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Dr Colin Michie

 

Asthma


Allergic conditions such as asthma have become more common during the past century. At Ealing NHS Trust Hospital, London, asthma is the most common single cause of paediatric admission, with injury a very close second. Asthma is also the most common cause of re-admission. 50% - 80% of cases will present themselves before the age of five.

Factors involved in the cause of asthma in children can consist of one or all of the following:

  • Family history
  • Fetal health
  • Lung size, maturity and maternal smoking
  • Neonatal health: exposure to smoke and viruses
  • Hygiene
  • Bronchiolitis
  • Environmental factors (see our dust mite article)

Medication is used to control symptoms and this will be adjusted according to the severity of asthma. Other measures against asthma include allergen control, indoor pollutions control, family therapy, and the use of Chinese or other herbal medicines.

Innovation in prevention of asthma has been promoted by use of patient diaries, information leaflets, indoor and outdoor air quality measures and development of local green spaces and asthma projects with children in schools.

For information and advice on asthma visit www.asthma.org.uk or call the asthma helpline on 0845 701 0203