Asthma is a very common problem in young children which is highly under-diagnosed. It is believed that around 10% of children have asthma.
The symptoms of asthma in children are different from adults. One common symptom is persistent cough especially at night and after exercise. The other usual manifestation of asthma is recurrent episodes of cough and wheezing many times in a year. Most children get frequent nebulizations which improves the symptoms but the symptoms recur after an interval of few days. Some children can have some cough especially on exercise even during the so called well periods. Some children especially adolescents can have difficulty in breathing, tightness in the chest, chest pain and feeling of some whistling sound from the chest. It is important to remember that some children can have one or two of the above mentioned symptoms only.
Severity of asthma can also be variable. Some children will have episodes only 1-2 times per year others can have more episodes. Some children will have problems only during a season while some can have symptoms throughout the year.
Most children are not properly diagnosed. Proper diagnosis is important since it would lead to good control of symptoms.