The Asthma Zone
What is asthma?
Asthma is a recurrent breathing problem caused by swelling (inflammation) of the airways.
People with asthma have unusually sensitive airways to certain irritants or “triggers.” An asthma trigger can be something your child is allergic to such as pollen, molds, animal dander, cockroaches, or house dust. A trigger can also be an irritant such as tobacco smoke, strong smells, air pollution, changes in weather or temperature, exercise, cold air, or a viral infection such as a cold.
Asthma does not go away when your child is not having symptoms. The airways may still be or have the potential to become inflamed. Your child needs to have a treatment plan for his/her asthma and close follow-up by your healthcare provider.
How is asthma diagnosed?
The following may suggest the diagnosis of asthma:
- Recurrent respiratory symptoms that respond somewhat or completely to asthma medicines
- A family history of asthma
- A family history of food or more significantly environmental allergies
- A family history of eczema (dry, itchy, red skin)
- Wheezing or asthma-like symptoms unrelated to an illness
- A personal history of food or more significantly environmental allergies
- A personal history of moderate to severe eczema
- A personal history of documented allergies by blood or skin testing
- A personal history of asthma-like symptoms that persist beyond age six
- A personal history of allergy induced respiratory symptoms