As many as 7 million children in the United States suffer from asthma. Asthma affects your child’s availability to attend school and interferes with their ability to play sports or have fun with their friends. Severe attacks can land a child in the hospital, too.
Proper asthma management, however, can help a child with asthma live a healthy, active life. At First Pediatric Care Center, pediatrician Margaret Lubega, MD, offers asthma management that includes lifestyle adjustments and medications. Our goal is to help your child – asthma or not – enjoy the most vibrant life possible.
The best asthma treatment for your child depends on their age and the frequency of symptom flare-ups. The severity of symptoms is also critical to consider. As your child grows and their symptoms change, Dr. Lubega may adjust their treatment plan over time.
Intermittent asthma is characterized by infrequent symptoms that are usually mild. They may have wheezing or shortness of breath two or fewer days per week. Their asthma doesn’t generally affect their daily activities or wake them during the night. Exercise-induced asthma is a form of intermittent asthma.
In children with persistent asthma, symptoms appear regularly. Your child may be limited in their activities on certain days due to wheezing or breathing difficulties. They may have trouble sleeping due to their asthma, too.
Dr. Lubega further defines your child’s persistent asthma as mild, moderate, or severe. She bases this evaluation on how many times per week symptoms such as cough, shortness of breath, and wheezing affect your child.
She’ll ask how often your child awakens from sleep due to symptoms and how often they need to use a bronchodilator inhaler. A child’s asthma is considered more severe if it regularly affects their ability to participate in normal activities.
All asthma treatment plans include regular monitoring of asthma symptoms and lung function. In mild, intermittent asthma, identifying asthma triggers goes a long way in management. Trigger avoidance may include staying away from other people’s pets, closing windows on high-pollen days, or avoiding outdoor exercise when air quality is in question.
Dr. Lubega may recommend certain allergy medications to help reduce the effects of triggers on their system and ward off asthma symptoms. In severe cases, oral medications may be prescribed to alleviate asthma symptoms.
For more moderate or severe persistent asthma, Dr. Lubega is likely to prescribe bronchodilator inhalers to reduce airway inflammation and improve your child’s breathing ability during flare-ups. The doctor educates you and your child about when to use these inhalers to alleviate an asthma attack.
Your child may also need long-term controller medications that are taken every day to help manage their asthma. Understanding how to recognize asthma symptoms in your child and when to administer medication is key.
Dr. Lubega also adjusts your child’s asthma treatment for your child depending on the number of times per year they require oral steroids. You, as a parent, can help your child by keeping a daily asthma diary to note your child’s symptoms and what medications were taken. Noting any environmental conditions – such as poor air quality – is also helpful.
If your child has been diagnosed with asthma, or you suspect they have the condition, contact us at First Pediatric Care Center. Our goal is to help children of all ages in the Gastonia, North Carolina, area live the healthiest life possible. We can help you manage their asthma, general well-being, and any other health concerns. Call today for an appointment or schedule it online.