Frequently Asked Questions

What is Asthma?

Asthma is a controllable, chronic disease that causes breathing problems. During an Asthma episode, the muscles that wrap around the airways tighten becoming swollen and producing a thick mucus. This blocks the airways and makes it difficult to breathe.

What causes Asthma?

The exact cause is not known. However doctors do agree that people with asthma have sensitive airways. When exposed to triggers, these people may experience asthma symptoms. Exercise can also cause an asthma episode. If you experience symptoms while exercising, contact your doctor.

How can I control my child's Asthma symptoms?

Although there is no cure, your doctor can help you control your child's symptoms. With proper control, your child with asthma can lead an active, healthy life.

What are Peak Flow Meters?

A peak flow meter is a device that measures the amount of air that can be blown out of the lungs. Peak flow meters can detect changes in teh lungs hours, even days, before asthma symptoms appear.

What are the warning signs of an Asthma episode?

Asthma episodes rarely occur without warning, It is important to recognize the signs of an episode early and begin an action plan as soon as possible. Warning signs are not the same for everyone. Click here to see some of the more common warning signs.

How can I manage Asthma in my young child?

Asthma episodes can happen more quickly in a child under five years old. Parents can often detect an asthma episode early and begin treating the episode at home following the instructions listed in the Asthma Action Plan provided by your child's doctor.

What are some Asthma medications?

There are two types of medications. Daily/controller medicines are used to prevent asthma episodes. These medicines should be taken every day with accordance with your doctor's instructions. Rescue medicines are used during an asthma episode. These medicines work by relaxing the muscles that tighten around the airways. Click here to learn more about Asthma treatments.

What are Asthma Action Plans?

Asthma Action Plans are prescribed by your child's doctor. These plans are usually color-coded in the colors of a stoplight. Green indicates no symptoms are present, yellow indicates caution warning signs are present, and red indicates Emergency warning signs are present. Click here to learn more about Asthma Action Plans.

What is a Spacer?

A spacer is a tool used with a metered dose inhaler. When used correctly it helps provide more medicine to the lungs. If your child's spacer becomes torn or cracked, replace it. Talk to your child's doctor about the correct cleaning procedure for your child's spacer.

When should I refill my child's inhaler?

If you know how many days your child's inhaler medication will last it's easier to know when it needs to be refilled. Read the information on the inhaler canister to find out the number of puffs that a full canister provides.

What is a Nebulizer?

A nebulizer is a tool that lets your child take asthma medicine as a mist. Nebulizers may be used by children under five years of age and by children who have problems using metered dose inhalers.

What should I do if my child is having an Asthma episode?

Know the early warning signs and stay calm. Move your child away form the asthma trigger if you can and follow you doctor prescribed Asthma Action Plan. Don't forget to recheck your child's peak flow 10 minutes after giving the rescue medication. If the episode is sever contact your child's doctor immediately.

When should I call the doctor?

You should contact a doctor when your child's wheeze, cough or shortness of breath gets worse 5 to 10 minutes after taking medicine. Your child's peak flow ro warning signs are in the red zone and does not improve after following the red zone plan. Your child's lips or fingernails turn gray or blue. If any of these occur you should contact your child's doctor immediately.