Posts for tag: Asthma
It’s important to know the warning signs so you can act fast.
Asthma is one of the most common chronic illnesses in children here in the US. Despite being quite common, we shouldn’t ignore the fact that asthma can be dangerous and even life-threatening (particularly if it isn’t properly controlled); however, it isn’t always as easy as you might think to detect asthma symptoms in your child. Here are the warning signs that should bring your child in to visit our Westchase, FL, pediatrician Dr. Raj Pai for an evaluation:
- Wheezing or whistling when breathing in
- Difficulty breathing
- Chest tightness and/or pain
- Frequent coughing (that often gets worse at night)
- Easily tired or fatigued after exercise or physical activity
Some children may have difficulty sleeping due to chest tightness or wheezing. You may also find that these symptoms intensify when your little one catches a cold or respiratory infection. In some cases, asthma may also hinder your child’s ability to play sports or be involved in more strenuous activities without feeling easily winded or having trouble catching their breath.
Since symptoms do vary greatly, it’s important that if your child is displaying any of these asthma symptoms (no matter how minor they may seem) that you call our Westchase, FL, pediatrician right away.
Treating Asthma in Children and Teens
As you might imagine, the sooner we treat your child’s asthma the better, as we can help your little one control not just day-to-day symptoms but also prevent future asthma attacks. The overall goals of asthma treatment are to lessen and even prevent the frequency and severity of asthma attacks, reduce and even eliminate day-to-day symptoms and make sure that the medications we prescribe are managing their symptoms effectively enough to enjoy activities and exercise without issue.
There are a couple of ways in which we will help your little one treat their asthma. First and foremost, we will prescribe a long-term controlled medication that will be used every day to reduce inflammation within the airways to prevent attacks. We will also give your child a fast-acting medication for when asthma attacks flare up, as the long-term controlled medication will not be able to treat attacks once they start. This fast-acting medication is only to be used when your child feels the symptoms of an attack coming on.
Clearwater Pediatric Care provides general and urgent health care to children and teens in the Clearwater and Westchase, FL, areas. Whether your child is displaying symptoms of asthma or you need to discuss better treatment options to control your child’s asthma, call (727) 461-1543 or (813) 818-1543 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Pai.
Childhood asthma is a serious lung condition. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America says over six million kids in the US currently live with it. At Clearwater and Westchase Pediatric Care, your team of 5 pediatricians helps children live well with their asthma. In fact, this is a special interest of Dr. Raj Pai in Westchase, FL. Here's more on this important health topic.
What constitutes asthma?
Asthma involves both sudden and chronic respiratory symptoms of varying severity, including:
- Lung inflammation and spasm
- Coughing, particularly during the night
- Extreme fatigue
- Dark circles under the eyes
- Skin pallor
- Shortness of breath
- Chest tightness
Also, many asthmatic children experience allergy symptoms such as a runny nose, itching, and sneezing. But, whatever the symptoms, asthma can be life-threatening, and accordingly, it requires close monitoring at home and by your pediatrician in Westchase, FL.
Why do children develop asthma?
Asthma is something of a mystery. However, allergens, such as animal dander, mold, and pollen, seem to trigger it. Additionally, heredity, emotional stress, exercise, environmental pollution, and changes in the weather exacerbate a cascade of symptoms.
Can my child live well with asthma?
Of course, our physicians at Clearwater and Westchase Pediatric Care understand your concern for the well-being of your child. They'll work with you to identify symptoms and possible triggers and do a complete physical exam to rule out other health conditions.
Also, your pediatrician will prescribe medications. Most children use a short-acting bronchodilator (rescue inhaler) for sudden symptoms. Others benefit from an inhaled corticosteroid to reduce inflammation continuingly. We provide in-office nebulized medications to control severe episodes.
Finally, you and your child should employ an asthma care plan at home to recognize symptoms and to administer medications as needed. Bring teachers, daycare, and others into the information loop so everyone can help your youngster breathe well.
Find out more
Children have asthma more than any other chronic health problem. At Clearwater and Westchase Pediatric Care, we'll work with you and your child to treat asthma, allowing your family to function well together. For questions or concerns about childhood asthma, please call our Westchase, FL, office at (813) 818-1543 or in Clearwater, phone (727) 461-1543.
