Does your child struggle with asthma symptoms? Houston, TX, pediatricians Drs. Heena Thakkar and Shilpa Pankaj can help you manage your child's condition and decrease flareups.
What is asthma?
Asthma symptoms occur when the small airways in your child's lungs become inflamed and swollen, reducing airflow to the lungs. Breathing becomes even harder when the muscles around the airways begin to tighten, or the airways fill with mucus caused by inflammation. More than 6 million kids in the U.S. under 18 have asthma, according to the Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America.
Does my child have asthma?
Wheezing is a common sign of asthma, but it's not the only one. Other asthma signs and symptoms include:
- Coughing: Children who have asthma may cough even if they don't have a cold or illness. Coughing can increase with exertion or when your child laughs or cries.
- Fatigue: Does your child tire easily? Asthma may be to blame.
- Shortness of Breath: Shortness of breath may occur if your child can't breathe in enough air due to narrowing and inflammation of his or her airways.
- Chest Pain: Kids who have asthma may complain that their chests hurt.
- Rapid Breathing: If the airways become severely constricted, your child may begin to breathe rapidly or even look blue. Take him or her to the emergency room immediately if you notice these symptoms.
How can my pediatrician help?
Your child's Houston pediatrician can offer treatments and suggestions that will help you manage your child's respiratory disease. She may recommend daily maintenance medication that helps reduce or prevent asthma flareups. The medication may be offered in pill or inhaled form. Your child may also need a rescue inhaler. The inhalers offer quick relief of symptoms when a flareup does occur. Allergy testing may be recommended if the pediatrician suspects that flareups may be triggered by allergies.
A few modifications around your home can also be helpful. Your child's doctor may recommend several changes, such as using foam rather than down or feather pillows, vacuuming, and mopping floors regularly to reduce dust and allergens, and improving indoor air quality with air-conditioners and HEPA filters.
Preventive care is essential if your child has asthma. Call Houston, TX, pediatricians Drs. Heena Thakkar and Shilpa Pankaj at (713) 861-4800 to schedule an appointment for your son or daughter.