Asthma is one of the most common diagnoses among hospitalized children. It also is the leading cause of emergency room visits and school absences. Norton Children’s Pulmonology, affiliated with the UofL School of Medicine, provides specialized care for asthma in children and teens.
What Is Asthma?
Asthma is a chronic lung condition in which the lungs react to various “triggers” or materials in the air, such as smoke, pollution and some respiratory infections. The triggers cause inflammation in the airways. This causes a child’s airways to become narrow, and their lungs are more sensitive and reactive than children without asthma. This can cause issues such as:
- Bronchoconstriction: This is when the muscles around the airways tighten, making the airways even more narrow.
- Obstruction: This is when extra mucus and inflammatory swelling causes the airways to become blocked.
- Asthma attacks or flares: This is when a trigger causes the lungs to react suddenly, causing bronchoconstriction and obstruction that comes in waves, and a child has difficulty breathing.
Asthma Treatments at Norton Children’s Pulmonology
Childhood Asthma Care and Education Center
Our center is exclusively dedicated to treating children with asthma. We offer comprehensive, state-of-the-art therapeutic strategies for all stages of the disease. We base an asthma diagnosis off of a child’s symptoms as well as in lung function testing using the latest technology. Our clinic performs testing, including:
- Spirometry: A pulmonary function test that shows how well the lungs are working by measuring how much air a person breathes out and how fast
- Impulse oscillometry: A noninvasive test that measures respiratory impedance
- Exhaled nitric oxide test: A noninvasive test to measure lung inflammation
Our certified asthma educator, with support from our team of respiratory therapists and registered nurses, provides families with individualized education on asthma, proper monitoring, effective use of medications, and correct use of inhalers and other devices.
Next, we develop an individualized asthma action plan and tailor treatment based on asthma severity. Finally, we arrange for periodic follow-up evaluations to ensure adequate asthma control.
Severe Asthma Clinic
Our Severe Asthma Clinic is a place where children with severe asthma are seen by specialists from Norton Children’s Pulmonology and Norton Children’s Allergy & Immunology, affiliated with the UofL School of Medicine, in one setting. Here we can help you and your family manage your child’s asthma with the goal of needing less emergency care.