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Apprehending Asthma


No one really knows the exact reasons why more and more children are developing asthma in recent times. Some experts suggest that children spend too much time indoors and are exposed to more and more dust, air pollution, and second-hand smoke. Some suspect that children are not exposed to enough childhood illnesses to direct the attention of their immune system to bacteria and viruses and therefore, develop allergies (the so called “hygiene hypothesis”).

We also find many parents hesitant to give inhaled asthma drugs or liquid medications delivered with an asthma nebulizer, also known as a breathing machine. I wish parents would take the time to educate themselves (the resources being so accessible) and have clear concepts in their minds because only then can they motivate children to be regular with medications and not feel self-conscious while taking them. This is very crucial.

Asthma in children is handled using very specific guidelines, depending on the severity and duration of symptoms. The medications given fall into two categories. One category includes drugs taken daily that are meant to control asthma in the long term and reduce the frequency of asthma attacks (controller or maintenance medications). The other category is medications that provide instant relief from symptoms (rescue medications).Steroids are a vital part of the list too. Very short oral courses (three or five days) or long term inhaled preparations seldom cause alarming side effects and there is no need for trepidation. In general, doctors start with a high level of therapy during an asthma attack and then decrease treatment to the lowest possible level that still prevents asthma flare-ups and allows your child to have a normal life. Every child needs to follow a customized asthma management plan based on the severity and triggering factors so do not compare it with another.

So the essential parts to managing your child’s asthma are Identifying and Controlling Asthma Triggers, knowing when to anticipate flare ups and having a clear plan of action to handle it, being regular with medicines and periodically updating your knowledge with your doctor.

This can take time and energy to master, but it’s worth the effort!

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Dr. Krishna Mahathi holds diplomas in Pediatrics and in the management of allergies and asthma. Years of working and interacting with children and parents have given her insight into developmental disabilities. She wishes that there was more awareness and acceptance of the issues that differently-abled children face and hopes that through this blog, she can enable thse children and their families to make sensible and informed choices.


One thought on “Apprehending Asthma

  1. Wilson Peters

    The review of relevant data present at that time found that people who smoke and have been diagnosed with one or more of the following conditions: “Chronic lung diseases such as asthma, cystic fibrosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and interstitial pneumonia“ are more likely to also suffer from vitamin D deficiency.

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