Asthma is a chronic respiratory condition that can lead to frightening symptoms and emergency trips to your Denver hospital. This condition is very common among children living in the United States, affecting an estimated 7.1 million individuals under the age of 18, according to the American Lung Association. Of these, 4.1 million suffered from an asthma attack just in the year 2009. During an asthma attack, the airways leading to the lungs become narrowed due to inflammation and mucous production, obstructing the passage of air. This is not only frightening for a child, but can also lead to serious complications and even death if left unmanaged.
Is your child suffering from asthma? In most cases, allergenic triggers or various environmental factors such as dust mites, pollens, cigarette smoke and chilly air are responsible for causing an asthma attack. Exercise, strong emotion, or respiratory infections, such as the flu, are also known to cause asthma exacerbations. Although your child’s breathing may appear normal between attacks, you may notice the following symptoms when asthmatic triggers are present:
- Shortness of breath, coughing, and wheezing that can wake the child at night.
- Gasping for air or having difficulty breathing normally.
- A higher respiratory rate than normal.
- Dark bags under the eyes and chronic fatigue.
- Chest tightness and sucking in of the chest and neck when trying to breathe.
- Life-threatening airway obstruction and breathing problems.
“The optimal care for asthma requires a combination of cares from the patient, family and physician, and involves both preventing episodes (and flare-ups) and then treatment should an exacerbation occur”, explains Dr. Martin Alswang, Swedish Pediatrician.
Although there is no known cure for asthma, an experienced pediatrician can help your child manage the condition effectively. Treatment often involves avoiding triggers, carefully monitoring any developing symptoms and taking prescribed medications as needed.
To find an experienced pediatrician in the Denver area, contact the healthcare professionals at Swedish Medical Center. We understand that children require special attention, treatment and care. Call us at (303) 788-5000 for more information about our comprehensive services for children of all ages.