My three-year-old daughter just ended a four-day hospital stay because of an extreme attack. It was her third hospitalization in a year. I am having trouble determining her triggers. Her attacks have occurred at different times of the year and under different circumstances.
Her pediatrician has her on Ventolin and Intal inhalers, but she still wheezes frequently throughout the day. I am at my wit’s end trying to manage this frightening illness. Please help.
Asthma that is not well controlled is distressing. When a three-year-old has persistent symptoms with frequent wheezing and hospitalization, it is appropriate to request a consultation from a pediatric allergist or pulmonologist.
It is important to go through several thought processes with your doctor. First, confirm that the symptoms are actually asthma and not another problem, such as a peanut or other foreign body lodged in the airway. This is only one of several explanations that should be considered. Next, determine the cause of the asthma (i.e. is it allergic or related to infection). Then, the doctor should review the possible causes for continued symptoms.
Most children with asthma can live a normal life with proper treatment. Asthma can lead to missed school, difficulties playing sports, missed work for parents, when it is not well controlled. It can also lead to many visits to the emergency room and doctor’s office.
Families should work closely with their healthcare specialists to create a plan to care for a child with asthma. Talk with your pediatrician and see if he or she would agree with a specialty consultation.