Pediatric Asthma  – Dr. Connelly – Neighborhood Health Watch

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

– [Narrator] Neighborhood Health Watch is sponsored by the
doctors of HCA Virginia. – Today in Neighborhood
Health Watch, we’re talking about pediatric asthma. It’s not a different disease
from asthma in adults, but for children, it can
cause unique challenges. Pediatric asthma is the primary reason for emergency room
visits, hospitalization, and missed days from school. With proper treatment, though, your child can keep their symptoms under control and also prevent lung damage. Dr. Kevin Connelley is medical director, pediatric ER at Henrico Doctor’s Hospital. And thanks again for joining us again. I wanna start out with a question that sounds a little naive. What is asthma? – So asthma is a chronic lung condition, meaning you have it for a long time. And it’s repeated bouts of wheezing. Now, not everything
that’s wheezing is asthma. But asthma always has wheezing with it. A lot of things can cause wheezing. But asthma is a chronic problem within the lungs, causing
chronic inflammation and swelling within
the tubes of the lungs. – Why are we seeing more
children with asthma? – There are a lot of
reasons kids get asthma because there are a lot of triggers that can cause asthma. Pollen, being around
cigarette smoke, the weather. All these things can
trigger asthma attacks. – And what about the symptoms that a child experiences? Do they disappear as they become adults, or is there, this is lifetime? – It’s typically more
of a lifetime problem. It can improve as you
get older or get worse. And asthma is something
that’s always there. A normal airway is like
a normal, hollow tube. But somebody that has asthma, that tube, the inside
of the tube is swollen all the time. And when they have an asthma attack, the tube gets crunched down. So you not only have the
swelling within the tube, but the tube’s smaller, and that causes air trapping, difficulty breathing, coughing, wheezing. – And talk about some
of the props you brought with you today. These are some of the treatment options. – Exactly, so asthma, since
it’s caused by two things, both the swelling inside the tube and the constriction of the tube, there are medicines such as Albuterol, which comes as an inhaler
or a nebulizer you can do. For little kids, you can do
something called a spacer. You put that on there. You squeeze it. You put it over the child’s mouth, they breathe it in. You can carry it in your purse, you can go to school with it. It’s a great option. And that’s get rid of the
tightness in their lungs. There are other medicines we use to get rid of the swelling in the edema in the lungs. – What is typically the reaction when you tell a parent,
your child has asthma? Is it–
– I often get the question, “Does my child have asthma?” even if they have their
first time wheezing. Wheezing can happen for a lot of reasons. Allergies, viruses can cause it. Now, asthma, somebody that has wheezing over and over and over again. So once they realize
that they have asthma, and they can prevent some of the triggers that set it off, the child can have just a normal life. – So the symptoms don’t, there’s no cure, but you can manage the symptoms.
– Correct, that’s exactly right. – Excellent, Dr. Connelley,
thank you so much for joining us again.
– You’re welcome.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *