Bronchial asthma can cause extremely unpleasant symptoms in a baby. An asthmatic attack makes breathing more difficult, which can interfere with daily activities. Unfortunately, this condition often persists for a lifetime – chronic bronchitis does not disappear completely. However, adequate care and prevention of infections can help a child with asthma lead a healthy lifestyle. So what causes asthma and can a child outgrow it? Let’s discuss the main causes of pathology.
What is bronchial asthma?
The term bronchial asthma describes a chronic condition in which the airways (mainly the bronchi), through which oxygen enters the lungs, sharply narrow, which prevents the normal passage of air through it and free breathing. The basis of the problem is chronic inflammation, complicated by excessive production of mucus, thick and viscous, as well as hyperreactivity of the walls of the bronchi, frequent spasms of their smooth muscles. When breathing, air passes through the nasal passages (or mouth) into the pharynx. and larynx. Then it enters the lumen of the trachea, at the end of which two main bronchi are formed – the right one with the left one. Each bronchus, branching into small “branches” enters the lungs, the smallest bronchi, called bronchioles, ends with sacs called alveoli.
In case of bronchial asthma, severe inflammation develops in the middle bronchi and bronchioles. Swelling of the mucous membrane narrows the internal lumen of the bronchus, and this limits the amount of air reaching the lungs. The condition is aggravated by the release of excess mucus from goblet cells and spasm of smooth muscle cells, progressive deformation of the walls of the bronchi. All of these conditions make breathing difficult, which leads to the formation of bronchial asthma.
Causes of asthma in a baby
The fundamental cause of asthma is not yet known. Experts say that the disease is mainly genetically determined. This means that the disease is the result of passing the defective gene to the baby, which is inherited from generation to generation. Bronchial asthma is also associated with allergies, such as eczema or pollinosis (less commonly – other forms), which are also genetically determined. However, even having unfavorable heredity kid may never suffer from seizures. To initiate them, a number of events, special conditions and the influence of triggers are necessary in order to realize hereditary predisposition and to form chronic inflammation in the bronchi. Very rarely asthma occurs in babies who do not have a genetic predisposition, if they are constantly exposed to the influence of dangerous compounds, allergens and other factors.
Factors provocateurs: the role of infection
In the development of asthmatic attacks an important role is played by the environment in which the baby lives, as well as the general state of health, heredity, and particular care for them. Among the leading provocateurs are:
- Potential allergens. These are substances that enter the respiratory tract or food components that change the body’s immune reactivity . Even dust mites, insect droppings and animal dander can be potential allergens.
- Respiratory infection. Frequent colds, viral or microbial infections of the upper respiratory tract, the development of pneumonia and flu can cause inflammation of the bronchi along with excessive mucus secretion. If this inflammation is not completely cured, or the infection is affected too often, it creates ideal conditions for provoking asthma.
- Physical activity. Outdoor games or intense activities that require heavy movement and increased breathing can cause asthma in a predisposed baby. This type of attack is called asthma caused by physical exertion.
What other factors can provoke inflammation of the bronchi
The provocateurs of inflammation in the walls of the bronchi can become air pollutants: automobile exhausts, tobacco smoke and smog cause asthma attacks, stimulating inflammation. In addition, strong odors and volatile chemicals can also cause an attack. Sudden changes of weather, dry, cold air stimulates the production of mucus, which in the case of asthmatic illness can make breathing difficult.
Some drugs that usually fall under the category of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs affect the immune system and can cause asthma in a child who has a hereditary predisposition. Most of these trigger drugs, with the exception of paracetamol and ibuprofen, are usually not prescribed to children.
Food chemistry may become provocateurs of chronic bronchial inflammation. Older children can consume a variety of products containing preservatives. Amplifiers taste or dyes. Some preservatives can cause food allergies, which may indirectly affect the formation of asthma. All these factors alone do not provoke asthma, but for some children they can become a triggering factor if they have an initial predisposition.
Respiratory problems in children
It is important to understand that not every cold and not every kid provokes asthma attacks. But if, against the background of a commonplace ARVI, a child’s dyspnea and shortness of breath are formed each time – this is a cause for concern and targeted examination. You should also worry if colds are often complicated by bronchitis, especially obstructive. Against the background of which breathing is impaired, antibiotic treatment is required. This suggests that the airways of the child are reactive, they can be narrowed due to the production of mucus and inflammation, which is not completely extinguished (especially when the child is more often). In this case, such changes in the respiratory tract may be background for the subsequent formation of asthma.
Today, it is known that asthma can occur even in very young children who are still breastfed. The study of asthma symptoms in children is vital for effective problem solving.