Sunday, 24 April 2016

Know the Symptoms of Bronchial Asthma in Kids

If your child has been coughing continuously and is missing school lately, there may be more to it than just a cough. Coughing is one of the symptoms of asthma and needs to be taken seriously if it lasts longer than three weeks. In such a situation, it is always preferable to note down the symptoms your child is facing and inform your doctor about it.

Diagnosis of bronchial asthma in kids

The doctor will first learn about the medical history and symptoms faced by your kid followed by a medical test. Asthma in kids is different from asthma in adults as they may not display typical symptoms and the levels of severity may vary across different ages. As a parent, it is important to be clear about the symptoms and answer any questions raised by your doctor.

-          Symptoms

Asthma in children is often characterized by frequent coughing, breathlessness, chest tightness and wheezing amongst others. The cough is usually dry and occurs when the child is playing or sleeping at night. Wheezing is a noise made by the child at the time of exhalation. Your doctor may enquire about the frequency of symptoms followed by medical history of asthma.

-          Medical history
Your doctor may evaluate the child’s family history of asthma, eczema (a skin disease), lung complications, allergies and so on. He/she may also ask if the child has faced any breathing problems in the past.

-          Physical examination and tests
The doctor will then inspect the chest and airways for any respiratory problems. Additionally, he may check the height and weight of the child considering his/her age. In some cases, specialised testing such as spirometry and challenge testing may be conducted to rule out other causes for symptoms.
Note that, it is important to identify triggers that cause the symptoms to avoid wrong diagnosis. For instance, your child may cough due to pollution, dust or certain types of food items. This is termed as allergic cough which may or may not be related to asthma depending on other symptoms your child is showing.

Based on the severity, the treatment prescribed may be short term or long term. Also, your doctor may develop an action plan describing the recommended usage of drugs and actions to be taken during emergencies.  Regular medication and identification of triggers can help control the disease and enable your child to lead a normal life without any interferences.

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