Asthma Specialist

NOVA Pediatrics and Young Adult Medicine

Pediatricians located in Springfield, VA & Woodbridge, VA

Asthma affects the lungs and makes it hard for your child to breathe, especially during an attack. Symptoms of this common, long-term disease in children and young adults are evaluated and treated by the team of experienced professionals at NOVA Pediatrics and Young Adult Medicine, with locations in Springfield and Woodbridge, Virginia. They can help you identify triggers and develop a treatment plan that helps your child manage symptoms and asthma attacks. Call the office today to speak with a friendly staff member for an appointment or use the online scheduling tool to book.

Asthma Q & A

What is asthma?

Asthma is an immune system reaction that causes inflammation in your airways. It affects the tubes that carry air in and out of the lungs, narrowing the passageways and making it harder to breathe.

Asthma is often triggered by an allergy (allergy-induced asthma) or physical activity (exercise-induced asthma.) 

Asthma symptoms vary in type and severity but often include difficulty breathing, wheezing, coughing, and chest pain and tightness. 

What happens when a child has an asthma attack?

During an asthma attack, the breathing tubes become very swollen and produce extra mucus. That makes it hard to get a full breath, making your child gasp for air. Chest pain and lightheadedness can be common during an asthma attack, as well. 

Some children say they feel like a fish out of water, gasping in the same way when having an asthma attack. When a child is in the throes of an asthma attack, they may panic because of the inability to breathe freely, which can make symptoms worse. 

Parents should remain calm during an asthma attack because it helps the child remain calm as well. The team at NOVA Pediatrics and Young Adult Medicine helps you develop a strategy for managing asthma attacks so you and your child can deal with symptoms in a measured, effective manner.

What triggers asthma attacks in children?

Children may be susceptible to a number of different asthma triggers. These can include pet dander, cigarette smoke, pollen, mold, chemicals in cleaning products, dust mites, extreme temperatures, and viruses. 

If asthma isn't controlled with preventive medications, children may also suffer asthma attacks after heavy exercise or when overexcited. In children who have food allergies, asthma attacks may also be tied to the food they're allergic to.

How is asthma treated in children?

Asthma treatment can be twofold. First, young patients need "rescue" medications that relax the muscles wrapped around the airways during an asthma attack. These medications are taken through an inhaler only as needed when the asthma attack begins. 

Prevention is key when it comes to asthma attacks in children. There are some very effective preventive medications, generally taken on a daily basis, that can help control airway inflammation for the long term. By having both rescue medications and preventive medications, the number of attacks is greatly reduced, and any attacks that do occur can be alleviated rapidly.

To get expert asthma treatment for your child, call NOVA Pediatrics and Young Adult Medicine today or request your visit online.