Asthma is a chronic condition of the lungs that develops when the small tubes that carry air to the lungs become narrow, irritated, and inflamed. This inflammation makes the tubes oversensitive, so they react to things that don’t usually bother airways. When this happens, the airways spasm, block airflow, and make it hard to breathe.
Any substance, weather condition, or activity that leads to asthma symptoms or an asthma attack can be a trigger:
The severity and frequency of an asthma attack are different for each child. However, children experience the same symptoms:
Wheezing is the one symptom that’s not always present. Some children just don’t wheeze. For other children, in fact, a lack of wheezing is due to very tight and narrow airways, which is a sign that the asthma attack is worse, not better.
One of the most important things for parents to know about asthma is this: The airways are always affected even if your child doesn’t show any symptoms. If your child has asthma, you always need to have an inhaler on hand so that you’re prepared for an asthma attack.
Asthma treatment begins by avoiding triggers and taking certain medications:
Parents can control the environment inside their home to reduce the allergens or irritants that trigger their child’s asthma. You’re already aware of common irritants, like secondhand smoke, but there are other substances to consider.
Your child’s asthma could be triggered by a variety of unexpected substances:
When pollen and dust trigger asthma, it’s a good idea to keep windows closed, run air conditioning on days when pollen is high, and regularly clean air ducts and furnace filters.
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