How To Diagnose Asthma In Children, Before It Attacks?
Diploma in Child Health (DCH), MBBS
27 years experience
How to diagnose asthma in children
Asthma in children under the age of 5 is a matter of concern. It is not a rare disease and early diagnosis is important. Common signs of asthma in children are:
1. Recurring bronchitis
3. Discomfort in the chest
5. Trouble breathing
While some children have persistent yet mild symptoms, some children have severe attacks at times. Seasonal allergies and smoke make the symptoms worse.
What to notice?
While feeding an infant, if you notice that your child is facing shortness of breath, it might be a symptom of asthma. In a toddler, if your notice a decreased desire to run and play, or easy fatigue, then this could be a symptom of asthma. Asthma attacks for many children under the age of 5 are worsened when they catch cold or have any other respiratory infections. All these, if noticed should not be ignored and your child's pediatrician should be consulted.
The above mentioned symptoms were mild. Some children have it worse and the attacks can be life-threatening, needing immediate treatment. If your child is under the age of 5 and you see them doing one of the following, contact emergency services immediately:
1. Trouble in speaking because they have restricted breathing
2. When they are breathing in, the effort is so much that the abdomen is getting sucked in
3. Gasping for air.
Diagnosing asthma in a child can be tricky as symptoms like coughing, wheezing, etc can be for other conditions also. Once a child is a little older and if the symptoms persist, breathing and lung function tests are taken to gauge the situation.
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