Tag Archives: Asthma

About children and exercise-induced asthma

If your child has exercise-induced asthma, preventing flare-ups is a big concern. As with asthma triggered by other things, exercise-induced asthma occurs when the main air passages of the lungs, the bronchial tubes, become inflamed. The muscles of the bronchial walls tighten, and cells in the lungs produce extra mucus. This can cause signs and symptoms that range from minor wheezing to severe trouble breathing. But your child doesn’t have to let asthma limit physical activity. In fact, regular exercise strengthens the lungs, making breathing easier for kids with exercise-induced asthma. Taking a few steps to ease symptoms can help your child avoid asthma flare-ups — and get off the sidelines and into the game.

Control asthma first

Before your child participates in sports, be sure that his or her asthma is under control. Controlled asthma means that regular symptoms and flare-ups are rare. If your child is on medication but continues to have symptoms or regular flare-ups, check with your child’s doctor for possible changes to medications or dosages. Work with your doctor to create a detailed asthma action plan.

Treatment to control asthma varies from person to person and is based on symptoms and triggers. Along with avoiding triggers, a typical treatment plan involves a combination of long-acting medications to control the asthma over time and short-acting inhalers for quick relief of symptoms. Many children benefit from using a short-acting bronchodilator such as albuterol about 15 minutes before exercise. Continue reading About children and exercise-induced asthma

About asthma

Asthma occurs when the main air passages of your lungs, the bronchial tubes, become inflamed. The muscles of the bronchial walls tighten, and cells in the lungs produce extra mucus further narrowing your airways. This can cause minor wheezing to severe difficulty in breathing. In some cases, your breathing may be so labored that an asthma attack becomes life-threatening.

Asthma is a chronic but treatable condition. You can manage your condition much like someone manages diabetes or heart disease. You and your doctor can work together to control asthma, reduce the severity and frequency of attacks and help maintain a normal, active life.

Symptoms

Asthma signs and symptoms can range from mild to severe. You may have only occasional asthma episodes with mild, short-lived symptoms such as wheezing. In between episodes you may feel normal and have no difficulty breathing. Some people with asthma have chronic coughing and wheezing punctuated by severe asthma attacks.

Most asthma attacks are preceded by warning signs. Recognizing these warning signs and treating symptoms early can help prevent attacks or keep them from becoming worse.

Warning signs and symptoms of asthma in adults may include: Continue reading About asthma

Allergy Immunotherapy Helps Control Asthma

Oral allergy immunotherapy — in the form of drops or tablets — is effective at reducing asthma symptoms and the need for asthma medications in children who have what’s known as allergic asthma, a new study finds.

The findings bolster hopes that these oral medications might someday replace injections, never a hit with kids.

Commonly known as allergy shots in the United States, allergy immunotherapy works in a manner similar to vaccines — essentially re-educating the body’s immune system so that it doesn’t overreact to harmless substances such as pollen or dust mites. While this therapy can be effective, it’s currently only available via injections in the United States, and usually involves at least one to two shots a week for three to six months, making it a less-than-popular alternative with children.

Oral immunotherapy is available in Europe, but has yet to gain Food and Drug Administration approval in the United States.

The new study reviewed nine studies that looked at the use of so-called sublingual (oral) immunotherapy in children with asthma. A total of 441 kids between the ages of 3 and 18 who had been diagnosed with allergic asthma were included in the studies. Allergic asthma means that asthma symptoms can be triggered by exposure to an allergen, such as dust mites, pollen or mold.

Two hundred and thirty-two children received oral immunotherapy and the remaining 209 got a placebo.

The dosing schedule varied depending on the study and whether drops or tablets were used. Canonica said that during the maintenance phase of immunotherapy, drops or tablets were given three times a week. The average duration of the studies was 12 months. The most common allergen treated was dust mites. Grass mix and pollen were also included in one study each.

The researchers found that those taking sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) had significantly fewer symptoms and needed to take less asthma medication. Not enough of the studies included measurements of lung function for the new study to assess whether SLIT affects lung function significantly.

Additionally, SLIT appeared to be better tolerated than allergy shots. The chances of a severe reaction are less with oral immunotherapy than with the injected type, according to an allergist/immunologist at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.