Asthma is a chronic respiratory condition that can cause breathing problems and limit the activities of your child. With the help of our PAA providers, children in the Austin, TX area can receive treatment for asthma helping to prevent without major disruption to their active lives.
Asthma is a common chronic childhood disease that needs to be well-managed to achieve adequate lung function. When a child experiences an asthma exacerbation, the airways in their lungs become inflamed or narrowed. This makes it hard to breathe, especially during an asthma attack.
Asthma is worsened by triggers which can be weather changes, illness, physical activity, exercise, exposure to cigarette smoke, or stress. Asthma can also be triggered by allergies such as to pollen, dust, mold and other environmental allergens. When exposed to an allergen, the child’s immune system fights back, resulting in swelling in the nose, throat, lungs and/or sinuses.
When asthma is not properly managed, lung function can deteriorate, leading to decreased physical activity and stamina, increase in school absences, and psychosocial problems. All these factors are especially important in a developing child.
Thankfully, asthma can be easily treated so that your child can continue to have an active lifestyle. The best first treatment for asthma is to identify triggers and learn how to avoid them. One of the ways we can do this is through allergy testing. Next, we recommend medications, such as an inhaler to help with acute asthma symptoms, including wheezing, chronic cough, and tightness in the chest.
If asthma symptoms are persistent, we prescribe medication to prevent asthma exacerbations. Some children only need these medications for a few months each year, and others need treatment year around. In many children, we see asthma improve with age; though some may end up needing treatment lifelong.
Because asthma is a chronic problem, we discuss asthma management twice yearly. One discussion will occur with your primary care provider at the annual well child exam. The other discussion typically occurs at an asthma consult visit, conducted by one of our Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (CPNP’s) or Certified Physician Assistants (PA-C's). Asthma education visits include extensive history, physical examination, and incentive spirometry (a diagnostic study used to determine lung capacity). We also discuss asthma exacerbation preventative measures and compile an asthma action plan. Appointments can be scheduled by calling PAA. Though education at well-child exams and in asthma consult visits, we strive to provide excellent care, enabling our patients to lead a symptom-free, active lifestyle.