Pediatric Asthma

by Lee Wyatt
(last updated August 23, 2013)

Pediatric asthma can be a fairly scary prospect for both children and their parents. One way to help reduce that fear, and the tension associated with it, is by understanding what the triggers, symptoms, and possible tests can include. Here is a bit of information about these topics to help you become a bit more familiar with what you can expect from this version of the disease.

Symptoms. There are several common symptoms that you can expect to see in someone that has pediatric asthma. Many of these symptoms are similar to those that are seen in adult versions of asthma, but here is a brief list of the more common of the symptoms.

  • Feeling abnormally tired.
  • Irritable
  • Tightness of chest
  • Wheezing (usually accompanied by a whistling sound)
  • Excessive nighttime coughing
  • Gasping for air
  • Shortness of breath
  • Constantly feeling out of breath

Triggers. Just as with adult asthma, there are some rather common triggers that you can expect to set off an asthma attack. By knowing what these triggers are, you can potentially avoid an asthma attack. In addition, by knowing what the common triggers are, you can notice if any of the asthma symptoms show up after being exposed to the trigger. Make note of any coincidences, and discuss them with your child's doctor.

  • Dander (usually from an animal)
  • Dust
  • Exercise
  • Mold
  • Pollen
  • Tobacco smoke
  • Colds
  • Viral infections
  • Air fresheners (or similar chemicals)
  • Medications
  • Allergies
  • Sudden changes in the weather

Tests. There are a few tests that a doctor will perform to ascertain whether or not your child is suffering from pediatric asthma. Here are some of the more common tests, as well as a brief description of what those tests can include.

  • Eosinophil count. This is a simple test where the doctor is counting a type of white blood cell. This amount of this type of white blood cell is usually elevated when an individual has allergic diseases, infections, and other medical conditions.
  • Allergy testing. Considering how asthma is often associated with allergies, it only makes sense that your doctor will want to figure out which (if any) materials your child will have an allergic reaction to.
  • Chest x-ray. Asthma usually causes some scaring to appear in the lungs. These scars will show up quite easily on a chest x-ray.
  • Lung function tests. There are basically several different tests that you can expect to be performed. All in all, these tests will show you how effectively the lungs are performing. In cases where asthma is present you can expect to have a decreased amount of performance in the lungs.

If you do believe that your child has pediatric asthma, then you really should discuss your options with a pediatrician. In addition to helping you determine whether or not your child does have it, the pediatrician can also help you plan out an effective treatment plan. Furthermore, by discussing the situation with your pediatrician you can also figure out how your child can have as normal of a life as possible.

Author Bio

Lee Wyatt

Contributor of numerous Tips.Net articles, Lee Wyatt is quickly becoming a regular "Jack of all trades." He is currently an independent contractor specializing in writing and editing. Contact him today for all of your writing and editing needs! Click here to contact. ...

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