What is Asthma in Children?
The word 'asthma' is derived
from the Greek meaning ' panting' or 'labored breathing'.
Asthma is a condition characterized by a paroxysmal wheezing
dyspnoea (difficulty in breathing), mainly expiratory.
Recurrent episode of paroxysmal dyspnoea
(difficulty in breathing)
The breathing is laboured, with a wheezing sound, mainly on
Asthma attacks often occur in the early hours of morning (when
there is no immediate precipitating cause). During the attack
patients often prefers to sit then lie down.
According to the etiology, bronchial
asthma is divided in the following groups:
Allergic (extrinsic/ atopic) - This type of asthma usually
starts in childhood and is often preceded by eczema. But most
of the young adults (<35 yrs) developing asthma also fall
in this category. Genetic factors also play a significant
role i this. In this type of asthma the allergen leads to
production of excessive (IgE) immunoglobulins.
Infective or Intrinsic - This is not hereditary or allergic,
but may be caused by, or at least associated with upper respiratory
tract or bronchial infection which is usually viral.
Psychological factors (like anxiety, emotional stress etc)
are often considered to be the sole cause of some asthmatic
attacks, but it is still not certain whether it can be the
sole cause or is only a precipitating factor.
Occupational asthma - This can occur in certain industries
in which there is exposure to metallic dusts (esp. platinum
salts), biological detergents, toluene diisocyanate, polyurethane,
flour and dust from grains etc.