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.
Does your child need a physical in order to participate in a sport? School physicals, offered by your Clearwater and Westchase, FL, pediatricians at Clearwater Pediatric Care and Westchase Pediatric Care, ensure that your child is healthy enough to play sports.
Why are physicals important?
School physicals identify issues that could threaten your child's health or affect his or her performance on the playing field. If the physical uncovers any health issues, the pediatrician will recommend appropriate treatments. In some cases, your child may not be cleared to play until the health condition is treated or controlled.
What happens during a school physical?
During a school physical, also called a sports physical, your child's pediatrician evaluates his or her health and ability to handle physical activity.
Your son or daughter's Clearwater or Westchase pediatrician will measure your child's height, weight and blood pressure. He or she will also listen to your child's heart and lungs; examine eyes, ears, mouth, and nose; and look for abdominal abnormalities. If your son or daughter isn't up-to-date on vaccinations, he or she will receive them during the visit.
Sports physicals also focus on issues that could affect your child's health during a game or practice, such as scoliosis, heart conditions, asthma or other breathing issues, or joint instabilities. If your child has been injured in the past, the pediatrician will make sure that your son or daughter has recovered sufficiently to practice and play this season.
School physicals may also include:
- Information about avoiding injuries: Your child's pediatrician may discuss how to prevent new injuries or avoid aggravating an old injury. Proper use of protective gear, such as helmets, pads, and goggles will also be discussed.
- Discussions about healthy habits: During the physical, your child may learn about healthy food choices and the importance of avoiding drugs and alcohol.
- Recommendations for handling chronic conditions: Suggestions for managing conditions that can affect performance, such as asthma, will help your child avoid problems while playing. For example, his or her pediatrician may recommend using an inhaler before practices and games and taking more frequent breaks.
School physicals help safeguard your child's health. Schedule a physical with the pediatricians at Westchase Pediatric Care or Clearwater Pediatric Care by calling (813) 818-1543 for the Westchase, FL, office or (727) 461-1543 for the Clearwater, FL, office.
Though the words “chronic condition” are not something any parent wants to hear, childhood asthma is a problem that is both common and very manageable. If your child has been diagnosed with this condition, knowing what to do to keep it under control is crucial to your child’s short and long-term health. Read below to learn how to identify childhood asthma and manage its symptoms, and if you are concerned about your child's health, call Dr. Raj Pai, Dr. Mary Ann Hicks, Dr. Sheila Mak, and Dr. Emily Jones at either Clearwater Pediatric Care or Westchase Pediatric Care.
What is asthma?
Asthma is a chronic condition which causes breathing problems by narrowing the airways and causing extra mucus production, thereby triggering symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath. Asthma symptoms can range from mild to severe to even life-threatening, all while affecting daily activities as simple as walking up the stairs. Though asthma cannot be cured, it can be managed with the proper precautions and treatments.
Does my child have asthma?
Asthma symptoms may differ from patient to patient and can occur at any time:
- Chest pain
- Chest tightness
- Shortness of breath
- Wheezing sound while breathing
- Whistling sound while breathing
- Coughing (especially overnight, in children)
Some people may have asthma induced by exercise or allergies, asthma triggered by certain fumes, gases, or dust, or have asthma symptoms which occur at random.
Asthma Management in Clearwater, FL, and Tampa, FL
Treating asthma depends on its severity and the patient who has it. Avoiding triggers to prevent asthma attacks can greatly reduce the instances of symptoms. Quick-relief and long-term asthma control medications are also a common treatment for this condition. Having an asthma action plan can help parents and children act quickly in the event of an attack and know what to do to avoid complications and get the help they need.
For more information on childhood asthma, please contact Dr. Raj Pai, Dr. Mary Ann Hicks, Dr. Sheila Mak, and Dr. Emily Jones at Clearwater Pediatric Care (in Clearwater, FL) and Westchase Pediatric Care (in Tampa, FL). Call (727) 461-1543 to schedule an appointment in Clearwater or (813) 818-1543 to schedule an appointment at the Westchase office today!