What is Asthma
Asthma is a long-term disease that has no cure. The goal of asthma treatment is to control the disease. Good asthma control will:
Prevent chronic and troublesome symptoms, such as coughing and shortness of breath, Reduce your need for quick-relief medicines (see below), Help you maintain good lung function, Let you maintain your normal activity level and sleep through the night. Prevent asthma attacks that could result in an emergency room visit or hospital stay.
To control asthma, partner with your doctor to manage your asthma or your child's asthma. Children aged 10 or older—and younger children who are able—should take an active role in their asthma care.
Taking an active role to control your asthma involves:
Working with your doctor to treat other conditions that can interfere with asthma management. Avoiding things that worsen your asthma (asthma triggers). However, one trigger you should not avoid is physical activity. Physical activity is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. Talk with your doctor about medicines that can help you stay active. Working with your doctor and other health care providers to create and follow an asthma action plan.
A trigger is something that causes your airways to narrow, leading to asthma symptoms. If you have asthma, an asthma attack can happen when you are exposed to “asthma triggers.” Your triggers can be very different from those of someone else with asthma.
Most common triggers include tobacco smoke, dust mites, outdoor air pollution, cockroach allergen, pets, mould, and smoke from burning wood or grass.
Although there is no cure for asthma, there are now a lot of effective medicines to help relieve the symptoms and reduce the risk of asthma attacks.
Preventive /controller medication: These drugs act by reducing inflammation of the airways and making them less sensitive to triggers that cause asthma attacks. Preventer drugs are used on a regular basis.
Reliever medication: These drugs are used when symptoms occur and act to temporarily relax airway muscles during an asthma attack. This opens up the airways allowing air move freely in and out of the lungs.
Living With Asthma
Although there is no cure for asthma, with the proper knowledge and management, people with asthma can live full lives.
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FAQs About Asthma
If you’re the parent of a child with asthma, you know how scary the disease can be. No parent wants to watch their little one suffer from a chronic disease such as asthma that can affect kids activities and potential breathing troubles. As a parent, recognizing the common symptoms of asthma such as coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath and chest tightness, low energy, weakness, and rapid breathing is key to keeping your kids healthy and safe.
One of the hardest things about asthmatic children is compliance—whether or not the kids (or parents of kids) adhere to the guidelines of medications. Reports suggest that between 40 and 60 percent of kids with persistent asthma are not receiving controller medications as they should. So, parents need to not only be aware of what triggers their child’s asthma, along with how much medication your child may need, but also keep a record of how compliant he or she is with the medication. Moreover, not controlling asthma in children is hard, and hard on them: kids with asthma have a three-fold greater risk of school absence than children without asthma, and asthma is the third leading cause of hospitalization among children under the age of 15.
The good news is: There are solutions. Here’s what you need to know about asthma in children including specific tips and facts to keep your child breathing better.