Asthma disease of the airways that can cause tremendous discomfort to a patient. Most children in their early years have bouts of coughing and wheezing, which are the symptoms of asthma. But this does not mean that they all are going to develop asthma. Also, early diagnosis of asthma in young children can help control and manage the disease well.
Timely Diagnosis and Medication:
In case the wheezing and shortness of breath continues after the age of six, it would be prudent of parents to take their child to a doctor specializing in pulmonary diseases to check for asthma. Early diagnosis and proper management will allow a child to carry out all his activities such asleep, play, sports and school freely. The drugs that are used to treat asthma are important: the form in which these medicines are administered t the body is also very important. The advantage of using inhaled therapy is that it directly reaches the target organ i.e. the lungs in small doses with less chances of it affecting other parts of the body. On the contrary, oral corticosteroids given in high reach the lungs and can therefore lead to serious systemic side effects.
Peak Flow Meter: A Peak flow meter measures how well the lungs push out air. A peak flow meter is a handheld plastic tube with a mouthpiece at one end which one breathes in to. It measures the force of air in liters per minute and gives a reading on a built-in numbered scale. A peak flow meter can help monitor asthma over a period of time and even daily. Daily monitoring helps identify what aggravates the asthma and whether the patient is responding o the medication or not. The peak flow monitor also help identify inflammation and swelling in the airways even before the symptoms of asthma are seen and this helps a patient to take the necessary measures to avoid an asthma attack.
Asthma Management: One of the biggest challenges for the management of asthma is the discontinuation of the medication, once the symptoms have subsided. Often, this may be to save the cost of medication. However, one need to understand that being symptom-free does not mean one is free of the disease. It could flare up anytime. So, it is important to remember that any such step should only be taken, if it is recommended by the doctor.