Treatment of Asthma

Goals of Asthma Treatment

  • Decrease in cough, wheeze, and shortness of breath
  • Rare nighttime symptoms
  • Need for rescue inhaler (Albuterol/Maxair) should be less than 3 times a week
  • No need for emergency room visits or admission to the hospital
  • Rare limits on physical activities
  • No missed school days from asthma

Managing an Asthma Episode

Treatment should be started as soon as early warning signs occur. This is why it is so important to recognize early warning signs. Chances of a severe episode are greatly reduced by fast and appropriate treatment. Delaying treatment can make asthma symptoms harder to stop.

At the first sign of breathing difficulties, the child should stop any activity and rest. Children who panic or have a hard time settling down may need to practice relaxing.

Use the medications prescribed by your health care provider for an increase in asthma symptoms. Be sure you understand exactly how to use the medicine your health care provider has prescribed. If you have any problems managing an asthma episode, call your health care provider. Let them know how the child responded to medicine. Ask them what to do next. If the episode worsens to the point where the child is having a lot of trouble breathing and the medicine does not help, go to your local emergency room or call the rescue squad. Signs of this could include:

  • Excessive coughing
  • Rapid shallow breathing
  • Child complains can’t breathe
  • Wheezing
  • Pale or blue skin color
  • Blue lips or nail beds
  • Child appears very tired, fatigued
  • Child loses consciousness
  • Child uses neck, shoulder, and chest muscles to help breathe