Allergies like allergic nose or allergic rhinitis, allergic eye or conjunctivitis, allergic skin or atopic eczema and chest allergies like bronchial asthma are quite common. Almost 15-20% of children suffer from allergies. Some children with allergies and asthma have bothersome symptoms which hampers their daily life, sleep, sports and travel. With proper treatment most children with allergies and asthma can have absolutely normal lives. Patients with asthma have won Olympic races and climbed Mount Everest. Having any allergies or asthma should not stop anyone from achieving any goals in life.
How can asthma affect a child's life?
In children with asthma, the airways in the lungs become inflamed when exposed to certain allergens, triggers or viral infections. Children with asthma can have bothersome daily symptoms that interfere with play, sports, school and sleep. In addition many children with asthma experience "Asthma Attacks" where children develop increased symptoms of cough, wheezing and breathlessness requiring emergency visits and hospital admissions.
Can my child participate in physical activities?
Most children with well controlled asthma can participate in sports and other activities. They should be able to exercise without any symptoms of cough, breathlessness and wheezing. To be able to exercise without any symptoms is an important goal of asthma treatment. Some children with asthma might have occasional symptoms during or after exercise which can be relieved by an inhaler containing a bronchodialtor (medicine which opens up the airways). Guidance to which inhaler and how many puffs should always be supervision of a child Pulmonologist.
Can children with Asthma travel?
Children with asthma having good control can travel anywhere. Asthma should not stop a child from holidays or trips. Care must be taken to continue the preventive inhaler regularly. Reliever inhaler must be available in case the child develops any symptoms. All children or adults with asthma must have an asthma action plan to guide treatment in case of any symptoms.
How can my child live a good life with asthma?
Children with asthma can have a normal life with adequate care. Avoiding triggers and allergens is important. Children with asthma must take their preventive inhalers regularly and should not reduce/stop the medicines without proper medical advice. All children and adults with asthma should have an asthma action plan to know emergency treatment. It is essential that all children with asthma get and follow medical advice and not self treat. Speak to your child Pulmonologist regarding asthma action plans.
In case your child is having any allergies or asthma you need to get in touch with a child chest specialist/pulmonologist or child allergy specialist. Child pulmonologist or allergist will help in proper diagnosis with a lung function test, help identify the allergen with skin prick tests and advise appropriate treatment.