Asthma in Babies – A Rising Pandemic

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Babies are born perfect in the eyes of every parent and you wouldn’t suspect anything can be awfully wrong with them. But, this is not always true; as more and more infants have congenitally related diseases as well as more prone to life threatening infections which have caused a number of fatalities; when left untreated. This is very alarming and scary especially when dealing with babies who cannot speak for themselves. One of the prevalent diseases in children is that of asthma. This is defined as a chronic pulmonary infection which causes lung inflammation resulting to periods of breathing difficulties. Statistics show that this particular systemic condition affects almost 5 million children in the United States alone and majority of this are contracted by children younger than 1 year old. This has caused real pandemic scare globally especially for parents. No one knows for sure why the incidence rates of asthma are relatively increasing over the years. Although, there are numerous studies which correlates this occurrence to the increased rate of environmental pollutants brought about by modern industrialization. This has also been linked to a variety of triggers such as that of food allergens from processed foods. 

Asthma is triggered by a whole lot of diverse allergens or irritants found in the environments such as moulds, dust, mites, smoke, animal dander, and pollen; to name a few. This is also attributed to exposure to sudden extreme changes in temperature. This is also associated to hay fever and other upper respiratory infections; as this can be a precursor to some respiratory diseases.  Babies who have food or environmental allergies are more prone towards asthma; especially those who are genetically predisposed to such. Just like any other diseases, asthma can also be inherited from the family tree.

Asthmatic episodes are truly a scary scenario for parents and children. These episodes instantly occur after being exposed to major irritants; which sets of an untoward allergic response such as spasms, swelling, and production of excess mucus which in turn causes constriction of air passages and creates a high-pitched wheezing sound. In the case of infants, their lungs are still very small, so it only takes a bit of allergic swelling that makes it difficult for them to breathe.

Here are warning signals that you should watch out for in infant asthma (this warrants immediate medical treatment):

  • Rapid breathing patterns

  • Retractions or a pulling sensation in the ribcage

  • Paleness

  • Cyanosis or bluish discoloration of the nails and lips.

  • Flared up nostrils

  • Wheezing

There are normal cases of wheezing during infancy which are caused by common cold viruses which may not necessarily be asthma. But, every bit of symptom associated with asthma allergies should be taken seriously and brought to proper medical attention to avoid any further complications such as that of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) which is the common culprit for bronchiolitis in very young children or infants. This type of pneumonia often starts out as a common cold then progresses to a worsening case of nasal congestion, wheezing, and coughing.  Proper and immediate medical action should be taken for any slight symptoms noted especially when it comes to infants.


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