August 30, 2023
Asthma is a chronic disease that directly affects the respiratory tract and occurs in both children and adults, but it most frequently begins in childhood. Dr. Carlos Carrasco, a pediatrician of our clinic, points out that the causes that originate this disease are still not clear. However, there are triggering factors such as an inherited tendency to generate allergies, parents with asthma, respiratory tract infections, exposure to cigarette smoke or certain allergens (dust mites, mold, pet dander), and physical activity, among others.
Different symptoms that can occur in children with asthma:
Warning signs to watch for include difficulty walking or talking, purple or bluish color of the fingernails due to lack of oxygen if the child appears confused or is less responsive than usual. If these symptoms are detected, emergency medical evaluation is required.
How is it diagnosed?
Childhood asthma is diagnosed by clinical picture, that is to say when the symptoms already mentioned are present and it is proved that there is own or family antecedents such as allergies, asthma, rhinitis, or atopic dermatitis. There are complementary tests that are performed depending on the age of the child, such as spirometry (which evaluates how the lungs work) and the skin allergy test.
The importance of early diagnosis of asthma in children lies in ensuring early and adequate treatment to control the disease from its early stages.
How is it treated?
Although there is no curative treatment for asthma, there are control medications that have the capacity to keep the patient’s lungs healthy and prevent the asthma from worsening, for example: control and acute crisis treatment, which is mainly carried out by inhalation. Here we find fast-acting bronchodilators such as salbutamol and oral or intravenous corticosteroids. Preventive treatment includes anti-inflammatory drugs such as inhaled corticosteroids.
The patient with controlled childhood asthma can lead a normal life like any other child, including physical or sports activities without problems. It will be important for the child to have frequent medical control and to strictly follow the medical indications.
Dr. Carlos Carrasco
Pediatrician at Clínica Ricardo Palma