Finding out your child has asthma can be surprising, even frightening news. Understanding the causes of asthma and the best ways to treat it can help put both parents' and children's minds at ease about this common diagnosis, affecting about 9 percent of American children, according to the Centers for Disease Control. At Town and Country Pediatric Medical Associates in San Francisco and Mill Valley, CA, our pediatricians want to educate their patients and caregivers on the basics behind asthma and its management.
What is asthma?
Asthma is a condition that affects the air passages in the lungs. These passages, called bronchial tubes, easily become irritated when exposed to certain triggers; our San Francisco pediatricians often see patients whose asthma flares up from exercise, dust, air pollutants or other allergens. When the bronchial tubes are irritated, they swell up and produce excess mucus, making it difficult to breathe. For some kids, this can be life-threatening, which is why it's important to see your doctor if your child displays any of the symptoms listed below.
What are the symptoms of asthma?
If your child displays or complains of any of these symptoms, see your San Francisco pediatrician as soon as possible:
- Wheezing upon breathing out
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain or tightness
- Difficulty "getting over" a cold or other upper respiratory infection
How is asthma treated?
Asthma isn't curable, but it is manageable. Your pediatrician at Town and Country Pediatric Medical Associates in San Francisco may prescribe an inhaler that contains steroids to keep the airways open. For babies with asthma, a machine with a face mask, called a nebulizer, may be recommended. Daily oral medications can prevent asthma attacks. If your child's asthma is triggered by allergies, allergy shots or medication can help control asthma symptoms. Working with your doctor will help determine the best way to treat your child's asthma.
If you're concerned your child may be dealing with asthma, please don't hesitate to contact Town and Country Pediatric Medical Associates in San Francisco and Mill Valley, CA to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced pediatricians.