Children with good asthma control can take part in normal childhood activities and participate better in school. Make your asthma control your goal!
What is Asthma?
Asthma is a chronic disease of the airways in the lungs. Chronic means that the inside of the airways are always a little swollen and sensitive. Asthma symptoms happen when the inside of the airways become more sensitive, swollen and make extra mucous. Muscles around the outside of the airways tighten and cause more asthma symptoms. Common things that trigger asthma include colds, tobacco smoke and allergies. There is no cure for asthma, but it can be controlled.
What are Asthma symptoms?
- Wheeze (whistling noise in the chest)
- Feeling short of breath
- Chest tightness
Asthma may seem mild. Having any of these symptoms at night, during or after exercise, even once a week, is not normal and should be discussed with your doctor.
Why is Asthma Control Important?
Children with good asthma control:
- can take part in normal childhood activities and participate better in school.
- have fewer and less severe asthma flare-ups.
- have less severe asthma problems during colds or when exposed to other triggers such as pollens or smoke.
- have less anxiety about asthma.
- feel more confident being as active as other children.
- have less “scarring” in the lungs that occurs with poor asthma control.
GOOD ASTHMA CONTROL IS:
- Normal Activity
- Normal Sleep
- No daytime asthma symptoms
- No need for Reliever medicine
- No emergency visits for asthma
- No missed school or daycare for asthma
Asthma Action Plans
An Asthma Action Plan tells you what to do when asthma is under control and what to do when asthma problems start. Every child with asthma should have a written Asthma Action Plan. An Asthma Action Plan should be reviewed with your doctor or health care provider every six months.
Tips for Achieving Good Control
- Ask your doctor for an Asthma Action Plan.
- Know what asthma medicines do. Learn how to use them properly.
- Watch for signs of worsening asthma.
- Early Signs of worsening asthma:
- Cold symptoms (runny nose, sore throat, cough)
- Cough at night or early morning
- Problems during or after exercise
- Needing Reliever medicine
- Coughing or being short of breath during normal activity
- Know your asthma triggers and stay away from them.
- Follow up with a regular doctor at least twice a year even if the asthma is under control.
- Check to see if asthma education is available in your area. An Asthma Educator can help you learn to keep your child’s asthma under control.