1) What is asthma?
It is a noncommunicable disease, in which the airways get inflamed and obstructed, react easily to various irritants and if not detected and treated may lead to the airway tubes getting remodeled.
2) Does my child have asthma?
All children who wheeze do not have asthma. Most children with asthma do not wheeze.
3) The commoner symptoms are:
Repeated cough, usually at night or early morning, occasionally increasing with exercise.
There may be difficulty in breathing with a feeling of tightness in the chest.
There may be associated allergic symptoms of the nose, skin and eyes.
4) Diagnosis of asthma:
By listening carefully to the history given by the child and parents and family and a thorough clinical examination of the child.
Early diagnosis is important to start treatment improve quality of life, improve growth and development and prevent the development of chronic disease.
5) What are the goals of treatment?
- Freedom from symptoms.
- Hence reducing school absenteeism, frequent hospital visits, and acute attacks
- Ability to continue normal daily activities 4-Improve growth.
6) What are the cornerstones of treatment?
- Dealing with allergens that trigger the symptoms
- Follow up
- Looking after the common associated conditions EDUCATION This is the most important part of management. Parents, child, and the other caregivers all need to be involved. Time is given to clear misconceptions and myths about the disease, the use of inhalers and steroids. The message is of hope and confidence and compliance.
7) ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROL:
To try and avoid allergens- Dust, smoke, mosquito coil burning. Wash soft toys avoid carpets, use plastic covers, cover garbage, attend to damp walls and ensure adequate sunlight and good ventilation.
The treatment is carried out in a stepwise fashion. In children, metered dose inhalers with valued spacer devices are used. The inhalers are either Quick Relievers or Controllers or Long-term relievers.
9) FOLLOW UP:
Regular follow up is essential to monitor the control of asthma
Dr. Debjani Gupta
Consultant – Paediatrics
Narayana Multispeciality Hospital, Howrah