By Dr. Gurmeet Singh Chabbra, Pulmonology
Asthma is basically the inflammation of the airways that are present in the lungs. When this happens, normal respiration faces an obstacle and asthma attacks or difficulty in breathing is observed. Asthma attacks can be triggered by allergens present in the air, like pollen grains and dust particles. The symptoms of asthma may be observed at any time in life. If your child is suffering from asthma, then based on his/her condition the doctor/pulmonologist/paediatrician might utilize one of these treatment methods:
- Medicines that offer instant relief: These medicines might be prescribed to your child if he/she suffers from infrequent asthma attacks. These medicines work to broaden the airway, thereby allowing smooth respiration.
- Long-term medication: These medicines are provided if your child suffers from:
- Asthma attacks at least twice a week
- Attacks during the night-time twice a month
- Had to be admitted to a hospital lately due to the severity of the symptoms.
- Usually, these drugs are to be taken on a regular basis and in some cases they are taken along with quick-relief medicines. In the beginning, the doctor generally injects one shot per week.
- Asthma devices: Other than pills that are to be taken orally, the doctor can prescribe one of these instruments containing the medicines:
- Nebulizer: This is very easy to use the tool. The tool works to convert the medicine into vapour that can be inhaled in through a mask. Even toddlers and infants can use this comfortably.
- Inhaler: This is the most common device used for treating asthma. The child needs to put the device into the mouth and press the top knob that is attached to the device so that the medicine directly goes into the lungs. A spacer is sometimes attached to this device to ease usability.
- Interventional methods to prevent allergies: Those who are allergic, react to dust mites and mold. When they are exposed to these elements, a chemical called histamine is released by the body, resulting in bouts of sneezes, runny nose and watery eyes. Antihistamines are medicines that control the effect of histamine. If your child has hay fever-like symptoms, the doctor might suggest antihistamines.
- Immunotherapy: This is an effective treatment when it comes to bringing down allergic reactions to a considerable amount. Depending on the condition, your child might be given either tablets or injections. In the beginning, the doctor generally injects one shots per week. Later the dosage frequency might be reduced.
Asthma is a treatable condition and on early intervention, the symptoms eventually recede.