Asthma in Children



 

What is asthma in children ?

 

Asthma is a major Non-Communicable Disease (NCD), affecting children and adult. It is a condition when the air passage in the lung become narrow due to inflammation and tightening of the muscle around the small airway. This lead to asthma symptoms such as cough, wheeze, shortness of breast and chest tightness. These symptoms are usually on and off while the asthma disease itself is a long -term condition. Asthma triggers vary from person to person, but it can also be due to viral infection (cold), dust, smoke, fume, changes in the weather, grass and tree pollen, feather, strong soap, perfume, animal fur and many more.

 

Causes of asthma in children. 

 

Although it is often difficult to find a single, direct cause, it is believed to have a multiple complex cause. Many factors have been linked to an increased risk of developing asthma, such as

 

  • Have a close family member with asthma and/or eczema such as parents or siblings
  • Have other allergic conditions such as rhinitis etc.
  • Urbanization is associated with increased asthma prevalence, probably due to multiple lifestyle factors. 
  • Events in early life affect the developing lung and can increase the risk of asthma. These include low-birth weight, premature born, exposure to tobacco smoke and other sources of air pollution, as well as viral respiratory infections.
  • Exposure to a range of environmental allergens and irritants are also thought to increase the risk of asthma, including indoor and outdoor air pollution, house dust mites, molds, and occupational exposure to chemicals, fumes, or dust.

 

Prevention & Control of asthma

 

Asthma cannot be cured, but good management with inhaled medications can control the disease and enable people with asthma to enjoy a normal, active life.

 

There are two main types of inhaler:

 

  • Bronchodilators (such as Salbutamol), that open the air passages and relieve symptoms
  • Steroids (such as Beclomethasone), that reduce inflammation in the air passages. This improve asthma symptoms and reduce the risk of severe asthma attack and death.


People with asthma may need to use inhaler every day. Their treatment will depend on the frequency of symptoms and the types of inhalers available.

 

It can be difficult to coordinate breathing using an inhaler – especially for children and during emergency situations. Using a “spacer” device makes it easier to use an aerosol inhaler and helps the medicine to reach the lung more effectively.

 

Other than this, it is also best to avoid triggers for asthma. Triggers vary between person to person, as asthmatic children grow, parents should be able to identify things that trigger their asthma attack, it can be as simple as changes in weather / temperature etc.

 

In conclusion, Asthma is a lifelong disease, it is best to manage/ control it by avoiding trigger to asthma in children and also by adhering to the medication based on doctors’ suggestion.

 

References

  1. World Health Organization (WHO). Asthma. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/asthma
  2. Mayo Clinic. Childhood Asthma. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/asthma
  3. Better Health Chanel. Asthma in children. https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/asthma-in-children#causes-of-asthma-in-children