Wondering if it’s puffer time?National Pharmacies
While Spring is a feast for the eyes with its colourful blooms, flowering trees and waves of green grasses, it’s also the season of allergies and asthma. These are the conditions that make you wonder, if your child’s cough is asthma or just a seasonal reaction. You’re not alone.
Asthma is a common disease of the airways in the lungs. It’s caused by the narrowing of these passages, as they become swollen and inflamed with an increased production of mucus. The muscles surrounding the airway passages also tighten and this all leads to coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath. While not necessarily painful, asthma sufferers can feel discomfort in the throat and chest.
We’re not exactly sure what causes asthma, but it runs in family genetics and is triggered by viruses such as the common cold and allergens (pollens, dust mites and animal hair). Sudden changes in weather and intense exercise can also manifest asthma.
Children are most at risk. Before the age of three, 16.9% of infants experience asthma or wheezing. However, not all wheezing is asthma, so don’t panic the moment your little one coughs. About one in four children are diagnosed with asthma in childhood and many will grow out of it by the age of 15.
If your little ones show any of these signs or if asthma runs in the family, book in a time to see your GP. If diagnosed, we can help you with an ‘Asthma Action Plan’, which will help keep the condition in check, especially in Spring.
Management strategies usually involve one or two inhalers: a Preventer and Reliever.
Preventer inhalers reduce the inflammation and mucus in their airways and make them less sensitive to triggers. These inhalers are best used daily. Reliever inhalers are fast-acting, causing airways to relax and open and allowing more air into the lungs. These inhalers should be used as-needed.
Then, visit your local National Pharmacies and we’ll complement the Action Plan with treatment and education resources. Our pharmacists will teach you (and your child) the correct way to use the inhalers and a spacer – if your child is too young to handle their inhaler alone.
Use this time to ask about details of the Action Plan, like how to prevent triggers and reduce side effects and, please, voice any concerns you may have with the medication.
Take the correct precautions so asthma can be managed and minimised.
However, it’s good to know the signs that can indicate asthma.
- Coughing, especially at night
- A wheezing, raspy sound when they breath
- Shortness of breath
- Complaining of tightness of the chest or chest ‘hurting’
- Night time waking
- Less energy than usual.
The content displayed on this webpage is intended for informational purposes and should be used as a guide only. This information does not replace or substitute professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Information contained on this webpage must be discussed with an appropriate healthcare professional before any action is taken based on the content of this webpage.