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"Can children have life-threatening asthma?"
I think my child has asthma. I am taking him to see a doctor. What should I do if he does?
Asthma is a very treatable lung condition that is common in children. All patients with asthma have the potential to have a life threatening attack. This is why we always take the disease seriously and make sure that it is being treated adequately. Asthma is caused by inflammation and constriction of the lower airways. This causes difficulty breathing and shortness of breath. The treatment of asthma depends on the severity, but often includes an inhaled steroid and an inhaled bronchodilator such as albuterol. During exacerbation, an oral steroid such as prednisone is often prescribed. If the patient's asthma is being exacerbated by an allergy, this component should be eliminated and treated. I suggest that you schedule your appointment with your child's pediatrician sooner than later. He or she can perform routine in office pulmonary testing that may suggest asthma. If this test is at all abnormal, or if the child's symptoms are concerning, then she may be sent for full pulmonary testing which can diagnose or rule out asthma once and for all. If your child dose end up having asthma, then treatment through the pediatrician can begin, If the doctor chooses, your child may need a referral to an allergist or pulmonologist. I hope your child feels better.
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