Dust mites
- Extreme changes in temperature
- Cigarette smoke
- Pet dander
Many symptoms of asthma in children tend to worsen overnight or during exercise. Viral infections can also aggravate asthma symptoms, which can cause the symptoms to last much longer in children with asthma.
Treatment for asthma attacks in children can be controlled by various medications:
- Relievers work to alleviate the symptoms of an attack quickly.
- Preventers work to prevent the attacks from happening.
- Controllers are used when symptoms are not relieved by preventers and are often used in combination with them.
For children who are having symptoms more than once per week, an appointment should be made to come into our office so we can evaluate them and suggest some medications that might help. We can also provide both parents and children with an action plan for managing symptoms at home.
With proper diagnosis and treatment, the vast majority of children suffering with asthma attacks are able to participate in a wide variety of sports and activities. We have many years of experience in helping children manage their asthma. If you are located in the St. Charles, IL area and would like more information on treating asthma attacks in children, call us today to set up a consultation.