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Management of Severe Asthma in Children

written by: Jennifer Gonzalez • edited by: Diana Cooper • updated: 2/27/2011

Childhood asthma is a scary condition, but it doesn't have to be. Understanding asthma and what triggers it, and knowing how it is properly treated is the key to the management of severe asthma in children.

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    Asthma in Children

    Asthma is currently the leading cause of chronic illness among children in the United States. Over five million children are currently diagnosed with this breathing condition, and that number is on the rise, growing every day. While a child can begin to show symptoms of asthma at any age, most cases show that symptoms begin to appear around the age of five and it seems to affect more boys than girls during the childhood ages. During this time is when the majority of children are diagnosed. With such a large number of children being plagued by this illness and more growing each day, it’s important for parents to know the management of severe asthma in children so they can properly help care for their children and help to get them back on track to leading a normal and healthy life.

    With so many children dealing with this condition on a daily basis you should have an understanding of what asthma actually is. Asthma is a condition that affects a person’s ability to breathe properly. It is a chronic condition that is currently incurable but treatable with proper medications and doctor maintenance. When a person has asthma, they may find that their airways become narrowed, leaving them constricted and unable to take in the proper amount of air to breathe comfortably. For some, this can become serious enough for a visit to the hospital when breathing is unable to get brought back to normal on its own.

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    How to Live with Asthma

    Although there is no cure for asthma, a child suffering with asthma can still lead a normal life with proper maintenance of their condition. In order to maintain the condition you need to understand the condition. Asthma is brought on by what is known as a trigger. Asthma triggers are different for each person and it can take some time to learn what a person’s asthma triggers are. For some, an asthma trigger can be dust, pollen, sudden changes in temperature, exercise and viruses. Keep in mind that this is not a complete list of asthma triggers; your child may have a trigger that is not listed here. These are simply the most common day to day causes of an asthma attack.

    Knowing what triggers your child’s asthma and keeping them away from those triggers is the main key to asthma maintenance and preventing an asthma attack. Another major factor in gaining success over this condition is proper medication. When a child is first diagnosed with asthma the doctor will most likely place them on two different types of medication. One medication will be for preventing an asthma attack, and the other will be a fast acting medication to relieve sudden symptoms of an attack. The two of these in combination will help a child live successfully despite their condition. In the beginning stages of asthma treatment the doctor will start the child off on a higher dose of medications and then gradually decrease to find the lowest possible working dose for the patient. Another factor in keeping childhood asthma under control is making regular doctor’s appointments with the asthma specialist. These appointments are very important since this is a condition that can change without warning. Keeping these appointments will insure that your child is still taking the proper medication along with the correct dosages.

    Asthma is a life changing condition, but it doesn't have to take control of your life. Staying away from triggers, taking medication as prescribed and keeping up with regular doctor’s appointments will help to insure that you have the proper management of severe asthma in children.

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    References

    Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America: Childhood asthma- http://www.aafa.org/display.cfm?id=8&sub=16&cont=44

    American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology: http://www.aaaai.org/patients/publicedmat/tips/childhoodasthma.stm

    Emedicine Health: http://www.emedicinehealth.com/asthma_in_children/article_em.htm