Living Well with Asthma
Asthma is a chronic disease that affects the airways in the lungs and can range from being a mild to a serious condition. Symptoms include coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and tightness or pain in the chest. Asthma attacks can be triggered by allergens, exercise, tobacco smoke, air pollution.
People with asthma should work with their health care professionals to keep it under control. A doctor will help you develop an asthma action plan (PDF) that will list daily treatments, medications and information on how to deal with an asthma attack. The action plan will let you know when to call the doctor or go to the emergency room.
Asthma affects people of all ages, but it most often starts during childhood. In fact, asthma is the most-common chronic disease of childhood. It is a leading cause of missed school days and hospital visits for children. If your child has asthma, you can take an active role in managing his or her disease.
Sometimes it can be difficult to tell whether a child has asthma. A young child who has frequent wheezing with colds or respiratory infections is more likely to have asthma if a parent has asthma, the child has signs of allergies including the allergic skin condition eczema, and the child wheezes even when he or she doesn't have a cold or other infection.
It can be scary when your child has an asthma attack. You may feel helpless, but having an asthma action plan will help you know what to do during an attack. Work with your child's doctor to make an asthma action plan.
Asthma is a long-term problem, but it doesn't have to limit your child. Learning all you can about asthma is the first step to helping your child manage their health.