My son is currently on medication of what seems to me as an acute form of Asthma. He must be given 2 puffs of the inhaler medicine in the morning and 2 puffs again in the evening. He is just 1 yr and 2 months old so he needs a babyhaler, luckily my husband-in-law has a used one so they offered us to borrow it.
Along side this medication process I have not stopped praying that someday my son would overcome this and it will just be cured completely. I have also started researching about Asthma, I want to better understand how to treat it, manage it, ultimately, control asthma.
But first I have to know is, what is asthma?
Asthma is an inflammatory disease of the lungs and its airways. It affects adults and children alike, but asthma in children is different, explains Dr. Agnes Sebastian-Sanchez, pediatric pulmonologist at the Victor R. Potenciano Medical Center and the Healthway Medical Clinics (both in the Philippines). “Children have smaller airways so the symptoms are exaggerated, particularly in younger kids.”
Asthma is a chronic condition characterized by acute attacks. These attacks are caused by hyperreactive airways, which produce increased mucus, then subsequently tighten and narrow, causing airway obstruction. All these bring about the common asthma symptoms of coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath.
But what exactly causes the airways to hyperreact? There are numerous asthma triggers and each individual has his own particular trigger. That is why there has been various tests that has been conducted by his pediatrician so that they can identify the trigger. Once it is identified, you can begin to avoid or limit your exposure to them.
Dr. Rommel Tipones, adult pulmonologist at the National Kidney and Transplant Institute in the Philippines and the Healthway Medical Clinics, shares these handy tools for controlling asthma triggers.
* Quit smoking. Ban smoking inside your home.
* Keep furry pets out of your home.
* Keep doors and windows closed to control the entry of outdoor allergens.
Air-conditioning, although expensive, will help.
* Remove stuffed animals, carpeting, curtains, or anything that collects dust, from
the bedroom. Cover your mattresses and pillows with airtight covers.
* Get a flu shot each year. These are safe for adults and children over 3.
Treatment programs are usually individualized because each person’s asthma is different. What works for your friend might not work for you. It is the doctor’s important decision to choose the right medication at the right dose for your particular asthma.
After you have been prescribed asthma medicine, see your doctor even when you feel well. Regular checkups can help your doctor ascertain if the medicine is working well for you. “Generally, improvement should be seen within a month of starting treatment,” Tipones points out. It is vital for your doctor to know if:
* You are taking more than the usual recommended dose.
* You have symptoms at night and have trouble sleeping.
* Your daytime symptoms are increasing.
These things signal that your treatment program is not working, and a change of medication or additional medicine might be needed.
Asthma and you
Finally, successful asthma management relies heavily on you as the patient. Everyone with asthma has a responsibility to learn everything about the condition.
Know your symptoms and what to do about them. During an attack, knowing the signals that precede it is vital, especially in young children, who usually can’t report what they feel. Your job as a parent is to spot those early signs to ward off a severe attack. Be alert for cough especially at night, noisy, irregular breathing, wheezing, flaring nostrils and pursed-lip breathing.
Discover what your triggers are and work hard to avoid or control them.
Complete control of all your triggers is impossible, but you can decrease the frequency and severity of attacks. For instance, those with exercise-induced asthma need not curb their sports activities; they may be advised to take medication instead before engaging in strenuous activity.
Swimming has long been touted as the best exercise for asthmatics. Sebastian-Sanchez says, “Children can benefit from swimming because it teaches proper breathing techniques and there are less environmental triggers associated with it.”
Take your med exactly as prescribed, even when you feel well. With controller medicine, the effects are not evident immediately. It takes a few weeks for them to work. For this reason, some people discontinue medication because they deem it unnecessary or see no attack forthcoming.
To control your asthma continuously and permanently, you must adhere to the treatment exactly as the doctor recommends. “Asthma management requires a partnership between the patient, his family and their doctor,” Sebastian-Sanchez stresses. Asthma can last a lifetime and can even be life threatening, but if you manage it properly, it is almost always controllable.
What ever happens in life we should always remember to live life to the fullest!