What is Asthma?
At Thrive Pediatrics, we care for several patients that live with a condition called asthma. Asthma is a lung disorder that keeps one from breathing adequate oxygen.
What are the symptoms?
The symptoms include coughing, shortness of breath and wheezing. Wheezing is a sound usually only heard with a stethoscope but occasionally can be heard from a child’s mouth while breathing during an asthma attack.
What is happening when there is an asthma problem?
Now let us take a closer look into what is happening in the lungs with asthma. The lung pipes that deliver the oxygen that we breath branch into smaller pipes called bronchioles. These tube-like structures help deliver the air we breathe to the alveoli where oxygen exchange occurs. In normal function, lungs allow for easy movement of air. In lungs with asthma, this air movement is restricted due to the closing of the bronchioles and also mucus and swelling inside.
You see we are exposed to microscopic molecules all day long and all night long and in lungs with asthma these molecules cause a dramatic response which causes the airways to become smaller in diameter. This is what leads to the coughing, shortness of breath and wheezing.
What triggers asthma symptoms or attacks?
Common triggers for these symptoms include: