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Know The Signs Of Childhood Asthma

Asthma is one of many conditions for which no cure exists. While the condition can be managed and plenty of people can live a full life regardless of the respiratory condition, a positive outcome is only possible with proactive medical care. While adults can easily explain asthma symptoms to physicians, children might not be able to easily explain some of the stereotypical signs and symptoms to parents or a caregiver. So, parents need to be aware of the common signs that a child might have asthma.

center for family medicine How Can I Tell If My Child Has Asthma? 4 Signs & Symptoms

1. Shortness of breath

Alone, shortness of breath isn’t an automatic indicator that a child has asthma. However, when viewed in conjunction with some of the other symptoms listed, asthma can be a likely diagnosis. If parents notice that a child is frequently short of breath for no obvious reason, such as a child just finishing running and playing, a trip to the doctor may be in order. A severe case of shortness of breath should be treated at an emergency room.

2. Wheezing sounds and persistent coughs

An occasional stuffy nose can lead to some noisy breathing. But wheezing associated with asthma is distinctive. With asthma, the wheezing can sound anywhere from a high-pitched soft whine to a whistling noise. The sound is most audible when a child exhales. While occasional coughing is normal, a persistent cough can be a sign of respiratory problems. If a child struggles with a persistent cough, especially after recovering from a respiratory illness like a cold or the flu, asthma may be the culprit. Likewise, frequent coughing spells during play and exercise can also be an indicator of asthma.

3. Low energy

Not being able to breathe properly makes everyday tasks harder. Children struggling with breathing problems may exhibit low energy or lethargy. Asthma often is worse at night and can impact sleep. Unsurprisingly, poor sleep can lead to low energy or difficulty focusing during the day. Also, difficulty sleeping at night can serve as an indication that a child is struggling with asthma. Persistent fatigue, coupled with the other symptoms mentioned, is a strong indication that a child may be struggling with asthma.

4. Tightness of the chest

Chest tightness is one of the most common symptoms associated with asthma across all age groups. Younger children might not properly explain the feeling and may instead mention feeling funny or hurting in the chest. Coupled with shortness of breath, labored breathing, or frequent coughing fits, parents should speak with a physician to have a child properly diagnosed with asthma.

Learning to manage asthma

For some people, asthma requires consistent medication and awareness of potential triggers that might lead to an asthma attack. For others, asthma only requires the occasional use of an inhaler for rare flare-ups. But to get to a point where asthma is well-controlled, parents need to be proactive about speaking to a pediatrician if a child presents with any of the symptoms associated with the disease.

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