Does your child have seasonal Asthma or Asthma in Winter
Learning about childs asthma late
I come from a family that has asthma so I was quiet informed about it. My brother in particular was very bad with it. And was in and out of hospital regularly which at times was frightening. But it never once occurred to me that my daughter might be an asthmatic.
Unless it’s obvious with wheezing, difficulty breathing and coughing you can’t really say that your child is an asthmatic. From an early age the minute my daughter caught a cold or had seasonal hay fever; her chest would tighten up. She would struggle to breath for a couple of days and wheeze. It never occurred to me or the doctors that she could be an asthmatic.
We always ended up at the doctor’s office and we always left with antibiotics. It was really worrying the amount of antibiotics she was taking. Each time she caught a cold, in the middle of the night she’d walk into my room in tears with a tight chest.
What would happen was she’d catch a cold, then the cough would start. As the cold progressed she would begin to cough. Her chest would become tight and she would struggle to breath. It was heart breaking trying cough mixtures, steam and other things the doctors had suggested I do.
Then one Sunday it got really bad that we had to visit our nearest health centre. The doctor looked at her health record and her symptoms and asked me a few questions. Then she asked if my daughter had asthma. Not to my knowledge. She then asked about my family history and any other ailments she had. At the time I had no clue that Eczema and asthma went hand in hand as my daughter does suffer from time to time with eczema. She advised me to see my GP the following morning for a full investigation. The doctor then prescribed a reliever inhaler(Salbutamol) which is a blue inhaler. This type of inhaler is used when breathless, wheezing or you have a tight chest. This really helped with the symptoms.
What was happening was that her airwaves would get clogged up with mucus and the longer it stayed there, it caused infection and this is why we had the cycle of antibiotics. I’m really grateful to this doctor because ever since my daughter had this investigation with the asthma nurse things have improved.
We had to do a peek flow for a fortnight after her cold. A peak flow meter measures the fastest rate of airflow that you blow out of your lungs. This showed up as normal. Another one was done during hayfeaver season and she did have a chest infection again. The conclusion that the asthma nurse came to was; that as long as my daughter didn’t have the flu or a cold and wasn’t suffering from hayfever she was fine. So for the first time this year we’ve tried something different and it’s worked wonders.
The nurse prescribed a preventer inhaler for us to try this winter. Preventers are different from relievers as they work over time, meaning they don’t give quick relief. They are steroids that reduce long term inflammation of the airwaves. I started her on it two weeks before winter. One puff at night and one in the morning. She had her first cold and for the first time in years her chest didn’t tighten up and we didn’t need to use a reliever but best of all she didn’t have to have any antibiotics to clear an infection. Success! When winter comes to an end I will gradually take her off the preventor.
What is seasonal asthma?
This type of asthma is usually brought on by allergies. It when the there is inflammation and constriction of the airwaves brought on by an allergen.
It’s important to speak to your GP about symptoms so that your child can get further testing. When a child struggles to breath it means that they are not getting enough oxygen. This could even happen when they run, play sport, these are all important for your child’s growth. If asthma of any kind is not brought under control it could interfere with your child’s growth.
If your child suffers at different periods your asthma nurse will decided what treatment would be best for your child. An asthma plan is important for prevention and to keep attacks under control.
It is important that children are diagnosed early and not late like how my daughter had been. So maybe the next time the doctor reaches for his note pad a prescribes another dose of antibiotics for a chest infection; ask for further investigation, your child might have seasonal asthma.