STOP for Asthma

The World Asthma day is celebrated on 7th of May every year, and this year the theme is “STOP for Asthma”. Where STOP means: S – Symptom Evaluation T – Test Response O – Observe and Assess P – Proceed to Adjust Treatment Many parents of children suffering from asthma end up with poorly controlled asthma due to myths and many doubts that are often not addressed in busy clinics and hospitals due to lack of time. We are addressing some of the issues which are frequently asked by many parents: What is Asthma? Asthma is a disease of the airways in the lungs, wherein the airways become swollen, narrow and sensitive to irritants, which leads to recurrent attacks of cough, breathlessness, noisy breathing and chest discomfort. The number of cases has been increasing considering the changes in lifestyle and environment. Diagnosis of asthma in children under age 5 can be challenging as the symptoms may indicate other conditions. With older children, Pulmonary function tests that measure how well the lungs work can be done. Why do children suffer from Asthma? Children who have inherited a genetic predisposition, and exposed to inducers in the environment develop inflammation of airways, the hallmark of asthma. The most common trigger of asthma in children is cold, apart from dust, pollen, smoke and other irritants including air pollutants. How can we recognize if my child is at higher risk of Asthma? A family history of allergy and asthma is a predominant risk factor. If one parent has allergies or asthma, the risk of the child developing asthma is approximately 50%, while if both...