Guest Post: Joy of Notepad Corner
Both of my two sons were asthmatic. My eldest son, who’s now 21 has fully recovered from asthma. My youngest son, 11 years old has less asthma attacks since age 5. How I make it happen? Let me tell you the story.
JM, my eldest son was diagnosed having asthma at the age of 7, his attacks were not so severe and approaches only during changes of weather. My youngest son, on the other hand has severe asthma attacks diagnosed at the age of 1.
Like most mothers, we rely on our pediatricians when our kids are sick and not feeling well. I am the type who is not contented on only one physician. I always opt for second and third opinion and I prefer older doctors due to experience wise. It is not that I do not trust them, I just want to make sure, because Yahmir is not getting any better for a year of repetitive asthma attacks, and it only worsens on the next approach.
The fifth pediatrician who’s been treating Yahmir recommended us to his friend Allergologist. He told us that it is much better for Yahmir to be seen and treated by a specialist because of the severity of his respiratory disorder.
An Allergologist is a medical specialist on allergies. He informed us that once you’ve been diagnosed with asthma, your doctor may prescribe more than one asthma medication to relieve asthma symptoms and control asthma for the long-term.
Asthma is described as a chronic inflammation of the bronchial tubes that causes swelling and narrowing (constriction) of the airways. The result is difficulty in breathing, and wheezing. The bronchial narrowing is usually either totally or at least partially reversible with treatments.
Yahmir had undergone several allergen tests to rule out what triggers his asthma. There are two categories that triggers it.
1. allergens (specific)
- "seasonal" pollens
- year-round dust mites, molds, pets, and insect parts
- foods, such as fish, egg, peanuts, nuts, cow's milk, and soy
- additives, such as sulfites
2. nonallergens -- mostly irritants (nonspecific).
- tobacco smoke
- outdoor factors, such as smog, weather changes, and diesel fumes
- indoor factors, such as paint, detergents, deodorants, chemicals, and perfumes
- emotional factors, such as laughing, crying, yelling, and distress
His allergen test which included skin and blood tests showed that he has allergies on the first two allergens mentioned above and peanuts. He is sensitive also to sudden weather changes and perfumes. These allergens often activate symptoms. Thus, aside from asthma he is also diagnosed having allergic rhinitis.
His medication included a bronchodilator, an antihistamine/corticosteroid and a nasal spray. The reason why we bought a home nebulizer for home medication.
In my experience it is also very important that you observe the side effects of the medicines that was being prescribed to your kids. Albuterol has shaking or trembling effects on Yahmir that’s why it was change to Terbutaline, the bronchodilator in the form of syrup.
For his nebulizing, he was prescribed with Ipratropium + Salbutamol nebule. This is also a bronchodilator which treats wheezing and shortness of breath.
For his Allergic Rhinitis, he was given a nasal spray – Physiomer. It relieves congestion & helps restore nasal respiration. I also use it too when my allergic rhinitis attacks.
Lastly, he was given Ketotifen Fumarate, a medicine for a long term control. It is an anti-inflammatory drug, a second-generation H1-antihistamine and mast cell stabilizer, to minimize the frequency and severity of asthma attacks, but Ketotifen is not effective in treating an active asthma attack (acute attack). Yahmir was prescribed to take this medicine for a year.
May I reiterate that the above mentioned medicines are prescribed by Yahmir’s Allergologist for his respiratory condition, and they might not be suitable for your child’s condition.
Never ever, self-medicate or home medicate your children suffering from asthma. It is best to seek medical help to rule out the standing condition and severity of the disorder.
One last thing, never give your children larger doses than is prescribed by your doctor.