Asthma: Overview and management

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Asthma is a condition that affects the lungs and causes breathing difficulties. Learn about symptoms, how it is diagnosed and managed, and how to care for your child after a hospital visit for asthma.

Key points

  • Asthma is a lifelong condition, but good asthma control can allow your child to live a normal life.
  • In children with asthma, certain conditions or triggers cause the airways to narrow, become swollen and produce mucus. This makes it hard to breathe.
  • The medicines you will use to treat your child's asthma are guided by an asthma action plan that you develop with your child's health-care provider. Asthma medicines include controller and reliever/rescue medicines. Your child will likely need more than one medication to manage their asthma.
  • The most effective way to control your child's asthma is to take medicines as prescribed and minimize exposure to the most common asthma triggers.
  • Early warning signs like persistent cough or tiring easily during physical activity can signal that asthma is worsening and needs more treatment. If you see danger signs like having difficulty speaking or turning blue, give rescue medication and go to the nearest Emergency Department.
Last updated: March 21st 2024