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Explain wheezing and asthma in infants – Part 1

• Wheezing and asthma can be very worrisome when seen in infants, medically this condition is caused due to the inflammation of the mucous membrane of the bronchial tubes (present in the lungs).
What are the bronchial tubes? These are the small air passages that connect the nasal passages to the lungs. These tubes need a mechanism to trap invasive particles including bacteria and other pathogens, and this role is played by the mucus membranes in these tubes.
• If allowed to pass through, these bacteria and other pathogens pose a danger that they may infect the lungs and the respiratory system. The inflammation of these mucus membranes in what causes wheezing and asthma.
• The condition of wheezing and asthma may be acute or chronic, and what is surprising to many people who associate asthma with adults is that there are many kids who have been diagnosed with asthma.
• The initial symptoms for this problem are seen between the age group of three to six.
• In fact, kids are more prone to this condition than adults.

Symptoms of Wheezing and Asthma

• Bronchial inflammation
• Fever
• Difficulty in Breathing
• Cough
• Hoarseness
• Pain in Chest
• Loss of Appetite
• Asthma and wheezing

Causes of Wheezing and asthma (some of these are more adult oriented though)

• Smoking
• Working in a suffocated atmosphere
• Use of drugs
• Heredity / Genetics
• Changes in weather conditions
• Pathogens
• Allergies
• Low Immunity

Diagnosis of Asthma

• When children are very young, especially in the age group of 3 to 5, it can be very difficult to find out whether the child is wheezing due to asthma.
• Whether there is a problem in regularity of the functioning of the lungs function cannot be easily or accurately found out when children are so young; the lung function test is more accurate for kids above 6; not so for those below 6.
• The reason for this age related issue is that for this test, there is a need for synchronization of deep breathing and exhaling out, and older children are more easily able to cooperate in doing such tests.
• In addition, when the child is very small, the baby’s lungs are still in the process of development, and hence it becomes difficult to pinpoint the exact condition.
• For example, even in respiratory tract or viral infections, it is found that the air passages of the baby are swollen.
How do this happen? The air passages are filled with mucous, blocking the passage, and this can happens more quickly than in adults and hence lead to similar symptoms such as those found in asthma and wheezing.

Bronchiolitis and Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)

There are some other conditions of infants that seem similar to wheezing and asthma. They are:
• Bronchiolitis, normally caused by Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV).
• In this case, the Bronchioles, which are the airways of lungs, get constricted making the passage smaller than normal. In such conditions, this makes breathing strenuous.
• In infants, this is more pronounced as their bronchioles are not developed making the constriction even narrower.

Symptoms of Bronchiolitis include:

– Rapid breathing
– Cough
– Wheezing
– Fever
– Chest pain
– Cold
• When the infants grow up and become adults, bronchiolitis may lead to asthma and wheezing in the later stages of life.
• It is still not known whether the condition arises due to RSV or the way the bronchioles are shaped at birth.
• A person with asthma and wheezing is prone to bronchiolitis and also vice versa.

Wheezing in infants is due to include:
• A foreign object causing a reaction from the body air passages.
• Food inhaled into the lungs.
• Premature birth.
• Not well developed airways.
• Cystic fibrosis.
• Delayed growth.

Life and Breath Natural Relief for Your Child’s Asthma Asthma Allergies Children: A Parent’s Guide

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