asthma twincity pediatrics

Asthma

Asthma is the most common chronic medical condition in children. Many children with asthma miss out on school, sports and other activities. However, it is the goal of the doctors at Twin City Pediatrics to provide asthma management that allows these children to do anything that a child without asthma can.

It is important for family members to learn how to identify and avoid asthma and allergen triggers; recognize and prevent asthma attacks, understand medications, and help manage asthma at home to assure the optimal health for your child and prevent ER visits and hospitalizations.

At Twin City Pediatrics we have an Asthma Program specially designed to follow nationally recognized guidelines to help children with asthma be well controlled.

If your child has been identified as asthmatic, we recommend the following:

  1. Comprehensive asthma evaluations every 6 months (in addition to their yearly preventative visits). This includes updating asthma action plans to be followed at home and school, evaluating effectiveness of medications, reevaluating and assessing goals.
  2. Lung Testing (called Spirometry) at least once per year
  3. Yearly flu vaccines.
  4. Asthma education regarding appropriate medications and equipment

Asthma Overview

Asthma is a chronic disease of the breathing tubes (bronchioles) that can be controlled but not cured. Children and adults with asthma have sensitive breathing tubes that overreact or become "twitchy" when exposed to things called triggers.

If your asthma is not controlled, you may suffer from periodic asthma attacks when muscles around the breathing tubes squeeze hard. This keeps air from moving in and out of the lungs easily.  

Asthma attack symptoms can include:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Coughing a lot
  • Chest tightness
  • Wheezing
  • Waking up with a cough
  • Waking up with breathing trouble
  • Trouble exercising

Asthma Treatment Overview:

Using a Quick-Relief (AS NEEDED) medicine, such as Albuterol, makes the breathing tubes relax and breathing becomes much easier.

People who have asthma also have swelling of the inside of the breathing tubes that can make them narrow and fill with mucous. This is caused by inflammation, which is a major part of controlling your asthma.

Quick-Relief (AS NEEDED) medicines like Albuterol only relax the breathing tube muscles but don't change the swelling on the inside.

Controller (EVERYDAY) medicines treat the swelling from inflammation and are the most important medicines in asthma. Most controller medicines must be taken everyday to work well.

Controller (EVERYDAY) Medicines

  • Work slowly! to PREVENT asthma symptoms - must be taken EVERY DAY
  • You may not feel it working

Examples of Controller medicines include:

  • Advair ®
  • AeroBid ®
  • Azmacort ®
  • Flovent ®
  • Pulmicort ®
  • QVar ®
  • Singulair ®

Quick-Relief (RESCUE/AS NEEDED) Medicines

  • Work fast! to relax breathing tubes and make it easier to breathe
  • Use as needed when you have cough, wheeze, or difficulty breathing
  • Are only a "quick fix" for asthma
  • Should not be needed everyday - Call your primary care doctor if you need your Quick-Relief (AS NEEDED) medicines more than twice in a week or if you need to use it more than twice in one hour.

Examples of Quick-Relief medicines include:

  • Albuterol ®
  • MaxAir ®
  • Proventil ®
  • Ventolin ®
  • Xopenex ®

Please visit the following links for further asthma education:

Instructions on Using Asthma Inhalers and Spacers

CDC - How to Use An Asthma Inhaler Videos

How to Prime and Clean your Spacer (Aerochamber) and inhaler

How to Use your Spacer (Aerochamber) and Inhaler

Tips for Living with Asthma

American Academy of Allergy & Immunology - Asthma Tips 

American Lung Association - Communicating with Schools about Asthma 

Home Environment Checklist for Asthmatics

10 Steps for Avoiding Asthma Triggers

Asthma Videos