I have been gone from blogging for almost 2 weeks….my son had an asthma attack and that left me little time to go online. Although asthma runs in the family, I have been told that once a child has reached the age of 7 and has not had an attack since then, then your scot-free….no more asthma for the rest of your life or until something triggers it again when one is older. My son is now 10 years old and unfortunately, this is his 2nd attack for this year. For the past 2 years, he hasn’t had one and I was getting complacent and definitely hopeful that it was forever gone. Worst luck for my son, it isn’t yet. I am certainly hoping that being active in sports and swimming will help. On my part being prepared is crucial and a must. Now, I realized that I have a need to get acquainted with it again after believing that there really was no need.
Here are some things I got on my recent research…I copied the exact text and have some comments on the side. To all parents who have or at one time had kids with asthma, feel free to add your comments, tips and advices.
What's bronchial asthma?
Bronchial asthma is a disease caused by increased responsiveness of the tracheobronchial tree to various stimuli. The result is paroxysmal constriction of the bronchial airways. Bronchial asthma is the more correct name for the common form of asthma. The term 'bronchial' is used to differentiate it from 'cardiac' asthma, which is a separate condition that is caused by heart failure. Although the two types of asthma have similar symptoms, including wheezing (a whistling sound in the chest) and shortness of breath, they have quite different causes.
Bronchial asthma is usually intrinsic (no cause can be demonstrated), but is occasionally caused by a specific allergy (such as allergy to mold, dander, dust). Although most individuals with asthma will have some positive allergy tests, the allergy is not necessarily the cause of the asthma symptoms. (And here I was thinking that all I have to do is know what his allergies are to be ready.)
Symptoms can occur spontaneously or can be triggered by respiratory infections, exercise, cold air, tobacco smoke or other pollutants, stress or anxiety, or by food allergies or drug allergies. The muscles of the bronchial tree become tight and the lining of the air passages become swollen, reducing airflow and producing the wheezing sound. Mucus production is increased. (If you’re kid is having an attack, there will be constant coughing which can make you feel helpless or wish you could just grab that cough out of your child.)
Asthma can develop at any age, but some children seem to outgrow the illness. (Like they said, if your child reaches the age of 7 and do not have any asthma attack afterwards then you can relax.)Risk factors include self or family history of eczema, allergies or family history of asthma. Typically, the individual usually breathes relatively normally, and will have periodic attacks of wheezing. Asthma attacks can last minutes to days, and can become dangerous if the airflow becomes severely restricted. Asthma affects 1 in 20 of the overall population, but the incidence is 1 in 10 in children. Asthma can develop at any age, but some children seem to outgrow the illness. Risk factors include self or family history of eczema, allergies or family history of asthma.
Bronchial asthma causes cough, shortness of breath, and wheezing. Bronchial asthma is an allergic condition, in which the airways (bronchi) are hyper-reactive and constrict abnormally when exposed to allergens, cold or exercise. (And when they cough, they really cough hard and long.)
Treatment is aimed at avoiding known allergens and controlling symptoms through medication. A variety of medications for treatment of asthma are available. People with mild asthma (infrequent attacks) may use inhalers on an as-needed basis. Persons with significant asthma (symptoms occur at least every week) should be treated with anti-inflammatory medications, preferably inhaled corticosteroids, and then with bronchodilators such as inhaled Alupent or Vanceril. Acute severe asthma may require hospitalization, oxygen, and intravenous medications.
Decrease or control exposure to known allergens by staying away from cigarette smoke, removing animals from bedrooms or entire houses, and avoiding foods that cause symptoms. Allergy desensitization is rarely successful in reducing symptoms.
You might also check if your child is allergic to the sea breeze because when my son was younger I used to bring him to the beach as I was told it relieves those with asthma but realized he got worse. I was told by his pediatrician that although it is a popular belief it does not necessarily mean that sea breeze will relieve colds for everyone. It can even worsen some, like what happened to my son. According to his pedia, swimming in the pool would be better as it can make sure his lungs grow stronger. Also, too much strenuous activity might not be good especially when he has a cold. But I do believe that it is a way to desensitize if you help your child become more active if he is not suffering from colds, its like you up the level of him being able to do strenuous activities.