Childhood Asthma Treatment in Alexandria, VA
Asthma is a chronic lung disease that makes it difficult for air to pass through your lungs properly. It can start at any age and nearly 26 million Americans have asthma, 7 million of them being children. Unfortunately, there is no cure of asthma. However, with proper management, people living with asthma can live completely normal and healthy lives without asthma.
The Causes of Asthma
The swollen airways in the lungs become sensitive to certain triggers, and when those triggers enter the body, those airways create extra mucus making it difficult to breathe which leads to asthma attacks, complications and sometimes death. The key is to understand the triggers that cause asthma. Sometimes, you may not even know you have it until you’re exposed to those triggers. This means the environment you live in is a huge cause and risk factor of asthma. Additionally, genetics is a risk factor for asthma.
Signs and Symptoms
You may be wondering if your child has asthma, but unsure if it’s something else. If any of these symptoms occur chronically or only around certain triggers, they may have asthma:
- Tight feeling in the chest
- Shortness of breath
However, it’s very possible a variety of other conditions are causing these symptoms, such as different allergies. Consult with your pediatrician about whether or not your child has asthma.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Your pediatrician will need to conduct tests to diagnose your child. First, they will ask symptoms, medical history, experiences, etc. to get a good sense if asthma is a possibility. After that, the most common test is called a Spirometry, in which the pediatrician will use a device to measure the air flow of the lungs.
Typically, if your child has the above symptoms, has a parent with asthma and also has allergies (including skin allergies), your pediatrician will conduct lung functioning test. After that, usually, a trial period of asthma medication will be given, depending on the results, with a follow-up appointment to monitor the outcome.
ALL Pediatrics Asthma Program
ALL Pediatrics is at the forefront of primary care pediatric asthma management. We offer a comprehensive program that helps children and their parents understand asthma and the medications used for treatment. Advances in medications and management are helping to improve the life of children with a diagnosis of asthma.
ALL Pediatrics follows the national guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of asthma. Our goal is to prevent asthma attacks instead of treating them! Following national guidelines, we encourage patients with a diagnosis of asthma to be seen every three months to assess how their individual asthma plan is working.
Our asthma program includes:
Assessment of asthma history and risk factors
An “Asthma Action Plan” which our asthma nurses and providers work closely with the parents to develop. It outlines the child’s medications, when and how to use them and what to do when symptoms occur.
Assessment of allergy triggers. Our asthma nurses also counsel families on environmental triggers and ways to reduce exposure.
Our asthma nurses provide age appropriate teaching on the use of inhalers and spacers.
Our asthma nurses work closely with the primary care provider to monitor children’s asthma status. Our asthma nurses also perform outreach to families to check on asthma control, perform Asthma Control Tests and answer any questions families may have.
ALL Pediatrics has (4) Certified Nurse Asthma Educators (AE-C) on staff who help to manage asthmatic patients.
If you think your child has asthma, call All Pediatrics at (703) 436-1200 to set up an appointment.