Therapies for Breathing Better Day and Night
By utilizing a multidisciplinary family-centered approach, our team will develop an individualized treatment plan that can help your child breathe easier. Medicines, such as bronchodilators and anti-inflammatory drugs, can help keep your child's airway open and improve breathing if your child has asthma. Medications can also help children with Cystic Fibrosis improve their lung function and control troublesome symptoms of the disease. In addition, airway clearance devices can help those with Cystic Fibrosis or diseases that cause severe muscle weakness.
If your child has asthma or another breathing condition, the reduction and prevention of symptoms is very important. Your doctor may recommend that your child receive an influenza vaccine each year in order to avoid respiratory infections. There are other preventive measures that you can implement so that your child can avoid worsening of symptoms if he or she already has a lung condition. Your child's treatment may include special feeding and nutrition, particularly if your child was born prematurely. Our doctors can outline exercise and rehabilitation strategies to help maximize your child's lung function so he or she can remain as active as possible. Parents and referring physicians are given a written summary of each new treatment plan and each change in treatment.
Some evidence suggests that poor nutrition, particularly deficiencies in antioxidants and certain minerals including vitamins A, C, and E, potassium, magnesium, selenium and zinc, is associated with having asthma and breathing conditions. Such nutrients can be obtained from an adequate daily intake of fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts and whole grains.
Exercise helps some people with asthma and breathing conditions. By strengthening and improving endurance, your child may reduce breathlessness somewhat. Walking, for example, is a good exercise to build endurance. Talk to your doctor and/or respiratory therapist about how your child can begin an exercise program and build up slowly and safely.
There are breathing exercises that may help improve lung function. Talk to your doctor about working with a respiratory therapist in order for your child to learn such exercises. It is important, when learning breathing techniques, to work with an appropriately trained professional because the techniques are not good for everyone. Attending pulmonary rehabilitation is the best way to learn exercise and breathing techniques.
Group Support and Patient Education
Education of the patient and active partnership of the patient and doctor is the cornerstone of asthma and breathing conditions management. At Children's Hospital Colorado, we believe in the importance of starting patient and family education at the time of diagnosis, integrating it into every step of clinical care, and tailoring it specifically to the needs of each patient, with sensitivity to cultural beliefs and practices.
Children with asthma or another breathing condition may be prescribed medication or other breathing aids to treat their condition. Those with persistent asthma should take control medications on a regular basis to prevent symptoms from occurring. A severe asthma attack requires a medical evaluation and may require hospitalization, oxygen and intravenous medications. Medicines for Cystic Fibrosis help keep the lungs as healthy as possible, as well as reduce and control mucus in the lungs. Antibiotics may be used to treat infections.