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NutritionAsthma


some kids with asthma may not wheeze. In addition, there are illnesses other than asthma that may cause wheezing. Other causes of symptoms need to be excluded. Many symptoms of asthma actually mimic other common childhood illnesses. T is often leads to frustration for families waiting for an answer as to why their child always seems to be sick.


What would make me sus- pect my child has asthma? A cough that does not seem to go away is often a fi rst symptom. T e cough may be ongoing throughout the day, or, for some kids, it may occur only when getting up in the morning or at bedtime. Your child may clear her throat often. She may complain that her chest feels heavy or tight. Some kids with asthma become short of breath with activity, and may take several breaks from playing or refrain from active play. Asthma is frequently suspected if your child catches colds often or never seems to clear a cold completely.


Why is asthma so diffi cult to diagnose? T ere is not yet a perfect test available to di- agnose it in young kids. Also, young children often catch colds. Infants may have a cough that may be due to other illnesses. Infants often experience refl ux. T is can cause them to sound congested or cough frequently. Your health care provider needs to take other causes of these symptoms into consideration before diagnosing asthma. T is may be ex- tremely frustrating for parents, but it is a very important step to ensure proper treatment.


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Your health care provider can educate you on reducing asthma symptoms and decreasing the chance for an asthma fl are-up


Are there asthma tests for older kids? A breathing test called a PFT (pulmonary function test) may be performed on a fi ve- year-old. Although the test takes a little practice on the child’s part, it is often viewed as fun and not painful in the least. A person who is skilled at administering a PFT can make it look like a game, so a child performs her absolute best. Basically a PFT involves the child blowing into a tube that measures the amount of air in the lungs. Done three times, the best test of the three is then recorded. If asthma is suspected, the child is given a post test, then a medicine called a bronchodilator, which allows the airways to relax and open up. T e child then takes the PFT after the bronchodilator is allowed to take eff ect. If the PFT shows signifi cant improvement after the bronchodilator, the test is considered positive. Your health care provider can provide the education and medication that may help reduce any asthma symptoms and decrease the chance of an asthma fl are-up.


Which medications for asthma are available? T ere are two main types of medications that are used to treat asthma. T e fi rst type is a bronchodilator, as mentioned.


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