By Nathan Rendler, MD
Asthma is the most common chronic illness of childhood, and a leading cause of emergency room visits as well as hospitalizations in children. Conservatively, at least 10% and anywhere up to 14% of kids in the US are affected, and many suffer from mild and persistent symptoms that interfere with their daily life activities. Oftentimes, these kids are less active and may avoid sports and playing with their friends and classmates because of their breathing difficulties. Since this disease is defined as an obstructive airway disease marked by chronic inflammation, many patients benefit from long term preventive treatment to prevent the risk of scarring in the lungs. Asthma is often associated and triggered by allergy, and the presence of eczema/itchy skin is often an early clue to the risk of its development. Together, these conditions are significant causes of school and work absences, and a major cause of visits to the pediatrician’s office.
At Valle Verde Pediatrics, we share our special expertise in comprehensively evaluating and treating these conditions. We take the time to test and diagnose our patients and educate them and their families as to the best course of treatment, with a special emphasis on long term prevention. We’re one of the few primary care practices in the greater San Diego area to use a machine called a spirometer, that provides objective evidence of how the patient is breathing and how the large and small airways of the lungs are working. This objective tool is very valuable both as a diagnostic and management tool for helping our patients. Our approach has significantly reduced the need for our patients to miss school, visit the emergency room, as well as prevent the need for hospitalization.
A number of years ago I had a unique opportunity to create a helpful educational resource book for my asthma patients. Working with a former respiratory therapist who subsequently became an asthma pharmaceutical rep, we designed special asthma educational materials in English and Spanish. I have enclosed these materials on the asthma/allergy web page, and hope that you find them helpful in understanding asthma, its symptoms and triggers, and how we treat it. On the website page, I’ve also included helpful information on managing common environmental allergies, information on a San Diego food allergy support group founded by one of the mom’s in my practice, and educational information on eczema/atopic dermatitis, as well as hives.
Please let us know if we can help your children with any questions, evaluation and treatment concerns on these topics. Working together, we can keep them healthy and ensure that they lead full, active, happy and productive lives.
- Asthma Education Material
- Childhood Asthma Control Test
- The Asthma Flare-up
- Signs of an Asthma Flare-up
- Asthma: When to Go To School
- Living With Asthma
- Asthma Triggers
- Asthma Medicines
- Using an Asthma Inhaler
- How To Use an Albuterol Rescue Inhaler
- How to Use an Aerochamber Spacer Device
- Using the Diskus Inhaler
- How to use a Nebulizer for Asthma
- Using a Peak Flow Meter
- Peak Flow Tracking Sheet
- Using an Asthma Action Plan
- Asthma Action Plan
- Helpful Asthma Websites