How Can Asthma Be Controlled? – The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (3 of 4)
28
August

By Adem Lewis / in , , , , , , /


>>THE GOOD NEWS IS THAT ASTHMA
IS EASY TO CONTROL AND YOU HAVE THE ABILITY TO TAKE CHARGE,
TAKE CONTROL OF ASTHMA, AND BY DOING SO, YOUR CHILD
WILL BE ABLE TO DO EVERYTHING THAT A NORMAL CHILD CAN DO.>>THERE ARE TWO WAYS TO CONTROL
ASTHMA. ONE IS TO CONTROL THE ENVIRONMENT,
THAT IS, THE ASTHMA TRIGGERS FOR THE CHILD WITH ASTHMA. AND THE OTHER IS TO STAY ON
A DAILY MEDICINE REGIMENT. ASTHMA TRIGGERS ARE THINGS
THAT MAKE ASTHMA FLARES OCCUR.>>THE THREE BASIC GROUPS
OF ASTHMA TRIGGERS INCLUDE COLD VIRUSES, ALLERGY TRIGGERS THAT
CAN BE INSIDE OR OUTSIDE THE HOUSE, AND IRRITANTS LIKE CIGARETTE SMOKE.>>SO, IF A CHILD HAS DUST AS
ONE OF THE THINGS THAT TRIGGERS THEIR ASTHMA OR TOBACCO SMOKE,
THE WAY WE CONTROL IT IS KEEPING THEM FROM THAT ENVIRONMENT.>>WITH THEIR ASTHMA DOCTOR
OR CLINICIAN, THEY SHOULD IDENTIFY THE THINGS
THAT CREATE INFLAMMATION IN THE PATIENT’S ENVIRONMENT
AND HOME.>>WE TOOK UP THE CARPETS
IN HIS BEDROOM. WE GOT RID OF ALL THE FUZZY
THINGS AROUND HIS ROOM, AND WE USUALLY CLEAN HIS ROOM
WITH WHITE VINEGAR AND WATER.>>IF THE CHILD’S SYMPTOMS
CONTINUE AFTER AVOIDING ALL THE KNOWN ASTHMA TRIGGERS,
IT’S IMPORTANT TO SEE YOUR DOCTOR ABOUT A DAILY MEDICATION. THIS DAILY MEDICATION IS CALLED
“CONTROLLER MEDICINE.”>>THERE ARE TWO TYPES
OF ASTHMA MEDICINES– QUICK-RELIEF
AND CONTROLLER MEDICINES. QUICK-RELIEF MEDICINES,
SUCH AS ALBUTEROL, RELAX TIGHTENED MUSCLES
IN THE AIRWAYS DURING A FLARE. QUICK-RELIEF MEDICINES SHOULD
BE TAKEN ONLY AS NEEDED FOR ASTHMA SYMPTOMS. IF A CHILD NEEDS TO TAKE
QUICK-RELIEF MEDICINES REGULARLY, IT IS A SIGN THAT THE ASTHMA
IS NOT UNDER GOOD CONTROL. CONTROLLER MEDICINES,
SUCH AS INHALED STEROIDS, HELP REDUCE SWELLING, ALSO KNOWN
AS INFLAMMATION, IN THE LUNG. CONTROLLER MEDICINE SHOULD BE
TAKEN EVERY DAY TO REDUCE SYMPTOMS AND PREVENT FLARES.>>YOU CAN’T TAKE YOUR
MEDICATION WHEN YOU’RE JUST HAVING SYMPTOMS, YOU KNOW. I THINK YOU WAITED TOO LATE THEN.>>IT’S VERY IMPORTANT THAT YOU
TAKE THE MEDICINES EVERY DAY WHETHER THE CHILD HAS SYMPTOMS
OR NOT.>>WHEN I DON’T TAKE
MY MEDICATIONS EVERY MORNING AND EVERY NIGHT, I CAN’T
REALLY DO MY GYMNASTICS AS GOOD. I GET TIRED.>>PATIENTS SHOULD INCORPORATE
THEIR DAILY STEROID OR CONTROLLER MEDICINES INTO
THEIR DAILY LIVES JUST AS THEY BRUSH THEIR TEETH OR CHANGE
THEIR CLOTHES EVERY DAY. THAT’S THE KEY TO SUCCESS
IN USING THESE MEDICINES.>>THE CONTROLLER MEDICINES
ARE STEROIDS. WHEN PARENTS HEAR THAT THEIR
CHILDREN WILL BE ON STEROIDS EVERY DAY, THEY’RE CONCERNED
ABOUT SEVERAL THINGS.>>STEROIDS–AT FIRST THEY DID
CONCERN ME. BECAUSE, I GUESS, AS A NATURAL
REACTION YOU HEAR STEROIDS AND IT DEFINITELY–
IT ALARMS YOU.>>THE STEROIDS THAT WE
USE ARE NATURAL PRODUCTS OF YOUR ADRENAL GLANDS. THEY’RE A NORMAL PART
OF THE CHEMICALS THAT YOUR BODY PRODUCES.>>THE MOST IMPORTANT CONCERNS
SEEM TO BE ABOUT GROWTH.>>HOWEVER, THERE’S A NUMBER
OF STUDIES NOW THAT SHOW THAT CHILDREN WITH ASTHMA WHO USE
INHALED STEROIDS FOR MANY, MANY YEARS DEVELOP AND ACHIEVE
