It can be a terrifying experience to see your child struggling to draw breath during an asthma attack. Ameeta Chowdhary, MSN, FNP-C, of Little Star Pediatrics in Avondale, Arizona, can help you find ways to manage your child’s asthma and reduce the frequency and severity of their attacks. Ameeta is a highly experienced family nurse practitioner who specializes in children’s health, so call Little Star Pediatrics today to find out how she can help.
Asthma is a chronic condition affecting the airways leading to the lungs. If your child has asthma, the problems they have with breathing are due to irritation and inflammation that causes narrowing and restricts airflow.
The inflammation in the airways causes hyperreactivity, which means the tissues are overly sensitive. Asthma attacks occur when the level of inflammation and the consequent narrowing of the airways reaches a point where your child is struggling to draw enough air into their lungs.
Seeing your child straining to breathe properly is the clearest indication that they’re having an asthma attack. Wheezing and shortness of breath are typical signs, and your child is likely to feel chest constriction like there’s a heavy weight on them or something’s squeezing them very tight.
These sensations and the struggle to draw breath can cause your child to feel distressed and start to panic, which can, unfortunately, make the problem worse.
There isn’t a single, clear cause for asthma. Studies of asthma patients indicate that children are less likely to develop asthma if they have exposure to a lot of other people from an early age. Exposure to common allergens like pet dander also reduces your child’s risk of developing asthma.
Children who contract common childhood illnesses benefit as well, and research indicates that breastfed babies are less likely to develop asthma later on. These findings all point to the cause having its roots in the immune system.
Environmental factors typically trigger asthma attacks, with common triggers including:
Athletic activity can also trigger asthma attacks.
If children come into contact with asthma triggers regularly, not only are asthma attacks more likely, but symptoms are likely to worsen as well. Your child is also at an increased risk of developing respiratory infections.
If your child is having difficulty breathing, it’s vital to find out the cause straight away. Family Nurse Practitioner Ameeta Chowdhary at Little Star Pediatrics has specialist expertise in diagnosing and treating asthma in children.
If Ameeta finds your child has asthma, she provides an individualized care plan that aims to reduce the inflammation and constriction in the airways. The chief treatment approach for asthma is the use of an inhaler that your child carries with them and uses if they feel an attack coming on.
It’s also important to identify your child’s particular triggers, so you can minimize their exposure. This helps the hypersensitive tissues in their airways to calm down and promote healing.
If you have any concerns about your child’s breathing and suspect they might have asthma, call Little Star Pediatrics today.