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Childhood Asthma

Asthma is a chronic lung disease characterized by

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  • Recurrent cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Wheeze
  • Chest tightness

Asthma is the leading serious chronic illness in children. In 2003, childhood asthma was the most common cause of school absenteeism due to chronic disease in USA.1 The majority of children with asthma develop symptoms before 5 years of age.

Reversible inflammation of the airways is the common finding in all asthma patients.

Asthma triggers

This inflammation is can be triggered by

  • Allergy
  • Environmental pollutants
  • Upper respiratory infections
  • Cold weather
  • Tobacco smoke among others

Treatment of childhood asthma

Childhood asthma is treatable. With the right medications and management plan, a child with asthma can enjoy normal activities with few disruptions.

The goal of asthma therapy is to control symptoms, optimize lung function and minimize days lost from school.

Treating asthma involves both preventing asthma symptoms and treating an asthma attack. Preventive medications reduce the inflammation in the airways. Relief medications quickly dilate airways that are constricted and swollen.

A combination of long-term anti-inflammatory drugs and a fast-acting bronchodilator are usually prescribed.

Written  by: Healthplus24 team
Date last updated: July 13, 2011

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