When it comes to asthma, close monitoring at home, at a school physical and by your Westchase pediatrician, is key to managing this serious respiratory disease. At Clearwater Pediatric Care, Drs. Raj Pai, Mary Ann Hicks, Sheila Mak, Emily Jones and Seema Kubarek want parents and children fully informed for the best possible health outcomes. Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions they encounter regarding asthma.
FAQs about asthma
What is asthma, and how did my child get it? Asthma is a chronic lung disease. Influenced by heredity, allergies, stress and environmental factors asthma is the most serious chronic health condition suffered by children, says the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. Asthma is not communicable, as is a cold or the flu, but expresses itself over time, particularly as a triggers, such as pollen, exercise, tobacco smoke or cold weather, cross a child's path.
What are the symptoms of asthma? Coughing, particularly at night, wheezing, shortness of breath and chest tightness are typical symptoms. They vary in severity and thankfully, may be controlled by avoiding known triggers and using prescribed medications.
How is asthma diagnosed? Your pediatrician in Westchase, you as the parent, or perhaps a nurse during a school physical may notice symptoms. Your child's doctor will listen to his or her breath sounds with a stethoscope and perform lung function tests such as spirometry. The pediatrician may order lab work and allergy tests, too.
Since asthma cannot be cured, can it be controlled? The answer is a definite yes. In fact, most children with asthma lead full and active lives. Medications--both rescue inhalers for sudden symptoms and long-term control prescriptions--increase lung function, allowing for full excursion of air, less coughing and fewer episodes of fatigue.
What is an asthma action plan? As reported by Kids Health, an asthma action plan is a written tool which helps parents and children manage symptoms as they occur. Formulated with the guidance of your pediatrician, the plan outlines how to respond to escalating symptoms, what medications to administer, when to go to the doctor's office or hospital ER and more. This tool accompanies a child to school, daycare, camp and other areas outside the home so that everyone who plays an active role in your child's day to day life knows how to help him or her with asthma symptoms.
Know more for better health
The Centers for Disease Control states that 8.3 percent of American children deal with asthma. At Clearwater Pediatric Care and Westchase Pediatric Care, the doctors and their support staff work diligently to education parents and children about this chronic lung problem. The result is active, happy, healthy kids. If you have questions about childhood asthma, please contact one of our two offices. We'll be happy to help. In Clearwater, FL, phone (727) 461-1543, and in Westchase, FL, call (813) 818-1543.