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Asthma in infants: definition

There is talk of infantile asthma in the case of a chronic cough for more than three weeks without apparent infection, or in the case of three episodes of wheezing respiratory dyspnea in the first two years of life. Infant Asthma is often triggered by a viral infection such as bronchiolitis.

The diagnosis may be more difficult than the two conditions often occur in the same period (entry in the winter).

It is the repetition of respiratory virus-induced episodes which suggest the diagnosis of asthma in infants.

Origins of Asthma

Genetic predisposition, known as allergic or atopic field (that is to say if there is eczema, rhinitis, allergies or asthma in the family) is a factor determining risk for asthma in infants. The combination of environmental factors (pollution, smoking, dust, animal dander, pollen ...) can weaken the toddler to viral providers of asthma in this age of life. It was also noted that babies affected by gastroesophageal reflux (regurgitation, frequent vomiting ...) more frequently developed asthma in infants.

Risks and consequences of asthma

Common condition and appears steadily increasing among toddlers, infant asthma asthma evolve in sustainable after the age of three years in about 30% of cases. So be vigilant at the first sign of respiratory distress, to optimize care and minimize crises. Lack of treatment can lead to poor lung development and respiratory failure in adulthood.

Signs and symptoms of asthma in infants

A simple rhinitis can cause the first attack. This is why asthma in infants is often the first months of life, the beginning of winter. It is most commonly seen symptoms of wheezing at the time of expiration. But sometimes, it is nocturnal seizures with symptoms of respiratory discomfort and cough that should alert parents and to visit a doctor.

However, an infant who made ​​significant asthma is not guaranteed to be provided later asthma.

When to consult?

When the child coughs or whistles and / or that manifest difficulty in breathing, and these episodes are repeated.

When is it an emergency?

Any difficulty breathing is an emergency, a fortiori when the infant has a background processing. In case of lack of appetite and / or respiratory distress, go to pediatric emergencies. Emergency, it may be necessary to give him a higher dose bronchodilator aerosol, which dilate the bronchi faster and more efficiently.

What are the treatments for asthma proven?

There are two types of treatments to fight against crises: DMARDs and treatment of crisis.
DMARDs (inhaled steroids) reduce inflammation of the bronchi, the crisis treatments (bronchodilators beta-2 agonists, type Ventolin ®) dilate the bronchi rapidly to crises, to allow better oxygenation.
Both types of treatment should be administered using an inhalation chamber. When the condition is known, do not hesitate to administer Ventolin ® as the first symptoms. Of oral corticosteroids may eventually be prescribed for a few days in case of major crisis.

What are the treatments in the most severe cases?

In more severe cases, it is important to perform a thorough exploration to take stock of the ground and eliminate false including asthma (foreign body in the bronchi, malformation ...).

Not to be confused with anything?

• Bronchiolitis, a viral infection that usually causes a fever. Again, do not forget that bronchiolitis can trigger asthma: the repeated character processing and making the diagnosis.
• Pertussis.
• Foreign bodies in the bronchi.
• Cystic fibrosis.

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