A child of any age with asthma needs a team of attentive parents and health-care providers on his side. Good rapport among all concerned is essential. The specific approaches used for your child will depend upon the frequency and severity of the asthma episodes and the triggers that set it off. Treatment may be needed sporadically or year-round. The most important intervention for asthma may be daily medication that prevents wheezing, not the sporadic treatment of flare-ups.
Several types of medications are prescribed to treat asthma, but patients (or the parents of young children) most clearly understand their specific functions and when and how they should be used.
A fuzzily of medications called bronchodilators-for example, albuterol (Proventil or Ventolin) or team-taline (Brethaire) – immediately relieve wheezing and usually maintain improved airflow for four to six hours. These are usually taken through metered dose inhalers (MDIs), which dispense measured bursts of medication. For very young children as well as older children with more severe asthma, a home nebulizer device may be more appropriate. This converts liquid medication into an aerosol form that is easily inhaled using a facemask or mouthpiece. Because bronchodilators are distantly related to adrenaline, they may cause tremors or rapid heart rate, especially if taken more often than prescribed. (These symptoms are more likely if the pill or syrup forms are used rather than an inhaler.) In children twelve years or older, the inhaled bronchodilator salmeterol (Serevent) may be used for maintenance to prevent attacks, since it is active for up to twelve hours.
However, salmeterol cannot be used to treat an asthma attack.
Because they help asthmatic children feel much better right away, they are frequently use. Repeated doses of this type of medication may cause enough temporary relief. While it is okay, it actually is deteriorating your child if using it for four or five times a day regularly. Asthma is very likely to get out of hand and you should see his doctor about additional treatment. Do not buy and use over-the-counter as a substitute for proper medical care supervision.
Steroids in various forms more directly quiet in the inflammation that underlies the reactive arms response. Your child’s doctor might prescribe a course of oral steroids to bring an intense episode when under rapid control. Long-term oral 5 treatment can pose a major dilemma because of its fixation of lifesaving benefits and major side effects – the same treatment given by inhaler does not risk the side effects. Using a steroid inhaler daily for weeks to months to prevent wheezing will generally be safe, intermittent doses of bronchodilators to stop acute air attacks.
Cromolyn (Intal and other brands) is another for long-term prevention, especially for a child exercise-induced wheezing or a strong allergic comet to his asthma. This medication is given by inhaler. While it is not as potent as a steroid, cromolyn can help minimize wheezing in a child.
Inhalers are usually more effective in children when spacers such as AeroChamber or InspireEase are used with them. A spacer is purchased separately or provided by the physician, and the inhaler canister inserted prior to each use. (One steroid product, Annacomes, comes with a built-in spacer.) These devices eliminate the need for precise coordination of the child’s inhalation and the actuation (firing the puff) of the inhaler. Spacers also prevent larger droplets of medication from being deposited in the mouth and throat. If your child is going to use a chodilator and a steroid and/or cromolyn inhaler at any same time, the bronchodilator should be given firs t because it will open up the airways and allow better distribution of the other medication. Holding the breath for a few seconds after inhaling a puff will help more of it arrive at its destination. Theophylline has been used to treat asthma for and may still be helpful for some children.