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Childhood Asthma

What are Common Patterns of Asthma in Children?

This section will describe some of the common patterns of asthma symptoms that children with asthma have.
An Asthma Attack can be thought of as the presence of moderate or severe asthma symptoms, which last for a day or longer.

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This pattern is called "Mild Intermittent Asthma." Children with Mild Intermittent Asthma have fairly mild attacks (more often than not, starting a couple days after "colds"), and have few or no asthma symptoms between these attacks. Doctors often treat this type of asthma with Reliever medications, used on an "as needed" basis. Some doctors recommend starting the Reliever medication at the start of "colds," to help prevent the muscles around the bronchial tubes from tightening up.

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This pattern is called "Severe Intermittent Asthma." Patients with Severe Intermittent Asthma generally have infrequent attacks, but when attacks happen, they are often severe and need a visit to the Emergency Room or even admission to the hospital. As in Mild Intermittent Asthma, "colds" are the most common trigger in children. Attacks tend to be severe despite the types of treatment used for Mild Intermittent Asthma. Doctors may recommend using a Preventer medication — year 'round or just during the seasons when asthma attacks are most likely to happen.

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This pattern is called Chronic Asthma. Children with Chronic Asthma have symptoms most days. They have asthma attacks (which may be mild or severe) and often have symptoms even when they're not having an attack. Current Canadian Asthma Guidelines recommend that children with Chronic Asthma receive regular, daily treatment with a Preventer medication, and also have a Reliever medication available to use on an "as needed" basis.


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