Asthma in Children, Causes, Diagnose of Asthma – Prevent Asthma Attacks

Posted on April 26, 2013 · Posted in General

Anyone who has ever had difficulty in breathing, whether it is from pneumonia, COPD, lung infections, bronchitis, or any other disease that makes breathing difficulty has some empathy for those people who are afflicted with Asthma.  Asthma in children is a disease in which the child has difficulty breathing and has additional symptoms such as wheezing, tightness in the chest, shortness of breath, and coughing.  It’s particularly frightening to children because the inflammation affects the large and small airways in the lungs and the airways become narrowed or even blocked which makes breathing extremely difficult.

Asthma in Children, Causes, Diagnose of Asthma - Prevent Asthma Attacks

Causes of Asthma

There are a number of causes of asthma in children that parents need to be aware of and try to ensure their children avoid these triggers:

  • Respiratory infections – The bacteria, fungus, parasites, and viruses that cause assorted respiratory irritations are very problematic to children with asthma.  These infectious organisms significantly increase the potential asthma attack.
  • Chemical reactions – Many children are susceptible to certain chemicals such as insecticides and assorted cleaners that trigger asthma attacks and parents need to pay attention to the chemicals used around asthmatic children.
  • Allergens – There are a variety of allergens that cause asthma in children, such as pet dander, foods, dust mites, pollens, trees, laundry detergent, soap, and even certain fabrics (probably more from the dyes used in the fabric than the fabric itself).  Parents need to be observant of the assorted items that the child was in contact with when the asthma attack began.
  • Air pollutants – Some asthmatic children have asthma attacks brought on by tobacco smoke, perfumes, hair spray, and even outside air that is heavily polluted.
  • Weather – Changes in the weather due to temperature extremes, humidity, and air quality in the region can cause asthma in children.
  • Emotions – Some children, when they are very upset, can have emotional extremes that cause the onset of an asthma attack.
  • Exercise – For some asthmatic children, different exercises induce asthma attacks, and the amount of exercise certainly has an effect.
  • Medications – Certainly some types of medication bring on asthma attacks as well, be sure to read the contraindications on all medications given to asthmatic children to ensure they are not going to cause an asthma attack.

Tests to Diagnose Asthma

There are a number of tests that physicians used to diagnose asthma in children, such as:

  • Pulmonary Function Tests are performed with a spirometer which is a device that measures the quantity of air that flows into and out of the lungs.  It can also identify blockage if the flow of air is diminished, and if the blockage involves large or small airways.  This is a very easy test where the child takes a breath and breathes into the spirometer as hard and fast as they can.  Then, a reading is taken on the device.  Bronchodilator medication is given to the child and another test on the spirometer is performed and the results indicated.
  • Plethysmography is a test that performs a measurement of the lung capacity and the quantity of air that the lungs can contain.
  • Allergy testing is often performed in conjunction with the breathing tests to determine if an allergen is causing the asthma attack and the difficulty in breathing.
  • Chest X-rays are sometimes done to have better pictures of the lungs to aid the physician in diagnosis of the condition.


There are a number of treatments that are used with children who have asthma, which include:

  • Medications which the children take each day to avoid an asthma attack are called controllers, and include bronchodilators, leukotriene antagonists, corticosteroids, and cromolyns.
  • Medications which provide immediate relief that are called rescue medications and include some bronchodilators and corticosteroids.
  • If the asthma attack is severe, breathing treatments generally must be done at an emergency room with higher doses of a beta-2 agonist and bronchodilators.

Steps to Help Prevent Asthma Attacks

There are several steps that parents can do to help prevent asthma in children:

  1. Understand what causes the asthma attack in the child, and identify and control the triggers.
  2. Pay attention to the symptoms and changes in the child’s breathing patterns, and perform the spirometer measurements when in doubt.
  3. Take all prescribed medications as the physician recommends.
  4. Work with the physician to have a plan to control the symptoms and flare-ups.

Living with Asthma

When parents understand that asthma in children is a disease that can often be controlled, know the triggers that cause the attacks, and have a plan for treatment, it’s much easier to live with asthma when everyone is informed and prepared for attacks.Natural memory enhancer