Other Medical Conditions
Children with asthma also may have other medical conditions that could be aggravated. These conditions, if left unchecked, could worsen a child's asthma — or prevent them from getting better.
Viral infections, including colds, flu, or viral pneumonia, can trigger or aggravate asthma, particularly in young children. The infections can irritate the airways (nose, throat, lungs, and sinuses), which in turn can trigger asthma flare-ups.
Another condition, sinusitis — an inflammation of the sinuses that are found behind the nose — is a common childhood condition that may be overlooked in its role as a trigger for asthma symptoms. Sinusitis may follow a cold or upper respiratory condition in a child, or accompany untreated nasal allergies. With sinusitis, mucus may linger in the nose — along with large groups of bacteria that encourage infections.
To avoid these infections, your child should think prevention:he should remember to wash his hands to prevent transmission of viruses. Also, you should think flu shot in the fall for your child.
Asthma symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, or difficulty breathing — especially in infants and children — may be triggered by food allergies. For some children, eating certain foods (such as milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, wheat, fish, and shellfish) or various food additives (such as sulfites or MSG) can trigger symptoms.
Determining if an allergy to various foods exists requires using a medically supervised test where food is eliminated from the diet and a child's symptoms are monitored. Sometimes, though, the results may reveal false positives — indicating that the food is causing problems for the child when it is not.
If diagnosed with food allergies, avoid the identified foods that cause symptoms. Make sure you or your child inquire about ingredients when eating out and read food labels carefully. The best way to treat food allergy is to avoid the specific foods that trigger the allergy. This means becoming familiar with corresponding names for foods:For instance, “gluten” may mean “wheat.”
Anxiety or stress by themselves do not trigger asthma symptoms but can intensify them. However, these emotions may lead to greater fatigue and cause greater difficulty in coping with the asthma episode. Also, laughing, crying, and yelling can sometimes lead to airways tightening up — triggering an asthma episode.
Making sure your child has adequate rest, proper nutrition, and exercise — in addition to learning relaxation techniques — can help promote better well-being and better asthma management.