Examining the Childhood Asthma Epidemic: Part 5

Living with Asthma

If you suspect your child has asthma, it’s important to get a comprehensive evaluation since no two children are alike. Children with moderate to severe asthma should be referred to an asthma specialist, who will measure pulmonary function and design an individualized management plan.

Many – but not all – researchers and doctors believe early diagnosis and treatment may reduce the degree of damage to the lungs.

One of the most optimistic is Andrew Liu, M.D., of the National Jewish Medical Center in Denver, Colo., a leader in research on asthma treatment. Speaking at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, Liu cited recent worldwide research indicating that reducing exposure to allergens and irritants early in a child’s life may cure or even prevent the onset of asthma.

“By the time a kid’s older than 5, his asthma is set,” Redding notes. Studies are still ongoing to determine whether doctors can stop asthma or just control it, and whether scarring can be reversed, he says. “If you think your kid has asthma, get it diagnosed and controlled so he or she can live a normal life. The goal is to get symptom-free days.”

p.5 l next: How to Manage a Child's Asthma

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