Over half of children who start wheezing in the first few years of life will outgrow their symptoms by the time they are 6 or 7 years old. Having parents with asthma or allergies, or if the asthmatic child is allergic (food or environmental), the likelihood is less that the asthma will be outgrown.
Yes, it is. When albuterol was reformulated, the active ingredient was not changed. It was the propellant that was changed to remove the fluorocarbons. The new albuterol HFA inhalers tend to generate a more gentle puff, and some asthmatics may mistakenly attribute this to less potency.
Yes, indeed. In children particularly, cough is the most common presenting symptom of asthma, and in many cases, the only asthma presenting symptom.
Systemic steroids remain a very effective and necessary medication in the treatment of chronic and acute asthma. Oral or injectable steroids are used to decrease the inflammation and bronchial swelling associated with asthma. Asthma specialists will use these medications only under certain circumstances, and when other asthma medications are not adequately controlling symptoms. Because of potential side effects to steroids, one should take the minimal amount to steroids necessary and this should be followed closely by a physician.
Reactive airways is a descriptive term for the heightened sensitivity of the bronchial tubes to all kinds of inhaled allergens and/or irritants. This increased sensitivity is generally the result of mild airway inflammation, making one more susceptible to symptoms such as coughing and wheezing. Pediatricians commonly use the diagnosis of reactive airways disease (RAD) when they are reluctant to give a diagnosis of asthma. In reality, RAD is commonly a precursor to mild asthma in children.
Nebulizers are a very convenient and effective way of delivering bronchodilators and other asthma medications. They are especially helpful for young children who cannot efficiently use metered dose inhalers. During an asthma attack, patients report better relief after using a nebulizer.