Asthma

Asthma Specialist
If your child suffers from asthma, Dr. Nnaeto can help you to treat the condition and ease the symptoms. Patients in East Orange, Essex County, New Jersey can visit Dr. Nkem Nnaeto at Universal Pediatrics, Inc.

Asthma Q & A

by Nkem Nnaeto, MD, FAAP

What is asthma?

Asthma is a breathing condition that causes the airways to narrow and swell, producing extra mucus in the chest. This blockage will make breathing extremely difficult and it can trigger coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath. Some people will experience asthma as only a small nuisance. For others, it can be a more troublesome problem that interferes with daily activities and can even lead to a life-threatening asthma attack.

What are the symptoms?

Unfortunately, there is no cure for asthma, but the symptoms can be controlled to reduce the effects on day-to-day activities. Because asthma can change over time, the best way to keep treatment at its most effective is to work with your doctor to keep track of developing signs and symptoms. Asthma symptoms will vary from person to person. It is possible to have infrequent asthma attacks, have symptoms only at certain times, or have symptoms that are persistent all the time. Some of these symptoms include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest tightness or pain
  • A whistling or wheezing sound when exhaling
  • Trouble sleeping caused by shortness of breath, coughing or wheezing
  • Coughing or wheezing attacks that are worsened by a respiratory virus, such as a cold or the flu.

For some people, asthma signs and symptoms will flare up in certain situations such as:

  • Exercise-induced asthma - may worsen in cold or dry air
  • Occupational asthma - triggered by workplace irritants such as chemical fumes, gasses, or dust
  • Allergy-induced asthma - triggered by airborne substances, such as pollen, mold spores, or pet dander.

When should my child see a doctor?

If an asthma attack gets severe enough it can become life-threatening, especially for young children. Signs that your child’s asthma is getting worse includes:

  • Symptoms of asthma that are bothersome and appear more frequently
  • Increasing difficulty while breathing
  • The need to use a quick-relief inhaler more often
  • Signs of an asthma emergency include:
  • Rapid worsening of shortness of breath or wheezing
  • No improvement even after using a quick-relief inhaler, such as albuterol
  • Shortness of breath when you are doing minimal physical activity

Work with your doctor to create an action plan against your asthma that best addresses your child’s signs and symptoms, what to do when symptoms worsen, and when you might need emergency treatment.

Ask us

Feel free to email us regarding any scheduling or general questions!

Follow Us
Hours