Allergic Asthma: Could Your Child Have It?
It is important to be aware of which type of asthma your child has so that the correct preventative measures can be taken to avoid flare-ups. This article will focus strictly on allergic asthma.
Allergic asthma is the more common of the two types, and is caused by inhaling allergens. An allergen is a substance that the body is sensitive to, and therefore tries to rid the body of by making chemicals called histamines to fight it off. In the process of ridding the body of the allergens, the histamines cause inflammation and irritation to the bronchial passages and lungs, causing asthma symptoms.
Many allergens are encountered in everyday life, and are not bothersome to most people. These can be things like dust, pollen, mold, pet dander, pest droppings, and pollution. Obvious triggers include any known skin and food allergies, but even things like smoke or changes in the weather can cause a flare-up.
It is extremely important to reduce the number of allergens your child comes in contact with by living as cleanly as possible. Make sure all mattress covers, pillowcases, and other washable items are kept on a regular cleaning schedule. Install air filters in the home and invest in reliable pest control.
If you can pinpoint your child’s specific triggers, it will be much easier to keep him or her from having a flare-up and enable the doctor to make a faster diagnosis. Some children are given a bronchodilator or breathing capacity test to see if they have asthma. Having an allergy test or an allergic dermatitis test done will be of great importance in making an actual diagnosis.
It is notable that in recent years, the incidences of asthma have grown predominately in the African-American and Hispanic inner-city communities. The prevalence of city asthma cases is attributed to crowding and closer quarters, where pest droppings are a bigger problem.
Leukotriene modifiers and allergy shots can both be prescribed to treat allergic asthma. Leukotriene modifiers control histamine production, while allergy shots help the body build a tolerance to allergens.
“Just keep an eye on your regular symptoms and keep taking all regular medications. Also remove any animals you may have if they are contributing to the problem – I know that’s a hard one for people,” advised Strunk.