Asthma is a chronic condition affecting the air passages in the lungs. These airways become narrowed and the linings become irritated, swollen and inflamed. Among those with asthma, the airways are irritated and swollen, even if the indications are not constantly present. The severity and degree of airway inflammation tends to vary over time.
Children with asthma might have symptoms that start or worsen if exposed to indoor substances such as:
- Dust and dust mites
- Pets such as dogs and animals
- Exposure to secondhand cigarette smoke
Children diagnosed with asthma might be sensitive to common cold and other viral infections, chemicals in the air and cold air. Prolonged exposure to these will not only aggravate the symptoms, but also worsen the inflammation of the airways.
Who are at risk for developing asthma?
Asthma is a prevalent respiratory condition in childhood. The number of children diagnosed with the condition is increasing in some countries. The exact cause of this is not exactly known, but increased exposure to allergens and outdoor air pollution are not the usual causes.
In studies conducted, it suggests that how frequently and how soon a child is subjected to certain types of infections and animals have a role in the development of asthma. Children who came from large families, spent a significant time in child care in the first year of life and live with pets are less likely to develop the condition. The early exposure to the common allergens can provide protection against the development of the respiratory condition.
Studies also reveal that the exposure of a child to infections early in life can determine whether he/she develops allergies or asthma. Certain infections are likely to reduce the risk for developing the condition while respiratory syncytial virus increases the risk.
A child with symptoms of asthma that manifest more than twice in a week requires treatment. One of the essential treatments is to manage the primary inflammation of the airways. This is achieved with the help of medications or avoidance of environmental triggers that cause or worsen airway inflammation.
Recognizing the causes and triggers for the condition can reduce or avoid these triggers. This reduces the severity and frequency of the symptoms.