Asthma can be a distressing condition for parents and their affected children. Attacks can cause significant trauma and dangerous scenarios at the worst of times.
Rexburg Pediatrics can help. We offer a range of services designed to help your child manage their condition, improving outcomes and quality of life for all. We have decades of combined experience treating asthmatic symptoms with a compassionate, genuine care to treat any of your family’s health needs.
What Are the Most Common Symptoms of Asthma?
Asthma is a chronic lung disorder that involves the narrowing of the airways, leading to trouble breathing, wheezing, chest tightness, and coughing. It can affect people of all ages, but typically starts in childhood, which is why we offer specific treatments here at Rexburg Pediatrics.
The first symptom of asthma most parents see is their children struggling to breathe during an attack. However, the condition often co-arises with other problems that indicate your child is at risk. As such, it is critical to approach healthcare professionals who can offer assistance, diagnosis, and support.
What Are the Causes of Asthma?
Researchers do not know the precise cause of asthma. However, most believe the condition comes from a mixture of genetic and environmental factors. For instance, asthma may result from a dysregulated immune system due to living conditions in early childhood.
More immediate triggers of asthma are better understood and can include:
- Allergens, such as dust mites, animal dander, pollen, mold, and cockroaches
- Irritants, such as tobacco smoke, air pollution, chemical fumes, and strong odors
- Infections, such as colds, flu, and sinusitis
- Exercise, especially in cold or dry air
- Emotions, such as stress, anxiety, or laughter
- Medications, such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and beta-blockers
- Food additives, such as sulfites and preservatives
- Weather changes, such as cold, wind, humidity, and thunderstorms
How We Treat Asthma at Rexburg Pediatrics
At Rexburg Pediatrics, we diagnose your child and offer treatments based on our assessment.
The first step is to determine whether your child has asthma or another lung-related condition. Physicians will perform a physical exam to rule out alternatives.
If we believe asthma is likely, we will offer your child various tests to measure lung function. For instance, we might use a peak flow meter to measure how hard your child can exhale to see if they suffer from impaired function. We may also perform spirometry, a technique to estimate the narrowing of the bronchial tubes.
Your child may require additional tests depending on their condition. Allergy tests, for instance, can help identify why some airways might be inflamed. We may also perform imaging tests to look for lung abnormalities in the lung tissue or narrowed areas.
Asthma treatment usually involves a combination of lifestyle modifications and medication. Medications fall into various categories. Some reduce the swelling and inflammation in the airways long-term, which are preventative treatments, while others offer quick relief.
Long-term treatments include:
- Inhaled corticosteroids: These are similar to regular steroids because they powerfully reduce inflammation. Common examples include budesonide fluticasone propionate and fluticasone furoate.
- Leukotriene modifier: There are oral medications that address immune pathology that can lead to asthma symptoms. Examples include Montelukast and Zafirlukast.
- Theophylline: Theophylline is a daily pill that helps to relax the muscles around the airways, but it tends to be less popular.
Quick-relief medications include:
- Short-acting beta-agonists: These drugs act within minutes to prevent an asthma attack from becoming more serious. Children take these using a portable inhaler they keep by their side.
- Anticholinergic agents: These drugs also help to open up the airwaves. They are also called “bronchodilators” and are usually used for emphysema and chronic bronchitis, but can also be used for asthma.
- Oral and intravenous corticosteroids: Like other steroids, these medications reduce inflammation.
Other interventions include anti-allergy medications if allergic reactions are driving asthma attacks and biologics, a specific class of drugs for children with severe disease.
Schedule an Asthma Appointment for Your Child
Scheduling an asthma appointment for your child with a Rexburg Pediatrics specialist can help your children receive the relief and medications they need. Call our team today to arrange an appointment.