Allergies vs. Asthma in Kids

allergies vs asthma in kids

Have you ever worried whether your child has asthma or allergies from their coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath? They can collapse on the ground with severe panting after chasing the soccer ball down the field or tagging their friend in cul de sac games. These scenarios happen so often until, at some point, you realize they might have allergies or asthma.

As a parent, watching your child struggle to breathe is one of the scariest moments in life. However, knowing your child’s symptoms and the ways you should react can make those moments much less overwhelming and differentiate normal physical activity. You can also get your child seen before they have anaphylactic shock or an allergy episode and refuse to lack on your duty to your little one.

What is asthma?

Asthma is a chronic condition that affects the airway and breathing system. Your kiddo’s airway swells, narrows, and produces excess mucus when they suffer from an asthma flare-up. These symptoms make breathing difficult and often require medical intervention to subside.

For some children with asthma, it is simply a nuisance that triggers occasionally. It may be a debilitating condition for other kids that strikes fear into their way of life. There is no cure for asthma, but it is manageable and can sometimes become less of a burden as your child ages and finds freedom in boundaries.

What are allergies?

Allergic reactions occur when a foreign substance triggers your child’s immune system that it detects as harmful to the body. Seasonal allergies, or hay fever, are the most common diagnosis and include triggers, such as pollen, grasses, mold, and dust mites. These allergies may be worse in the fall, spring, and summer seasons but can present themselves at any time due to changes in weather and outside conditions.

They can be frustrating for your kid to deal with, especially during peak seasons when they are at their worst. Your child can similarly create an allergy action plan that helps them manage their symptoms and learn when to expect them. On the flip side, there are far more treatments for allergies than asthma, so you have more options at your disposal to give to your child.

Can my child have allergies and asthma?

It is possible that your child may suffer from both allergies and asthma. People with asthma have allergens that trigger their asthma in many cases the same they would cause an allergic reaction. However, there are irritants like tobacco smoke, cold air, air pollution, respiratory infections, exercise, or stress and anxiety that do not necessarily cause allergies. They are also capable of ramping up your kiddo’s asthma.

Between 80-90% of childhood asthma patients also suffer from allergies, which means it is likely your child suffers from both. We recommend getting a board-certified pediatrician to diagnose what they have to eliminate any confusion and guessing.

How to treat asthma in kids

You must take your child to a pediatrician so they can treat them due to its life-threatening nature with asthma attacks. A kid doctor will begin treating your child by conducting a spirometry test to calculate how much air their lungs can hold. Allergy tests, blood tests, and a chest X-ray can follow to rule out allergies and confirm their potential asthma case.

Asthma could need daily treatment afterwards to keep the airway clear and free of irritants, depending on how severe it is. Or it may need occasional quick treatments with an inhaler for flare-ups or triggers after outside playtime. Your child should maintain a relationship with an in person or virtual pediatrician via Telemedicine in either situation. They will monitor their condition on a routine basis and adjust their treatments as necessary.

How to treat allergies in kids:

You can treat your kid with allergies the same way you help yourself get over a scratchy throat and watery eyes: over-the-counter products. These treatments come in liquid, spray, or pill form, and you should pick which one by knowing your child best, giving them quick relief.

If they have difficulty swallowing an allergy pill, for example, you could opt for a spray or liquid capsule instead. These treatments, along with natural remedies, such as sinus rinses, can keep reactions minimal or prevent them from occurring altogether. Again, your child’s board-certified pediatrician can tailor specific treatments to your child rather than leave you wondering if your Walmart-brand product will help your kid.

Online Pediatric Allergy and Asthma Visits

When your kiddo has wheezing and coughing from allergies or asthma, it could mean treatment for a lifetime (which they might see as a death sentence). However, this is exactly what gives you peace of mind not to assume the worst of what they could have. They can receive ongoing care, and the virtual or in person pediatrician can educate them on how to care for their condition as they grow up.

Our pediatricians understand allergies and asthma can be difficult to distinguish between. We would be happy to answer any questions you have and tell you more about what it means to see an online pediatrician. You can reach us by calling (888).961.8885, and we will contact you as soon as we can.

Misha Harris

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