Asthma Symptoms and Treatment

What is asthma?

Asthma is a condition that causes airways in your child’s lungs to become swollen and get thinner. An “asthma attack” occurs when the airways become so narrow that your child has trouble breathing. Asthma tends to run in families and has been linked to allergies and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Approximately one in every 15 children suffers from asthma, which can occur at any age.

What are the symptoms of asthma?

If your child has any of the following signs of asthma, you should schedule an appointment with a pediatrician or primary care provider:

  • Trouble breathing when exercising or playing actively

  • Shortness of breath

  • Colds and allergies leading to long-lasting cough, wheezing, or shortness of breath

  • Frequent coughing, especially at night

How is asthma treated?

Once your child’s pediatrician determines that your child has asthma, they will refer you to a pediatric pulmonologist. Together, your child’s pediatrician and pulmonologist will develop a care plan to help you understand and manage your child’s asthma.

As part of the treatment plan, the pediatric pulmonologist may include the following:

  • Medication to reduce swelling and mucus-making

  • Prescription to relax the airway muscles

  • Rescue inhaler to lessen coughing, sneezing, wheezing, chest tightening and shortness of breath

Your child’s DMG CRS care team will also help you understand how:

  • Asthma impacts your child’s lungs and the rest of their body

  • To control your child’s asthma symptoms

  • To use the inhaler and medications

During your child’s asthma appointment, your child may be given the Asthma Control Test (ACT) to see how well your child’s asthma is being controlled. You’ll also want to track how often the following occurs and tell your child’s DMG CRS care team:

  • Asthma prevented your child from participating in daily activities like sports, play and other activities.

  • Coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath or chest tightness woke your child up when they were sleeping.

  • Your child experienced shortness of breath.

  • Your child needed the rescue inhaler or nebulizer.

Both pediatric primary care providers and pulmonologists work at DMG CRS, so you can rest assured that each medical provider on your child’s care team has easy access to your child’s medical records and are working together to create a personalized treatment plan. Our goal is to make getting treatment and managing your child’s asthma as easy as possible so you can enjoy doing the things you love to do as a family.