Bronchial asthma has its own characteristics in children of different ages. To help doctors and patients navigate, scientists have identified subtypes of asthma “phenotypes.” They include triggers characteristic of a given subtype – triggering factors.
This classification was invented in order to correctly diagnose and plan treatment tactics in time.
Infants (0-2 years). In young children, the duration of symptoms is the main criterion for the severity of the disease.
- If the child had symptoms of obstruction on most days of the week for the past 3 months and there is no other reason for this (developmental malformation, severe infection), then this confirms the diagnosis of asthma;
- If this is the case, a diagnosis of persistent infantile obstruction is made after careful exclusion of other reasons;
- Children with intermittent symptoms (relapsing episodes) are diagnosed with a severe or mild form of the disease, depending on whether they need to take glucocorticosteroids inside, hospitalizations, etc.;
- An important criterion for asthma at this age is the presence of an allergic background, allergies in the family, allergic diseases associated with it.
Preschoolers (2-5 years). In children of preschool age, the key criterion for asthma is the recurrence of symptoms throughout the last year.
- If there are no symptoms between seizures, and the symptoms in most cases occur after a cold, this is a virus-induced bronchial asthma;
- In this age group, viruses are the most frequent triggers;
- There may be bronchial asthma associated with physical exertion;
- Allergic aggravation is an important criterion of asthma;
- Important: Atopy is a risk factor for bronchial asthma, regardless of whether the role of allergens has been proven as triggers of BOS;
- If it is not possible to identify allergens that play the role of a trigger. With a certain caution this phenotype should be characterized as non-allergic bronchial asthma;
- However, this may mean that a causal allergen has not yet been detected.
Schoolchildren (6-12 years).
- Allergen-induced bronchial asthma is detected more often and becomes more obvious, that is, exacerbations are more often associated with the action of allergens (including seasonality of exacerbations);
- Virus-induced bronchial asthma remains a common form of the disease, but it is necessary to detect allergic complications
Teenagers. Atopic bronchial asthma can first appear in adolescence.
- In adolescents, non-atopic bronchial asthma may also develop for the first time;
- In this age group, there may be additional problems in choosing the tactics of reference;
- Many adolescents resist regular medication and any lifestyle restrictions; often teenagers smoke.