Asthma is a chronic respiratory condition which causes breathing airways to be inflamed and blocked. This results in shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing (especially at night) and chest pain.
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Being the most common reason among schoolchildren for their repeated absences at school, children suffering from asthma no longer need to sit on the sidelines and their parents worry constantly. New treatments and prevention strategies have been developed to lower their risk of asthma flare-up.
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Asthma triggers Asthma may be triggered from exposure to certain allergens like dust or pollen, or may even be caused by stress or change of lifestyle. By simply eliminating the asthma triggers in my child's environment , I have been able to reduce her risk of asthma attacks considerably, from every single day during the cold winter days to once or twice a year.
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Some common triggers that cause asthma attacks in my child include:
Allergens, including pollen and grasses, dust mites present in carpets, mattresses and pillows and certain food.
Cold and flu.
Vigorous activities like running or climbing the stairs or intense emotions like laughing hard or stress.
Irritants like smokes or perfumes.
Identifying my child's particular asthma triggers took time and demanded lots of patience, but was really crucial to determine which treatment plan she needed. For example, I noticed my daughter had a flare-up each time she went outside, to play on the lawn. At first, I thought it was because of her vigorous activities and then, I noticed these episodes even when she just went out for a walk. The lawn naturally came as a culprit to me. Now, she shuns the lawn as a pest.
Allergens Having a family history of asthma made it a major concern for all of us, and I had to put up some environmental control measures to help reduce my whole family's exposure to allergens.
These measures include:
Keeping mattresses and pillows in allergen-proof covers.
Washing sheets, pillow cases, curtains and mosquito nets in hot water on a regular basis.
Putting pillows and mattress in sunshine and keeping bedrooms well aerated.
Keeping my house dust free. Heavy curtains, carpets and stuffed animal toys were avoided in bedrooms.
Chasing moulds from my kitchen and bathroom.
No pets allowed in the house.
Cold & Flu
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Sometimes, bacterial infections or cold virus may trigger asthma. For instance, I have noticed my daughter suffering from flu at the beginning of each changing weather season. To prevent her cold intensifying into asthma, I usually prepare a mixture of lemon and honey in hot water and give it to her on empty stomach. This has worked wonderfully and her colds and flus are now under control.
Food & Medications
Some foods and medications may trigger asthma in your child. For example, my child is allergic to peanuts, eggs and fish. This often resulted in eczema, runny nose and itchy eyes and were at times aggravated into asthma. A simple skin testing to diagnose her allergies was enough to determine which allergens she needs to keep away from.
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Preventing and controlling asthma is essential in treating the disease. Children with asthma need proper support and education to learn how to live up with asthma. This will allow them to lead a normal and healthy lifestyle.