What is asthma?
a chronic inflammatory disease of the airways.
things happen when you have asthma:
of the airways lining cause airways to become narrow
What causes asthma?
and environmental factors play a significant role in making airways very
sensitive to allergens.
known factors are:
to cigarette smoke
and indoor air pollution such as dust mites, pet dander, pollen and mold
viral infections at a very young age
changes or extreme temperature change
asthma occurs with no apparent triggers
What are the risk factors?
that may increase your child's likelihood of developing asthma are:
to tobacco smoke
allergic reactions, including skin reactions, food allergies or hay fever
family history of asthma, allergic rhinitis, or eczema
Is there a test to diagnose asthma?
is a clinical diagnosis which means it is diagnosed based on obtaining a
thorough medical history, a lung examination, and a breathing test (depending
on the child’s age).
6 years of age and older undergo a breathing test that measures lung function –
the measurement of how quickly and how much air your child can breathe out in a
breathing test helps diagnose but a diagnosis does not solely depend on test
is a reversible disease and it is possible to have a normal breathing test in
between the episodes of asthma exacerbation.
diagnosis and proper treatment can prevent interferences with daily activities
such as sleep, play, sports, and school.
are triggering asthma:
testing can be done.
How do you treat it?
of asthma treatment is to keep symptoms under control all of the time. If your
child has well-controlled asthma, he/she will have:
or no symptoms.
or no asthma flare-ups.
limitations on physical activities or exercise.
use of quick-relief (rescue) inhalers or nebulizer, such as albuterol.
Treatment of asthma involves:
symptoms through long-term daily control medications which help reduce the
inflammation and mucus production in airways
asthma attacks with quick-relief medications which open swollen airways so that
your child can breathe easily.
medications – use of oral and nasal spray to control allergies.
Can you prevent asthma?
asthma triggers are the best ways to prevent asthma attacks. Avoiding triggers
such as tobacco smoke during infancy, an avoidable strong risk factor for
childhood asthma, can help prevent a child from developing this respiratory
my child outgrow asthma?
This is a very
individualized question. Some asthma improves over a period of time during
adolescence and young adulthood. Some children only have their symptoms go away
for a short period of time. Other children may never outgrow their asthma.
Also, children with more severe asthma are less likely to outgrow it.
children with asthma participate in sports?
Asthmatic children can play sports as
long as their asthma is well controlled.
asthma cause complications?
may cause a number of complications, including:
asthma attacks can lead to low oxygen in blood, respiratory failure and air
narrowing of the airways (bronchial tubes) leading to abnormal lung function
school days and getting behind in school
sleep and chronic fatigue and irritable behavior
with sports or other routine activities with poorly controlled asthmatics
Can asthma be cured?
can't be cured, but you can keep symptoms at a minimum by using a written
asthma action plan you develop with your child's doctor to track symptoms so
that treatment can be adjusted.
wheezing during early childhood or having eczema or hay fever, are clues that
your child may develop or have asthma that's likely to persist into adolescence
and adulthood. It is important to develop a written asthma action plan with the
help of your doctor, so you can track the occurrences and severity of the onset
of symptoms or attacks.
be life threatening. If a child is unable to speak in full sentences, and is
confused and/or weak, or his or her skin is turning blue or grey, seek
IMMEDIATE medical attention. A parent should not waste time calling a doctor at
this point. Call 911 immediately.
For more information or questions contact the Division of
Pediatric Pulmonology at 732-565-5467.
As part of our comprehensive neonatology services, premature babies with underdeveloped lungs are treated for the following conditions:
Diagnostic testing and treatment used to treat infants and children include:
Pediatric Pulmonology254 Easton Avenue
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
Medical Office Building
P (732) 565-5467
F (732) 745-9302
Patient Compass Portal
My Saint Peter's
© 2016 Saint Peter’s Healthcare System254 Easton Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ 08901