Childhood Asthma

Monday, April 02, 2012

Few events are more frightening for parents than watching their child have an asthma attack. Yet asthma is the most common chronic childhood disease. In todays 60 Second Housecall, Dr. Edward Hill gives us some facts about childhood asthma.

Dr. Hill:

Asthma is a long-term disease of the respiratory system caused by inflammation in the bronchial tubes that carry air to the lungs.

The airways overreact to allergens or to smoke, cold air or other environmental factors, causing the airways to narrow.

No one really knows why more and more children are developing asthma. Some experts suggest that children are being exposed to more and more allergens such as dust, air pollution and second-hand smoke. Others suspect that children today have weaker immune systems. And still others suggest that decreasing rates of breastfeeding play a role.

Signs and symptoms to look for include:

Frequent coughing spells

Rapid breathing

Complaint of chest tightness

Whistling sound when breathing in or out

Shortness of breath, loss of breath, and,

Feelings of weakness or tiredness

Treatment involves avoiding factors that increase inflammation and taking medication to control it.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.