Health & Safety

June 14, 2013

Asthma diagnoses in children on steady rise

Asthma stands as a unique diagnosis in the pediatric population due to how often it is found in the general population as well as the potential for significant complications associated with symptoms suddenly worsening.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention statistics, asthma affects approximately one out of every 12 children in the United States. In addition, asthma as a diagnosis has been steadily on the rise over the past 20 to 30 years. With statistics like these it is safe to say that anyone reading this article knows at least one child with asthma.

By definition, asthma is a chronic inflammation of the small airways in the lungs which leads to blockage of air flow while breathing. To meet the definition, symptoms must have been present for at least six weeks. These symptoms can include a persistent cough, cough after exercise, frequent night time cough, difficulty keeping up with peers during physical exertion and wheezing (a musical, high pitched sound). Children with asthma often have a history of eczema (a skin condition) or allergic rhinitis (chronic runny nose), and frequently have a family history of asthma.

Symptoms suggestive of an asthma attack include such things as:

Chest tightness, difficulty getting full breaths, difficulty talking in full sentences, difficulty with feeds or eating in babies, and retractions (sucking in of the ribs and neck while breathing in).

These symptoms are indications that the child needs immediate medical attention and should never be ignored.

Unfortunately, there is no one symptom that defines asthma, and a child may only display one or two of these symptoms, making the diagnosis difficult both for the parents and doctors to recognize. In addition, symptoms are often associated with specific triggers which vary among individuals. Some of the more common asthma triggers include exercise, seasonal allergies, food allergies, changes in seasons or temperatures, viral illnesses like common cold, irritant exposures (including cigarette smoke, perfumes, dust and strong vapors), stress, drugs and for some patients, even strong emotions.

Any parent who has concerns their child may be exhibiting symptoms consistent with asthma should seek a medical evaluation from the child’s primary care manager. Parents should be prepared to answer questions regarding these symptoms and anticipate that coming to a full diagnosis may take time, additional testing and multiple visits to the clinic.

Once diagnosed, children are initially monitored closely by their PCM every few weeks to adjust medications, answer questions and provide ongoing asthma education. As the patient’s symptoms become well controlled these visits are spaced out to every three to six months.

With patient education and the right asthma management plan, patients and families can learn to control asthma and its symptoms more independently, allowing them to live full and uninhibited lives.

The 56th Medical Group provides a wide variety of programs and services for the diagnosis and treatment of asthma. Our approach is multidisciplinary, providing customized care based on the child’s individual needs.

For more information and resources, call the child’s primary care manager at (623) 856-2273.

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Street Beat

The 56th Security Forces Squadron handled the following incidents Jan. 19 through 25: Tickets Security forces issued citations for six moving violations and three nonmoving violations. Traffic-related incidents Jan 22: Security forces responded to a report of a weapon identified during a random vehicle inspection at North Gate outbound lane. The nonmilitary driver self-identified as...
 
 
sports_20140123-F-BZ180-002

Losing body fat different than dropping weight

Aaron Anderson, 56th Medical Group dietitian, enters data into the Body Composition Tracking System for the BOD POD at the Health and Wellness Center Jan. 23. The BOD POD measures body composition which is different than weight...
 
 
DT_150114-F-BI157-034

MDOS heartbeat of MDG

Staff Sgt. Miranda Pyles, 56th Medical Operations Squadron allergy and immunization technician, receives a third dose of the papilloma vaccine Jan. 14 from Senior Airman Cassandra Saunders, 56th MDOS allergy and immunization te...
 

 

Phoenix winters still pose threat of sun damage

Summers spent poolside and sunny vacations during winter can do more than provide relaxation. Exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays leaves behind lasting damage on the skin – including wrinkles, leathery or sagging skin and brown spots. In fact, more than 90 percent of these visible changes commonly attributed to skin aging are caused by...
 
 

Street Beat

The 56th Security Forces Squadron handled the following incidents Jan. 12 through 18: Tickets Security forces issued citations for five moving violations and eight nonmoving violations. Traffic-related incidents Jan. 13: Security forces responded to a report of a civilian driving on base with suspended driving privileges. The civilian’s supervisor stated it was an isolated incident...
 
 

Most cervical cancer caught early with regular screening

January is Cervical Health Awareness Month. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that in 2012, eight million U.S. women, ages 21 to 65, reported they had not been screened for cervical cancer in the last five years. Seven out of 10 of those women had a regular doctor and health insurance. While 93...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin