Raising a Child with Asthma: Part 1
ASTHMA. Part 1; What is Asthma? What are the Symptoms? These were the questions we had back when all her coughing started. She would cough, and cough, and cough….she wouldn’t have a fever, or act sick, just ALL THAT COUGHING. It was heartbreaking not being able to help her stop. We had many nights like this from 1.5 years old through about 4 years (and we still do).
“Has your pediatrician ever mentioned to you that your daughter has asthma”? And that’s when it all started to make sense. I knew she had something going on. It took an Urgent Care doctor to actually “say” it, and then we switched pediatricians soon after. She was only EVER in the pediatricians office for things such as coughing, post nasal drip, sinus infections, and bronchitis/phenmonia through her toddler years. We were introduced to breathing treatments and the fun of trying to have a 1.5-2 year old sit through that.
Asthma. Asthma is a chronic disease that affects your airways (see pic below); but with children, they have smaller airways than adults, which makes asthma especially serious for them. Children with asthma can experience wheezing, coughing, chest tightness, and trouble breathing, especially at night, or early in the morning.
(picture from http://www.caregrange.com)
Childhood asthma has many forms. The most common are:
- Allergic asthma. This type occurs when an “allergy” sets off an asthma flare up
- Asthma without allergies. They can have asthma NOT triggered by allergies
- Exercise induced asthma
For kids, other signs and symptoms can also include:
- Trouble sleeping caused by coughing/wheezing/shortness of breath
- Bouts of coughing that get WORSE with a respiratory infection
- Delayed recovery or bronchitis AFTER a respiratory infection
- Fatigue, which can be caused by the poor sleep
Many things can cause asthma, including:
- Allergens – mold, pollen, animals
- Irritants – cigarette smoke (from others), air pollution
- Weather – cold air, changes in weather
- Infections – flu, the common cold
When asthma symptoms become worse than usual, that’s when it’s called an asthma “attack”. Asthma can be treated with two kinds of medicines, which I will get in to more in a future video, but there are: quick-relief meds to stop the symptoms, and long-term meds to prevent the symptoms (we are on both).
Asthma signs and symptoms can also vary from child to child, and may get worse or better over time. Some children can have only ONE sign or symptom, such as a lingering cough or chest congestion (this is where we fall with our daughters symptom…the coughing).
As I mentioned in my INTRO video in my last blog, we have just started our journey, and we are learning. This is a start, knowing what the signs and symptoms can be can be helpful to a lot of people who maybe aren’t sure if their child suffers from asthma, and next is “what do we do about it”. That will be in part 2.
Please Watch Video
I am by far NO EXPERT on this condition, but, just a mom sharing her journey. There are things I have learned, that I wish I knew before. I just want to share my story and maybe help others along the way. I know I am NOT alone with this, and we all need to stick together and share what we know.