Suppressing Asthma Flair-Ups
The good news is that for most children, asthma can be well controlled – sometimes so well controlled that a child has only rare asthma flare-ups. For many families, the learning process is the hardest part of controlling asthma. Between diagnosis and good control, there’s a lot to learn and a lot to do. A child might have flare-ups while learning to control asthma, but don’t be surprised or discouraged. Asthma control can take a little time and energy to master, but it’s worth the effort!
How long it takes to get asthma under control depends on the child’s age, the severity of symptoms, how frequently flare-ups occur, and how willing and able the family is to follow a doctor’s prescribed treatment plan. Every child with asthma needs a doctor-prescribed asthma action plan to control symptoms and flare-ups. This plan usually has five parts.
Step 1: Identifying and Controlling Asthma Triggers
Triggers are things that can irritate airways and lead to an asthma flare-up. Triggers can vary from season to season and as a child grows older. Some common triggers are:
• allergens, including microscopic dust mites present in house dust, carpets and pillows; animal dander and saliva; pollens and grasses; molds; foods; medications; and cockroaches.
• viral infections, including the common cold and the flu (influenza).