Asthma is a very common chronic respiratory disease in children, and it can also appear in babies and infants. Find out everything you need to know about her.
The Asthma is a respiratory condition that affects only children, youth and adults. Did you know that babies can suffer it too? It is, as we will see below, a chronic inflammatory disease of the airways, characterized by repeated episodes of bronchial obstruction.
In fact, although it is a respiratory disease that many people suffer in adulthood, there are times when it is also diagnosed at a very early age; so early that childhood asthma can be diagnosed even shortly after the baby is born, depending on the symptoms he has.
In any case, the baby is considered to be asthmatic when a child, less than 2 years old, suffers from more than two acute respiratory conditions in which wheezing, dyspnea and / or cough are heard.
What is the bronchial soul and why does it appear in the baby?
The Asthma is a condition that affects the lungs of the baby. It basically consists of an inflammatory disease of both the lungs and the respiratory tract, which is characterized by being chronic.
As you probably know, the airways are the tubes that carry air to the lungs. When there is asthma, the baby’s airways tend to become irritated and inflamed, which can seriously affect his ability to breathe normally.
For this reason, it is so important to know what the symptoms of asthma attacks in the baby are, to prevent and / or treat them quickly. In fact, did you know that with proper medical treatment and a specific action plan for asthma, most asthmatic children can lead a practically normal life, without major problems?
What are your causes? Why does it appear?
Respiratory allergies are believed to be a direct cause of asthma, as it is estimated that around 80% of children with asthma also have allergies. For example, allergies to dust mites, animal dander, or mold.
There are also other causes that can influence the triggering of symptoms and subsequent disease. For example, viral infections, air pollutants like cigarette smoke, and cold, humid air.
All of these triggers are not a direct cause, but rather tend to make the baby’s asthma worse. Therefore, the following factors should be avoided:
- Humid and cold climates.
- Cigarette smoke.
- Substances that cause allergic reactions.
- Medications such as aspirin or ibuprofen.
Additionally, pet hair can make babies’ asthma worse, as dander on their skin tends to be a direct trigger. However, in this regard, extreme precautions must be taken.
In fact, it is common that, in babies, the first condition that the nursing baby suffers is bronchiolitis, which consists of a viral infection that causes an obstruction of the finest branches of the bronchi (the bronchioles) due to inflammation of the bronchi. Inner layers thereof.
What are the symptoms of asthma in babies?
When a baby has asthma, the airways tend to narrow, making it difficult for him to breathe in as well as to expel air from his lungs. Wheezing is common, consisting of a high-pitched hissing sound during breathing.
A dry cough may also occur, especially in acute episodes, and wheezing is heard again at the end of each coughing attack. Linked to some degree of suffocation (dyspnea).
How is it treated?
When the child is so young, the most common medical treatment – inhaled bronchodilators – tend not to be as effective, which is why it is common to use steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs at first.
However, the key is to find out what factor is triggering asthma attacks in the baby, so that it can be possible to develop a prevention strategy that helps to avoid them. For example, if the trigger is humidity and cold climates, it may be necessary to move and move to a warmer area.
What to do in case of an asthma attack? How to stop it?
There are known quick-relief medications that are used to stop asthma attacks, since they are able to facilitate breathing by relieving spasms of the airways. They are known as inhaled bronchodilators.
In this sense, for example, albuterol (in its most recognized brand, salbutamol), which is administered through an inhaler or a nebulizer, is common. While the inhaler is a small aerosol accompanied by a mask, so that the child inhales the medicine when he breathes through it, the nebulizer is a device that turns the liquid medicine into vapor, which is also inhaled through of a mask.