Juvenile asthma is a chronic inflammatory disorder that reduces the patency of the airway, leaving the patient gasping for air. The mortality and morbidity rates of asthma has reduced to a certain extent with increased awareness and advanced medical facilities.
Now what causes an asthma attack is not clearly validated, however, every patient responds differently to the allergens. Sometimes these triggers are manipulative making it highly difficult to prevent an asthma attack. Nocturnal asthma that occurs early in the morning does not have any trigger, rather the slow breathing during sleep sends the respiratory system to a shock that causes an attack.
A child suffering asthma can have a really tough time as their innocence does not allow them to understand the gravity of the situation. They generally want to run around, jump, dive and engage in other physical activities, but they are unaware of the impending attack.
What causes asthma in a child?
Allergens such as pollens, dust mites, dander or mold, airborne irritants such as cigarette smoke, perfumes, chemicals, respiratory infections such as pneumonia or sinusitis that affect the girth of the windpipe. Also in some children, exercises can cause tightness in the chest, wheezing and coughing. Emotional factors are also triggers of asthma like over-excitement or anxiety. Medicines such s NSAIDs can trigger an attack. Finally, weather conditions as in cold air, high temperature and excessive humidity.
Some of the commonly prescribed drugs for asthma are:
Preventive medications: The preventive medications should be taken long-term for a life time. These medications are available in the form of inhalers or nebulizer. Corticosteroids (Budacort), leukotriene modifiers (Singulair), beta agonist (Serevent Diskus), generic cromolyn nebulizer solution, immunomodulators (Xolair)
Medications in emergency: These are also considered as rescue drugs that help the patient to cope up with the asthma attack. They include Proair inhaler, Ventolin inhaler, or Proventil HFA.
These medications work by reducing the inflammation of the respiratory tract and dilate the bronchial muscles so that the windpipe is more patent.
Prevention is better than cure. This is an old adage that hold good to the contemporary world too. It is always better to prevent an asthma attack, as an attack can severely affect the entire body. The researchers have found out that an asthma attack can harm more than the respiratory tract. An asthma attack is linked to a host of medical conditions such as pneumonia, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, psychiatric ailments, obesity and heart disease. Asthma is therefore, more than a respiratory disease.
So monitoring the disease regularly works better for the patient. The hospital visits, doctor’s consultation, therapist’s counselling can keep the safety levels high. There are many apps that help the patients to keep a track of triggers, intensity of attack, feeding types of medications used, medication reminder etc.
The child should be made aware of the diseases and its significance. Managing an asthmatic child is not easy when the age is tender and difficult to analyse. A parent should give never-ending support, guidance and love to keep the confidence level of the child higher.