In children, asthma is the leading cause of chronic illness. It is estimated that as much as 12 percent of children in the United States have asthma, and the numbers are steadily increasing each year. Experts suggest many causes for the rise in childhood asthma, including the decrease in mothers breastfeeding their infants, less exposure to childhood illnesses that build healthy immune systems, second hand smoke and more exposure to allergens such as dust and air pollution.

Risk factors for asthma include:

  • Childhood allergies
  • Respiratory infections, especially in infants
  • Premature birth
  • Low birth weight
  • Family history of asthma or allergies
  • Male children
  • African American decent
  • Being raised in low-income households

While not all children have the same asthma symptoms, the following are commonly seen symptoms that may indicate your child has asthma:

  • Frequent coughing spells without illness
  • Fatigue when playing
  • Wheezing
  • Rapid breathing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Headaches
  • Dark circles under eyes
  • Loss of appetite
  • Frequent colds or upper respiratory infections

If your child has any of the above symptoms, ruling out childhood asthma is a good place to start. Call Atlanta ENT today for a childhood asthma consultation.

Ramie A. Tritt, MD, President, Atlanta ENT