THE FULL GROWTH POTENTIAL THAT THEY WOULD HAVE ACHIEVED HAD
THEY NOT GOTTEN INHALED STEROIDS.>>MANY PEOPLE ARE CONCERNED
THAT TAKING MEDICINES FOR THEIR ASTHMA WILL MAKE THEM DEPENDENT
ON THOSE MEDICINES OR THAT, IF THEY USE THEM REGULARLY
OR EVERY DAY, THAT THEY MAY NOT WORK AS WELL.>>BUT THIS REALLY ISN’T THE CASE. THERE ARE A NUMBER OF STUDIES
THAT SHOW THAT ASTHMA MEDICINES WORK BETTER IF YOU TAKE
THEM EVERY DAY, AND THEY DON’T LOSE THEIR
EFFECTIVENESS OVER TIME.>>I’VE SEEN MY CHILD VERY,
VERY SICK, AND I REALIZE THAT HE NEEDS THESE MEDICATIONS. AND IT’S JUST LIKE ANY OTHER
TYPE OF ILLNESS. IF YOU HAVE MEDICATION THAT CAN
HELP YOUR CHILD, YOU HAVE TO GIVE THE MEDICATION.>>FAMILIES NEED TO KNOW THE
FACTS ABOUT CONTROLLER MEDICINES. THESE MEDICINES ARE SAFE
AND WORK THROUGH NATURAL WAYS THAT THE BODY HEALS SWELLING
AND INFLAMMATION. THEY USE LOW DOSES DELIVERED
DIRECTLY TO THE AIRWAYS WHERE ASTHMA OCCURS. CONTROLLER MEDICINES HAVE
BEEN SHOWN TO PREVENT FLARES AND EMERGENCY VISITS AND REDUCE
SYMPTOMS FOR CHILDREN WITH ASTHMA. IN ORDER TO WORK BEST,
CONTROLLER MEDICINES MUST BE TAKEN EVERY DAY. CHILDREN RECEIVING CONTROLLER
MEDICINES DO NEED TO SEE A DOCTOR REGULARLY
TO MAKE SURE THE DOSE AND TYPE OF CONTROLLER MEDICINE
ARE RIGHT FOR THE CHILD.>>WELL, IF YOU EVER END UP
IN THE EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT, IT’S VERY IMPORTANT THAT AFTER
THAT EXPERIENCE YOU MAKE AN APPOINTMENT WITH YOUR FAMILY
DOCTOR, GO TO THE DOCTOR, AND GET SOME KIND OF COURSE OF
ACTION, SOME TYPE OF PLAN IN PLACE.>>THE ASTHMA MANAGEMENT PLAN
IS A WRITTEN WAY FOR YOU TO KNOW WHEN TO USE YOUR CHILD’S
ASTHMA MEDICATIONS.>>IF YOUR CHILD HAS NOT HAD AN
ASTHMA MANAGEMENT PLAN UNTIL NOW, IT’S TIME TO MAKE ONE
WITH YOUR DOCTOR.>>NO ONE WANTS TO KEEP
GOING BACK AND FORTH TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM. THAT’S NO WAY TO TREAT ASTHMA. THE BEST WAY THOUGH TREAT ASTHMA
IS TO TAKE MORE OF A PROACTIVE APPROACH INSTEAD OF A REACTIVE
APPROACH. IF YOU WAIT FOR THE SYMPTOMS
TO OCCUR, A LOT OF TIMES YOU END UP WITH YOUR CHILD
BEING SICK UNNECESSARILY.>>YOU DON’T WANT
TO GO THROUGH THAT. YOU WANT TO CATCH IT SOON.>>THE KEY IS CONSISTENCY–
MEDICATION AND CONSISTENCY.>>REMEMBER, THERE ARE SEVERAL
STEPS TO CONTROLLING ASTHMA. SINCE EACH CHILD IS DIFFERENT,
IT IS IMPORTANT TO MAKE REGULAR OFFICE VISITS TO ACCESS WHAT
THE TRIGGERS OF ASTHMA ARE AND HOW TO AVOID THEM. MANY CHILDREN WITH ASTHMA NEED
TO HAVE TAKE DAILY CONTROLLER MEDICINES, WHICH ARE SAFE AND
EFFECTIVE WHEN TAKEN CORRECTLY. EVERY CHILD WITH ASTHMA SHOULD
ALSO HAVE A WRITTEN CARE PLAN THAT GUIDES THE FAMILY ON WHAT
TO DO TO TREAT ASTHMA EVERY DAY. YOU AND YOUR DOCTOR SHOULD
DISCUSS THE RIGHT WAY TO CONTROL ASTHMA FOR YOUR CHILD.


One thought on “How Can Asthma Be Controlled? – The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (3 of 4)

  1. This looks great. Do you mind if we share this link with our patients at Stony Brook Children's? I'm a pediatric pulmonologist there. Thanks- Kate Kevill

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