You may have to increase your preventer inhaler while you have the cough.
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Smokers usually get two types of cough. It can be a cough caused by irritation or damage to the lungs due to smoking. It could also be one caused by colds, the flu or bronchitis.
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The HSE provides free support to smokers who are thinking of quitting. This support is available on the phone, online or in person. Visit www. To find out what's causing your cough your GP will ask you questions about your symptoms and examine you. They may also:. I accept cookies. Manage your cookies. A cough will usually go away within 3 weeks on its own. In most children, asthma develops before 5 years of age, and in more than half, asthma develops before 3 years of age.
Diagnosing asthma can be difficult and time-consuming because different children with asthma can have very different patterns of symptoms. For example, some kids cough at night but seem fine during the day, while others seem to get frequent chest colds that don't go away. To establish a diagnosis of asthma, a doctor rules out every other possible cause of a child's symptoms.
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The doctor asks questions about the family's asthma and allergy history, performs a physical exam, and possibly orders laboratory tests see Tests Used to Diagnose Asthma. Be sure to provide the doctor with as many details as possible, no matter how unrelated they might seem.
In particular, keep track of and report the following:.
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This information helps the doctor understand a child's pattern of symptoms, which can then be compared to the characteristics of different categories of asthma see below. The severity of asthma is classified based on how often the symptoms occur and how bad they are, including symptoms that happen at night, the characteristics of episodes, and lung function. These classifications do not always work well in children because lung function is difficult to measure in younger children. Also, children often have asthma that is triggered by infections, and this kind of asthma does not fit into any category.
A child's symptoms can be categorized into one of four main categories of asthma, each with different characteristics and requiring different treatment approaches. What Causes Childhood Asthma? Asthma in children usually has many causes, or triggers. These triggers may change as a child ages. A child's reaction to a trigger may also change with treatment.
Viral infections can increase the likelihood of an asthma attack. Common triggers of asthma include the following:. Asthma Causes: Allergies and Exercise. Although people with asthma have some type of allergy , the allergy isn't always the primary cause of asthma. Even if allergies are not your child's primary triggers for asthma asthma may be triggered by colds, the flu , or exercise for example , allergies can still make symptoms worse.
Children inherit the tendency to have allergies from their parents. People with allergies make too much "allergic antibody," which is called immunoglobulin E IgE. The IgE antibody recognizes small quantities of allergens and causes allergic reactions to these usually harmless particles.
Allergic reactions occur when IgE antibody triggers certain cells called mast cells to release a substance called histamine. Histamine occurs in the body naturally, but it is released inappropriately and at too high an amount in people with allergies. The released histamine is what causes the sneezing, runny nose, and watery eyes associated with some allergies.
In a child with asthma, histamine can also trigger asthma symptoms and flares. An allergist can usually identify any allergies a child may have. Once identified, the best treatment is to avoid exposure to allergens whenever possible. When avoidance isn't possible, antihistamine medications may be prescribed to block the release of histamine in the body and stop allergy symptoms.
Nasal steroids can be prescribed to block allergic inflammation in the nose. In some cases, an allergist can prescribe immunotherapy, which is a series of allergy shots that gradually make the body unresponsive to specific allergens. Children who have exercise-induced asthma develop asthma symptoms after vigorous activity, such as running, swimming, or biking. For some children, exercise is the only thing that triggers asthma; for other children, exercise as well as other factors, trigger symptoms.
Young children with exercise-induced asthma may have subtle symptoms such as coughing or undue breathlessness after physical activity during play. Not every type or intensity of exercise causes symptoms in children with exercise-induced asthma. With the right medicine, most children with exercise-induced asthma can play sports like any other child.
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In fact, a significant portion of Olympic athletes have exercise-induced asthma they've learned to control. If exercise is a child's only asthma trigger, the doctor may prescribe a medication that the child takes before exercising to prevent airways from tightening up. Of course, asthma flare-ups can still occur. Parents or older children must carry the proper "rescue" medication such as metered-dose inhalers to all games and activities, and the child's school nurse, coaches, scout leaders, and teachers must be informed of the child's asthma.
Make sure the child will be able to take the medication at school as needed. What Tests Diagnose Asthma in Children? The goals of asthma therapy are to prevent your child from having chronic and troublesome symptoms, to maintain your child's lung function as close to normal as possible, to allow your child to maintain normal physical activity levels including exercise , to prevent recurrent asthma attacks and to reduce the need for emergency department visits or hospitalizations, and to provide medicines to your child that give the best results with the fewest side effects.
See Understanding Asthma Medications. Medicines that are available fall into two general categories.
One category includes medications that are meant to control asthma in the long term and are used daily to prevent asthma attacks controller medications. These can include inhaled corticosteroids, inhaled cromolyn or nedocromil, long-acting bronchodilators, theophylline , and leukotriene antagonists.
The other category is medications that provide instant relief from symptoms rescue medications. These include short-acting bronchodilators and systemic corticosteroids. Inhaled ipratropium may be used in addition to inhaled bronchodilators following asthma attacks or when asthma worsens.
In general, doctors start with a high level of therapy following an asthma attack and then decrease treatment to the lowest possible level that still prevents asthma attacks and allows your child to have a normal life. Every child needs to follow a customized asthma management plan to control asthma symptoms. House dust mites are the most common allergic trigger for asthma in Australia.
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They are microscopic creatures that feed off skin scales, and thrive in temperate and humid climates such as coastal Australia. The greatest exposure to house dust mites is from your bedding. Ways to reduce house dust mite exposure include:.