If your child has asthma, you want to do everything you can to help them stay healthy and symptom-free. There are a variety of asthma treatments available, and the best one for your child will depend on the severity of their asthma and any other health conditions they may have.
Inhalers and Nebulizers
Inhalers and nebulizers are two common types of asthma treatments. Inhalers deliver medication directly to the lungs, while nebulizers turn liquid medication into a fine mist that can be inhaled. Both inhalers and nebulizers can be used to relieve acute asthma symptoms or to prevent exacerbations.
In general, inhalers are the preferred treatment for children with asthma. They are smaller and easier to carry around than nebulizers, and some kids find them easier to use. That said, some children may not be able to use an inhaler properly or may prefer the taste of the medication from a nebulizer. Your child's doctor can help you decide which type of device is best for your child based on their individual needs.
Controller medications are taken daily to prevent asthma symptoms from occurring. These medications keep the airways open and reduce inflammation. Controller medications must be taken as prescribed, even when your child is feeling well, in order to be effective. The National Institutes of Health lists common controller medications as corticosteroids, beta-2 agonists, and leukotriene agonists.
In addition to controlled medications, asthma sufferers should always have a quick-relief inhaler on hand in case they experience an exacerbation. Quick-relief inhalers contain short-acting bronchodilators that work to immediately open up the airways and relieve symptoms like shortness of breath, chest tightness, and wheezing.
Common Asthma Triggers
Many things can trigger an asthma attack. While these triggers vary from person to person, common triggers include:
- Animal dander
- Dust mites
- Cold weather
- Strong emotions
- Some medications
- Respiratory infections
If you know what triggers your child's asthma attacks, you can help them avoid these triggers as much as possible. It's also important that your child has their quick-relief inhaler with them at all times in case they come into contact with a trigger unexpectedly.
The best asthma treatment for children will vary depending on the severity of their condition and any other health conditions they may have. In general, however, most children with asthma will benefit from taking controller medications daily and having a quick-relief inhaler for emergencies. It's important that you work closely with your child's doctor to develop a treatment plan that meets their specific needs. Most children with asthma can lead happy, healthy lives with proper treatment.
Talk to your doctor about asthma treatment to learn more.