Asthma is the most common chronic disease in childhood. Children with poorly controlled asthma have frequent symptoms including persistent cough, labored breathing, and sometimes wheezing. These symptoms can affect their daily activities, school attendance, sports participation, and sleep. Parents often miss work or their own sleep due to their children’s asthma. However, childhood asthma can be well controlled.
At Greensboro Pediatricians we are committed to the successful management of this disease so that our patients with asthma can have normal childhoods free of chronic respiratory symptoms. Identifying the triggers of an individual child’s asthma, such as respiratory infections (“colds”), allergies, exercise, weather change, or irritants like second-hand smoke, plays an important role asthma control. Learning how to avoid those triggers can be achieved through a good patient-parent-healthcare provider relationship. Proper medication management, including the correct use of asthma medication and devices, is also essential to reducing the frequency and severity of asthma symptoms.
Genevieve Mack, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner at Greensboro Pediatricians, has received extensive specialty training in the diagnosis and treatment of childhood asthma, and provides comprehensive asthma management for our patients with mild, moderate and severe asthma. Her asthma management visits include a thorough assessment of symptoms, identification of triggers, diagnosis of asthma severity and any related diseases such as seasonal allergies, eczema, sinusitis or gastroesophagael reflux. When indicated, asthma visits also include a type of lung function test called sprirometry. Spirometry measures the amount and speed of air forced out the lungs, and can be performed on children ages 5 and up here in the office. This test helps us to understand the type and severity of lung disease that is causing the child’s respiratory symptoms.
The comprehensive asthma visit also includes hands on education with the patient and parents/guardians on avoidance of established triggers, medication management, use of devices including inhalers, spacers, nebulizers and peak flow meters, and development of an “asthma action plan”.
By working together with families dealing with asthma, we can successfully manage this common childhood disease and improve the lives of our asthmatic patients and their caregivers.