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PostPosted: Sat Jun 10, 2006 12:34 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 12:09 am
Posts: 1054
Proper assessment and treatment of asthma in children can be challenging due to their age and inability to participate in certain tests / their inability to adequately explain symptoms due to limited vocabulary and understanding...I have read about asthma educators and peak flow meters in other threads in this forum and was wondering if anyone knew at what age a child should be reassessed and viewed as able to participate in the process. Based on our observations and advice from our doctor, my son only needs his puffers when he is around allergy triggers (cats, dogs, etc. - which we keep him away from because he is allergic) or has an upper respiratory infection. Because he was so young when we first noticed his allergic asthmatic response and sought treatment, I want to have him reassessed when he's old enough to participate more fully in the process. Any ideas would be appreciated.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 10, 2006 5:05 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2006 1:05 pm
Posts: 528
Location: Burlington, Ontario
Ethansmom, you should really talk to your pediatrician or allergist about that. They might be able to make him take a spyrometry test, which evaluates the lung capacity. They make the patient blow in a tube that's hooked up to a computer and this assesses his breathing capacity in the form of a percentage. What they do with my daughters is make them take a dose of Ventolin after the 1st test, then they repeat the test after 10-15 minutes.

To encourage the kids to blow as hard as they can, they have to blow a sailboat across a lake, or they have to blow all the leaves off a tree, on a computer screen.

I think at 3 years old, he should be able to understand what to do.

_________________
15 year old - asthmatic, allergic to cats, dogs, horses, waiting to be "officially" diagnosed for anaphylaxis
12 year old - asthmatic, allergic to tree pollen and mold, OAS
Husband - Allergic to amoxycillin
Self - Allergic to housework only


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 11, 2006 9:17 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 12:09 am
Posts: 1054
Thanks for your response Nicole -- yes, of course I will be talking to his doctor but in the meantime was just more curious about the kinds of tests that are done, at what age they expect a child to be in order to get reliable results, and if his allergist can perform the tests or if he'd be referred to someone else...the www.asthma.ca website has also offered some answers to these questions. Thanks again!


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2006 7:26 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2006 8:22 pm
Posts: 154
Location: Georgia
Hi Ethansmom

I don't have asthma, but the 2 Allergists I have been to are great w/ asthma. It seems in the medical community you either go to a Pulmonary Doc or an Allergist. My personal opinion is that the Allergist is better strictly for the reason that an Allergist is more focused on cause and preventation; Pulmonary Docs are good at treating symptoms. Both are fine if you have a good one, but the Allergist is more likely to suggest shots or environmental controls (more pro-active). My Mom sees a good Pulmonologist for her COPD, but the treatment if she has sinusitis/allergy symptoms is strictly "take Sudafed or antihistamines." I prefer to combine symptomatic treatment w/ getting rid of or controlling the causitive agents.
To answer your question about age, I agree w/ Nicole that he should be old enough to do the test. One time when I was having an allergic period and was short of breath, I actually got to "huff and puff" and blow down the 1st Little Pigs house of straw. It was quite a lot of fun! Great computer program. Good to set up a baseline.
It sounds like you have been great at controlling your son's asthma. Keep up the good parenting!
Daisy


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