Symptoms of Asthma in Infants
Asthma is a disease in which the airways swell or get blocked. It is a chronic inflammatory disease and is very common. A major challenge is to find out if your baby has asthma especially because it has not grown enough to describe. About 6 million children with asthma develop symptoms before the age of 6 and many begin wheezing before they turn 1 year old. It is important to detect infant asthma because if left untreated, inflammation can cause unending damage to the lungs of the infant.
[Read: Nutritional Therapy for Asthma]
Detecting infant asthma is not easy because infant asthma symptoms can be subtle to an extent that you may not expect it. Because your infant can't describe to you or your doctor how he or she is feeling, your doctor will rely on your account of the symptoms and actions of the baby. Furthermore, your doctor will also consider a family history of asthma to decide whether your baby has infant asthma. In the case of a severe asthma attack, a person may need emergency treatment to restore normal breathing.
What Are The Symptoms of Infant Asthma?
Just as in adults, infant asthma symptoms can vary from child to child. In infant asthma, babies may have some of the adult asthma symptoms described below. Furthermore, poor feeding, sweating or uncomfortable appearance may be symptoms of infant asthma.
Common adult asthma symptoms include:
- Chest tightness.
- Shortness of breath.
Your doctor may also ask you about the following when looking forward to an infant asthma diagnosis:
- In infants, wheezing after an upper respiratory tract infection increases the chances of having infant asthma.
- Night time cough.
- Wheezing occurs after exposure to allergens.
- Exposure to tobacco smoke before or after birth.
- Wheezing or panting during normal activities.
- Difficulty with sucking or eating that leads to a refusal to eat.
- Breathlessness and chest tightness.
- Pale skin.
- Blue lips or fingernails.
- Looking exhausted.
When your infant wheezes, be sure you have your child evaluated to make sure they do not have infant asthma.
How is Asthma Treated in Very Young Children?
Medications to treat asthma symptoms in infants are usually given in a tasty liquid form or with a nebulizer. A nebulizer is a small machine that uses forced air to create a "medication mist" for the baby to breath through a small face mask. Nebulizer treatments take about 10 minutes and are given a number of times each day until symptoms decline. Although, a nebulizer treatment is gentle, babies and young children often are frightened by the mask and resist the treatment at first.
- Make an asthma care management plan with your child's physician.
- Exercise an emergency plan of action to follow if your child has a serious asthma situation.
- Get regular check-ups of your child.
- Know your child’s medications and how to use them.
- Trigger Ignorance.
- Make sure your child gets treated for any breathing problems.
- Avoid any extreme asthmatic situation from taking place.
Read more articles on Asthma Signs and Symptoms.
Source: Onlymyhealth editorial team Jan 20, 2012
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