Asthma is a chronic condition that causes breathing problems; in some cases breathing issues can be quite severe and even life threatening. Kids with asthma may wheeze while breathing, cough often, or struggle to breathe when their airways become swollen and constricted. Learning that you child has asthma can be very scary, but the good news is that the condition can be managed. After your child is diagnosed with asthma, his or her doctor will develop a treatment plan to help your child. Continue reading to learn more about what to expect after your child is diagnosed with asthma.
Avoiding Triggers is Important
Asthma is often diagnosed in childhood, and most kids who have asthma have triggers that cause flare ups and difficulty breathing. For some kids, their asthma is triggered by indoor contaminants, such as pet dander or exposure to mold. Other kids may suffer from an asthma attack when the pollen count outdoors is very high. It is also possible for an asthma attack to be triggered by exercise. When you learn that your child has asthma, you will have to observe him or her carefully to determine what his or her asthma triggers are so you can do your best to make sure that your child avoids them.
Learn About Asthma Medications
Most children who have asthma are prescribed different medications to help manage the condition, prevent asthma attacks, or help if an asthma attack occurs. If your child has asthma, it is very important for you to become familiar with the different medications prescribed by your child's doctor and know what the purpose of each one is. The majority of children who are diagnosed with asthma are prescribed two types of medication—quick-relief medications, often called "rescue" medications, and long-term medication to control and prevent asthma attacks. Long-term control medication is usually given on a daily basis while quick-relief medications are only administered when a child is having difficulty breathing.
Understand Your Child's Asthma Action Plan
Upon diagnosis of asthma, your child's doctor will create an asthma action plan. This plan is a very valuable resource that covers all aspects of your child's asthma treatment and clearly outlines what medications your child needs to take, what you need to do as a parent if your child suffers an asthma flare up, and information about the signs and symptoms that indicate that your child needs more than his or her medication and needs immediate medical care.