Pediatrics: Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine

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Asthma Care Program

ASTHMA The Asthma Care Program provides a single source of comprehensive asthma care for children. Our pediatric pulmonologists specialize in the care of infants, children, and adolescents with asthma and work to offer a comprehensive approach to asthma management. Children with asthma or who are having problems with coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath or chest tightness are evaluated by our specialists.

Asthma is a disease that affects the lungs.  It is one of the most common long-term diseases of childhood and adulthood.  Asthma does not go away when symptoms go away.  If your child has asthma, it needs to be cared for even if he or she is feeling good.  The goal of asthma treatment is to control the disease and prevent attacks. Asthma has to be cared for all the time, not just when symptoms are present. Specific treatments for asthma will be determined by your child’s provider based on his or her age, overall health, medical history, extent of the disease, expectations for the course of the disease, and family opinion and preference

Asthma is managed by:

  • Identifying and minimizing contact with asthma triggers
  • Understanding and taking medications as prescribed
  • Monitoring asthma to recognize signs when it is getting worse
  • Knowing what to do when asthma gets worse

Asthma is treated by:

  • The use of objective measures of lung function-spirometry, peak flow expiratory rate, and pulse oximetry-to diagnose the severity of asthma and to monitor the course of treatment.
  • The use of medication therapy designed to reverse and prevent the airway swelling component of asthma as well as to treat the narrowing airway.
  • The use of environmental control measures to avoid or eliminate factors that cause or trigger asthma flare-ups.
  • Patient education that includes a partnership among the child, family members, and health care providers.

Good asthma control will:

  • Prevent chronic and troublesome symptoms, such as coughing and shortness of breath
  • Reduce your need for quick-relief medicines
  • Help you maintain good lung function
  • Let you maintain your normal activity levels and sleep through the night
  • Prevent asthma attacks that could result in your going to the emergency room or being admitted to the hospital for treatment
© 2015 Medical College of Wisconsin
Page Updated 12/01/2014