The Causes of Paediatric asthma

Paediatric asthma

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Paediatric asthma

1. Introduction

Paediatric asthma has over the recent past acquired the status of being the most chronic disease among the children. It has also been one of the leading causes of children and infant death. This is due to the fact that it is a difficult disease to diagnose. This is also because the children in most cases have difficulties in expressing how they feel in their bodies mostly so in the internal body parts. In most cases especially so in children, it is caused and triggered by exposure to such things as smoking, tobacco and air pollution. These are the factors that may cause the symptoms to be rapid and very evident among the children. Further on, the disease can among the children result to morbidity and in more advanced cases can result to death.

  1. Definition

Asthma can be defined as a chronic disease which is associated with breathing difficulties to those people who suffer from it. It is triggered mostly by the occurrence of blockages in the respiratory system of an individual. This blockage can be as a result of the existence of spasms in the bronchi of the people suffering from the condition. As a result of this, it becomes difficult for the people to breathe as the intake and outtake of air to and from their lungs encounters many difficulties. Under this condition, there is the swelling of the airwaves, the narrowing of the airwaves and therefore resulting to breathing difficulties especially due to less air intake. Some of the most evident symptoms which accrue to the people suffering from it include sneezing, wheezing, tight chests, coughs and breathing difficulties.

 

 

2. Classification of asthma

In a bid to understand the best treatment and control processes for the disease, health technicians have sought to characterise the disease in order to understand the different complexities that exist at each and different characteristic. The first characteristic is by age. It is believed that at between the age of 5 and 12, the disease begins to manifest itself in the body of the victim. This is usually through consistent coughs, sneezes, wheezes and the tightness of the chest resulting to difficulties in breathing for the affected people. This is due to the fact that this is the age at which the children can begin to explain their feelings and the struggles they have in their breathing. The second classification that is developed based on the age is known as the infantile asthma. This is the existence of the disease or its symptoms among the children aged below 4 years. The other classification is on the adolescents.

The second classification that is given to the disease is on the basis of its persistence and its severity in the body of an individual. On the basis of persistence, it is classified as either being persistent or being intermittent. There are also proposals that have been pointed out as to the inclusion of frequent and infrequent intermittent categories. On the other hand, the severity sub class is further divided into either mild, moderate or severe. This is based on the basis of the occurrence and the effects to the individual after the occurrence.

The third classification that has been given further for this is the classification according to the degree of control of the disease. In this therefore, the progress that has been made in the management of the disease is used as a basis for its classification. This is in order to know the level of advancement or management that has been given to a particular individual. Under this, there are three sub categories that are developed and listed. The first is controlled, the second is partly controlled and the third is uncontrolled.

3. Causes of asthma

There are many different causes and triggers that have been pointed out as resulting to asthma. But according to Anandan, 2010, there is no accurate justification or study undertaken to show the exact cause for the asthmatic health condition. Researchers however believe that it is caused by a combination of both genetic and environmental interactions. These therefore are the leading causes of the disease as discussed in researches that have previously been undertaken. Their order of appearance is not based on the cases reported or on the degree of severity of either cause but rather just the general appearance.

  1. Cold air- many people suffering from asthma experience the effects of reoccurrence of the effects of the disease once they are exposed to any cold air.
  2. Exercise induced asthma the effects are also triggered once the people are exposed to strenuous activities such as engaging in sports or running.
  3. Exposure to smoke and other air pollutants people suffering from the disease have complained of experiencing the effects of the disease once they are exposed to smoke and other air pollutants. In this, breathing becomes a problem to them.
  4. Infections in the respiratory system such as due to the result of common cold triggers the effects of the disease to the people.
  5. Stress and other strong emotions being experienced by the people can also result to the recurrence of the effects of the disease.
  6. The exposure to allergens in the air also results to the reoccurrence of the effects of the disease to the people. Such allergens may include dust mites and pollen.
  7. The subjecting of a person to certain medications results to the relapse of the disease and its effects to the people. Examples include some aspirins, naproxen, ibuprofen and beta blockers among others.

Over the recent past, there have been many reaches that have been undertaken in a bid to understand the cause effects of the disease. In the analysis, it is considered that it is crucial to consider the background and history of the children who are suffering from the effects similar to those of asthma. In this case, research by Miller, 2008, showed that a majority of children who wheeze at an early age outgrow the symptoms. In this case, the children who suffer from the disease are mostly likely to get better with increase in their age. In this research also, they went ahead to categorically state that majority of the children whose disease symptoms are detected before they attain the age of three years are free from the symptoms once they attain the age of six years. In order to get a better understanding of this, it is crucial to get the medical history of the parents of the children. The research also went ahead to prove that those children who have serious cases of wheezing in their childhood are more prone to developing more serious levels of asthma in their adolescent lives.

4. Symptoms of paediatric asthma

There are several symptoms that are associated from the people who are suffering from asthma. They are broad and many depending on the person. They are however less eminent among the children. They are;

  1. Coughing
  2. Wheezing
  3. Tightness of the chest
  4. Difficulties in breathing
  5. Continuous running noses
  6. Crying
  7. Lack of breath after strenuous activities such as playing or running.

5. Diagnosis of asthma

Study has proved that the best starting point for the analysis and diagnosis of the disease is the history of the repetitive wheezing cases among the patients. With this however, there is no specification as to the number of the episodes of wheezing that are experienced by an individual. There however has been proposals of setting the limit as to the number of episodes to any number greater than three episodes. Following this analysis, there is the identification of the symptoms occurrence among the people suffering from the disease. This is the second basis for the diagnosis. In this therefore, there is the analysis of previous episodes of such things as cough, breathing difficulties, tightness of the chest of the individuals and wheezing. The diagnosis is strengthened by such other things as the individual histories of atopy and the existence of any history of asthma in the family. All the above listed factors help in the arriving of a more clear and understood diagnosis of the disease.

The diagnosis can be therefore further categorised into several major steps to analyse the different stages that have been stated earlier.

  1. History in this, there is the analysis of the existence recurrent issues with the respiratory system. This may include such things as coughing, dyspnoea and wheezing among the people infected. The second basis for the analysis of the history is the individual history of such things as food allergy and other allergies all categorised as atopy. The third basis for the analysis of the history is the household history for any cases of atopic infections or asthma. This helps in the building of a good basis to undertake the diagnosis of the disease.
  2. The undertaking of personal physical examination under this, an individual is subjected to many tests on his respiratory systems to check for the cases or the existence of such things as blockages. In this, there is the chest analysis for wheezing. There is also the undertaking of tests and checks on the existence of any signs or symptoms of other atopic infections in the body.
  3. The third analysis that is undertaken is on the functionality of the lungs. This is to check whether the lungs are fully functional and the intake and outtake of air into the lungs is normal and as expected.
  4. There is also the analysis of atopy. In this, there are such undertakings as the pricking of the skin to check for the responsiveness. There is also the testing of the serum for the existence of any infections.
  5. There is also the testing of the air waves and bronchi for any infections and or blockages that might hinder the flow of air.

6. Management and treatment of paediatric asthma

Asthma by being a chronic disease, it is difficult or impossible to treat conclusively. As such, there arises the need to manage it and thereby controlling its effects to the people who are suffering from it. This is because through its management, the symptoms and complications will be greatly reduced and people can resume to live their normal life again free from the effects of the disease. The first stage in the management is the identification of the disease presence in the body of a given child. This can be done through subjecting the child to various tests and analysis to locate it. Though its identification, it will be easy to manage it because the medics will be aware of the severity of the disease and hence the appropriate medication for it.

Following the identification of the disease, the second stage in its management is the avoidance of the trigger factors. As earlier stated, there are several factors that trigger the effects and symptoms of the disease. Keeping the child away from the trigger factors will aid in the management of the disease. This may be through such things as keeping the child away from direct smoke, some drugs and medicines, dust and some foods that they are allergic to. This will therefore aid in the proper management of the disease.

