Asthma is a common childhood health condition, affecting 6.2 million American children. At Newport Children’s Medical Group, in Newport Beach, Irvine, Costa Mesa, and Laguna Beach, California, the team of expert pediatricians provides rapid diagnosis of asthma and customized treatment to help your child breathe easier and stay active and healthy. If you’re concerned that your child has asthma, call Newport Children’s Medical Group today.

Asthma Q & A

What is asthma?

Asthma is a widespread chronic lung condition that occurs when there is inflammation in the bronchi — airways — of the lungs. The inflammation narrows the airways, reducing the space available for air to move in and out of the lungs.

Asthma symptoms are also frequently triggered by airborne irritants like dust, pollen, or smoke that can increase the inflammation and cause an asthma attack. Exercise may also provoke an asthma attack.

During an asthma attack, symptoms suddenly become more severe, which makes it difficult to breathe.

Asthma can develop at any age, and it’s more common in children than adults. The exact cause of asthma isn’t fully understood. However, medical researchers believe that genetics contributes to the risk. There are also links to allergies and other autoimmune conditions.

What are the warning signs of asthma?

Most children with asthma develop symptoms before they turn five. Some of the warning signs of asthma include:

  • Chronic coughing, especially at night
  • Wheezing or whistling sounds when they breathe
  • Labored breathing
  • Rapid breathing that pulls the skin on their ribs or neck
  • Frequent colds that settle in the chest

Asthma symptoms vary in severity. If your child has mild or intermittent symptoms, you might mistake their condition for a cold or bronchitis. However, your child could also develop severe symptoms or even have an unexpected asthma attack, which can be frightening.

Newport Children’s Medical Group offers same-day appointments for urgent needs so you can get treatment right away when your child has their first asthma attack.

How is asthma diagnosed?

Your Newport Children’s Medical Group pediatrician begins their diagnosis by reviewing your child’s personal and family medical history, and they ask about their symptoms and overall health.

Next, your pediatrician listens to your child’s lungs for any wheezing sounds. They also use diagnostic flexible bronchoscopy, spirometry, and other pulmonary function tests to measure and evaluate how much air enters and exits your child’s lungs.

How is asthma treated?

While there isn’t a cure for asthma, your pediatrician provides personalized treatment to manage your child’s symptoms and protect their health.

They can prescribe bronchodilators and anti-inflammatory drugs that your child can take through an inhaler or a nebulizer. These methods put the medication directly into your child’s lungs for rapid relief.

Newport Children’s Medical Group can also help you make an asthma attack plan, so you are prepared and can stay calm to help your child in the event of an asthma attack.

Your pediatrician can also help you identify your child’s asthma triggers and find ways to limit their exposure.

Call Newport Children’s Medical Group today for expert diagnosis and treatment for asthma.