What is Asthma? – The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (2 of 4)


>>ASTHMA IS A CHRONIC DISEASE
OF THE LUNGS, AND IT CAN OCCUR AS EARLY
AS SIX MONTHS. IT CAN OCCUR LATER IN LIFE AS WELL.>>NORMALLY, THE WAY YOUR LUNG
FUNCTIONS IS THAT YOU HAVE AIRWAYS THAT GO FROM YOUR MOUTH
INTO YOUR LUNGS, AND THEY END UP IN LITTLE AIR SACS. IN THE NORMAL LUNG THOSE TUBES
ARE WIDE OPEN. IT MAKES IT VERY EASY FOR AIR
TO FLOW IN AND OUT. IN SOMEBODY WITH ASTHMA THOSE
TUBES, OR AIRWAYS, ARE NARROW BECAUSE THE WALL OF THE TUBE IS INFLAMED,
SO THAT MAKES IT MORE DIFFICULT TO BREATHE IN SOMEONE WITH ASTHMA. IT’S LIKE BREATHING THROUGH
A STRAW.>>CHILDREN WITH ASTHMA CAN
HAVE DIFFERENT SIGNS, ALSO KNOWN AS SYMPTOMS,
THAT SHOW THEIR ASTHMA IS NOT WELL CONTROLLED. COMMON SYMPTOMS OF ASTHMA
ARE WHEEZE, A WHISTLING NOISE IN THE CHEST,
COUGH, ESPECIALLY LATE AT NIGHT, SHORTNESS OF BREATH,
AND CHEST TIGHTNESS.>>ASTHMA CAN LOOK MANY
DIFFERENT WAYS. SOME CHILDREN MAY COUGH
WITH THEIR ASTHMA. SOME CHILDREN WHEEZE. SOME CHILDREN WORK REALLY HARD
TO BREATHE USING THEIR CHEST MUSCLES AND THEIR STOMACH
MUSCLES.>>THEY MAY COUGH
WHEN THEY EXERCISE. THEY MAY COUGH WHEN THEY
GO OUT IN THE COLD AIR.>>HE’D STEP OUTSIDE. HE’D RUN ACROSS THE YARD ONE TIME. HE’S COUGHING. WE GOT TO PICK HIM UP AND BRING
HIM IN THE HOUSE.>>WHEN THEY GET A COLD, THE COLD
MAY JUST NOT SEEM TO GO AWAY.>>COUGHING OR AWAKING AFTER
MIDNIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT, THAT’S THE MOST
SEVERE SYMPTOM.>>WHEN YOU HAVE A CHILD WHO IS
WAKING UP AT NIGHT WITH A COUGH, THEN THEY’RE EXPERIENCING
THE BEGINNING OF A FLARE. >>MOST PEOPLE ASSOCIATE ASTHMA
WITH ASTHMA ATTACKS.>>DURING AN ASTHMA ATTACK
THE INFLAMMATION PROCESS KICKS IN IN THE LUNGS. THE MUSCLES TIGHTEN
AROUND THE AIRWAYS. EXTRA MUCUS IS PRODUCED,
AND THERE’S SWELLING IN THE AIRWAYS. THE PATIENT CAN FEEL PAIN
OR SHORTNESS OF BREATH.>>WHEN I HAVE AN ATTACK,
IT’S NOT A GOOD THING. MY CHEST HURTS. I COUGH A LOT.>>LIKE EVERY TIME I BREATHE,
IT JUST DIDN’T FEEL RIGHT. IT HURTED.>>ME AND HER FATHER HAD TO RUSH
HER TO THE HOSPITAL.>>ASTHMA FLARES, ALSO KNOWN
AS “ATTACKS”, OCCUR WHEN SWELLING IN THE AIRWAYS WORSENS. THIS CAN HAPPEN DUE TO
A COLD VIRUS OR A TRIGGER IN THE CHILD’S ENVIRONMENT. IF A CHILD’S ASTHMA IS NOT WELL
CONTROLLED BEFORE THE FLARE, SYMPTOMS CAN BE MORE SEVERE. SYMPTOMS OF ASTHMA,
SUCH AS WHEEZE, COUGH, OR SHORTNESS OF BREATH,
ARE EARLY WARNING SIGNS THAT A FLARE MAY BE BEGINNING. THE KEY TO PREVENTING ASTHMA
FLARES IS TO CONTROL DAILY SYMPTOMS OF ASTHMA AND
RECOGNIZE EARLY WARNING SIGNS WHEN SYMPTOMS ARE WORSENING.>>MANY CHILDREN THINK THAT
EARLY WARNING SIGNS ARE A NORMAL PART OF LIFE BECAUSE THEY ARE
USED TO THOSE SYMPTOMS, AND THEY’RE NOT USED TO THEIR
ASTHMA BEING IN CONTROL. SO IT’S VERY IMPORTANT
FOR PARENTS TO UNDERSTAND AND TO STAY CLUED IN AS TO WHAT
THEIR EARLY WARNING SIGNS ARE AND, IN FACT, INFORM ANY OF THE CHILDREN’S
CARETAKERS ABOUT THE EARLY WARNING SIGNS.>>HE’S SILENT. HE JUST SITS THERE AND DAZE OFF. AND THEN I JUST START LOOKING AT HIM,
AND THEN I SEE HIM BREATHING, LIKE TRYING TO GET SOME AIR,
GOING LIKE THIS. AND THEN I LOOK AT HIS THROAT,
AND I SEE THAT THIS PART RIGHT HERE STARTS SUCKING IN. THEN I KNOW HE’S IN DISTRESS.

1 thought on “What is Asthma? – The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (2 of 4)

  1. during the day: i have dry cough,sneeze alot and have runny nose.
    during the night: when i lay down i will wheez and feel shortness of breath also tight chest and start to cough again

    i dont have asthma right??

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