Asthma in Children (cont.)
In this Article
- What makes a child more likely to develop asthma?
- Why are more children getting asthma?
- How can I tell if my child has asthma?
- How is asthma diagnosed in children?
- What is the treatment for asthma in kids?
- What asthma drugs can children take?
- How do I give my child asthma medication?
- How do I know when my child's asthma is well controlled?
- Will my child outgrow asthma?
- What do I do when my child has an asthma attack?
- Find a local Pediatrician in your town
How is asthma diagnosed in children?
Asthma is often difficult to diagnose in infants. However, in older children the disease can often be diagnosed based on your child's medical history, symptoms, and physical exam.
- Medical history and symptom description. Your child's
doctor will be interested in any history of breathing problems you or your
child may have had, as well as a family history of asthma, allergies, a skin
condition called eczema, or other lung disease. It is important that you
describe your child's
symptoms -- cough,wheezing, shortness of breath, chest pain or tightness -- indetail, including when and how often these symptoms have been occurring.
- Physical exam. During the physical examination, the doctor will listen to your child's heart and lungs.
- Tests. Many children will also have a chest X-ray and pulmonary function tests. Also called lung function tests, these tests measure the amount of air in the lungs and how fast it can be exhaled. The results help the doctor determine how severe the asthma is. Generally, children younger than 5 are unable to perform pulmonary function tests. Thus doctors rely heavily on history, symptoms and examination in making the diagnosis.
Other tests may also be ordered to help identify particular asthma triggers. These tests may include allergy skin testing, blood tests and X-rays to determine if sinus infections or gastroesophageal reflux disease (a gastrointestinal condition that causes reflux of acid stomach contents into the esophagus or even into the lungs) is complicating asthma.
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