The third stage in the management is the creation of education to the people who are infected and affected by the disease. This is mostly on the ways that they can reduce the seriousness of the disease among the people. Through proper education, the parents will be aware of the measures that they can put in place to reduce the effects of the disease among their children. This will therefore help in the putting in place of a successful treatment plan for the people who are affected by the disease.

The fourth step in the management of the disease is the regular assessment and monitoring of the responsiveness of the infected individual to the medication that they are subjected to. This will also aid in the seeking of understanding on the outcomes that are probable in the long run. This also aids in the determination of the responsiveness and effects of the drugs that they are subjected to. This therefore helps to align the recovery process and the treatment resulting to even better levels of health for the people who are infected with the disease. This is also in line with the continued good health of the children who are infected with the disease.

There is also the putting in place of other physical control mechanisms. A good example of this is the inhaler which is taken and used by the people who are having difficulties in their breathing. The inhaler has several medical ingredients that help in the freeing of the blockages in the respiratory system and therefore making it easy for one to breathe with ease.

Picture of an inhaler

7. Case study

The determination of the appropriate management policy for the cases of paediatric asthma is crucial. This is due to the health effects and detriments that the disease has on the lives and bodies of the children that are suffering from it. According to a case study that was carried out by Henrik, 2014, the effects of diseases affecting children in their small ages goes further ahead to affect their lives. This is making them to achieve less than they would have achieved had they lived normally or with well management procedures. The case study therefore goes ahead to state that early identification process is crucial for the early treatment and better lives for the children. This is because they will be able to lead normal lives just like the other children whom they grow up together with. The management should therefore be a process that begins at an early age in the lives of the children. According to this case also, children suffering from cases of paediatric asthma feel well appreciated and integrated in the society when they are well informed and taken care of by their parents and guardians. With this, they will not have any problems whatsoever in interacting and playing with the other children in the society. This goes further ahead to impact on the personalities and attitudes of the children. They feel wanted and respected.

Conclusion and recommendations

In conclusion, it is important that the parents subject their children to adequate tests to determine the existence of the cases of paediatric asthma in their bodies. This is because it will go further ahead to impact on their personal future lives. In order to get the best from their children, it is therefore important to ensure that the children at treated well and at an early age. The children will therefore be able to achieve their full potential and impact not only to the society but also to the world at large. The parents should therefore be well educated on the most appropriate control processes that will aid the children in the maintenance of their good health and also integrating them into the society. Such knowledge will be in line with the treatment, and control of the cases of paediatric asthma. This has the benefit of improving the morale of the children among many other benefits.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

Thomas, M; Bruton, A; Moffat, M; Cleland, J (2011). “Asthma and psychological dysfunction”. Primary care respiratory journal: journal of the General Practice Airways Group 20 (3): pg. 2506.

Henrik S. Thomsen, Judith A. W. (2014). Contrast media: safety issues and ESUR guidelines. (Third ed.). Dordrecht: Springer. p.54. 978-3-642-36724-3.

Miller, RL; Ho SM (2008). “Environmental epigenetics and asthma: current concepts and call for studies”. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine 177 (6): 567573.

Anandan C, Nurmatov U, van Schayck OC, Sheikh A (2010). “Is the prevalence of asthma declining? Systematic review of epidemiological studies”. Allergy 65 (2): 15267.

Kupczyk M, Haahtela T, Cruz AA, Kuna P. Reduction of asthma burden is possible through National Asthma Plans. Allergy 2010;65:415419.

Lotvall J, Pawankar R, Wallace DV, Akdis CA, Rosenwasser LJ, Weber RW, et al. We call for iCAALL: International Collaboration in Asthma, Allergy and Immunology. Allergy 2012;67:449450.

Asthma Management Handbook. National Asthma Council Australia, Melbourne, 2006. Available from: http://www.national asthma.org.au/handbook

From the Global Strategy for Asthma Management and Prevention. Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA), 2011. Available from: http://www.ginasthma.org.

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