Asthma often begins during childhood or the teen years and may last throughout your child's life.
Asthma is classified as intermittent, mild persistent, moderate persistent, and severe persistent.
Asthma attacks and what makes them worse
An asthma attack occurs when your child's symptoms suddenly increase. While some asthma attacks occur very suddenly, many get worse over a period of several days.
Things that can lead to an asthma attack or make one worse include:
Most asthma attacks result from a failure to control asthma with medicines. When your child strictly follows his or her asthma action plan and takes all medicines correctly, it is possible to prevent attacks.
Effect on your child's life
At times, the inflammation of the airways in asthma causes your child's airways to narrow and produce mucus, resulting in asthma symptoms such as shortness of breath.
Loss of lung function in asthma appears to start early in childhood. Asthma also may increase the risk of a partial collapse of lung tissue (atelectasis) or a collapsed lung (pneumothorax).
Sometimes asthma does not respond to treatment because children are not taking their medicines or are not taking them correctly, are not avoiding triggers, and are otherwise not following their asthma action plan. It is very important that you and other caregivers make sure your child is following his or her action plan to keep asthma from getting worse and to reduce the risk of death from asthma.
By following asthma plans, most children who have asthma can live a healthy, full life.