Childhood Asthma Care in Port Matilda, PA
Pediatrician Dr. Daniel Olivero and Pediatric Team Offers On-Site Asthma Testing and Treatment. Schedule Your Child’s Asthma Testing Appointment Today.
What is childhood asthma?
Asthma is a chronic illness of the lungs that prevents a child from breathing adequately, resulting in respiratory difficulties leading to respiratory distress. An asthma attack can be triggered by a respiratory infection (ie. Common cold), allergies, cold weather, and exercise…to name a few.
How do I know if my child has asthma?
Asthma is not easily diagnosed in childhood as it is in adulthood. It becomes even more challenging if your child has not learned to speak yet, or has not developed the linguistic maturity to articulate their symptoms. Furthermore, young children are unable to understand the complicated tests required to diagnose Asthma via pulmonary function testing (a group of tests that determine how well your lungs work).
Signs of asthma in a child include abrupt onset of respiratory difficulties while experiencing a viral cold demonstrated by fast breathing, retractions, and audible wheezing. If your child gets out of breath faster than his peers during play, that may be an early clue to asthma.
Childhood asthma is best diagnosed by a pediatrician with experience in this field.
What should I do if my child has an asthma attack?
All children with asthma should have a written Asthma Action Plan, prepared by a physician, that details what medications to give in case of an emergency. If your child is experiencing respiratory difficulties follow the Asthma Action Plan and call your doctor right away.
If you do not have an Asthma Action Plan and your child is in respiratory distress, call 911.
How do I manage my child’s asthma symptoms and what are treatments?
Childhood asthma requires an individualized plan that includes medications that are specifically tailored for your child. Asthma treatment includes a group of medications called bronchodilators that expand the pulmonary airways and allow easier passage of oxygen. These come in a nebulized version or a Metered Dose Inhaler- MDI (the asthma pump).
Another group are special anti-inflammatory asthma medications. They come in nebulized, MDI, pills, and oral liquid preparations.
How does the pediatrician test for asthma?
Pulmonary function tests are commonly used to test for and monitor the progression of asthma in older children and adults. However, this modality is not well suited for young children because of the complicated directions that must be followed and the length of time needed to perform (~1 ½ hours).
A pediatrician with experience in asthma will use a combination of medical history, physical exam, asthma predictive index scores, and other screening questionnaires answered by the caregiver to diagnose asthma.
Can my child outgrow asthma?
A child can outgrow asthma if it is diagnosed early and treated appropriately. If asthma is not treated and managed properly during childhood, the lungs suffer irreparable damage known as airway remodeling, leading to numerous complications including: difficulty with sleep, chronic pneumonia, growth delays, higher risk for learning difficulties, obesity, depression, COPD and even death.