Features of Asthma in Children
Asthma in children has its own characteristics. In the vast majority of cases, childhood asthma is an allergic disease, but an important feature of this disease is that exacerbations trigger infections: so-called virus-induced obstruction or virus-induced asthma.
In international documents (PRACTALL, GINA), virus-induced asthma is isolated into a separate type (or “phenotype”) of asthma, but such asthma remains an allergic disease. This allergic disease occurs on a background of a virus infection.
How is bronchial asthma diagnosed in children?
There are no specific symptoms, analysis, functional tests, so the diagnosis is made on the basis of a combination of clinical signs.
Why then is asthma diagnosed if this diagnosis is not accurate?
- An effective treatment of bronchial asthma makes it possible to achieve control and even remission.
- The earlier the disease is revealed, the earlier treatment is started, the more effective it will be, and the less the amount of therapy will be required.
- -Spasm of bronchial tubes and respiratory failure are a dangerous state of health, so do not neglect treatment.
That’s why doctors all over the world pay so much attention to the early diagnosis of bronchial asthma.
What predisposes to bronchial asthma?
- family history of allergies / asthma (in 90% of asthmatics, one or both parents have allergic diseases);
- male gender of the child;
- artificial breastfeeding or breastfeeding for less than 3 months;
- smoking during pregnancy and direct contact of the child with tobacco smoke;
- mother’s age is less than 20 years;
- atopic dermatitis, allergic rhinitis in the child;
- early exposure to adverse environmental factors;
- chronic pertussis or pneumonia.
What are the signs of asthma in children?
- restless sleep, apnea;
- prolonged cough after a previous infection.
Additional symptoms in children under 2 years:
- noisy breathing;
- vomiting associated with a cough;
- difficulty in sucking breasts.
Symptoms in children older than 2 years:
- decreased physical activity.
Important: the symptoms should be repeated. Single obstruction is not asthma!
How to distinguish severe ARVI from bronchial asthma?
If a child has the following risk factors, the most likely he is having bronchial asthma and you need to choose therapy:
- allergic parents;
- presence of other allergic diseases, atopic dermatitis;
- age over 2 years.
If the child has the following risk factors, most likely he is NOT having bronchial asthma, but he requires monitoring:
- no allergic parents;
- no other allergic diseases;
- the examination did not reveal an allergy;
- obstruction occurs only on the background of a viral infection;
- the age under 2 years.