Asthma

Comprehensive Care for Asthma in Kids

The Louisville and Southern Indiana area has the second highest percentage of people with asthma of any metropolitan area in the country, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. The result for our children is life-threatening attacks, hospitalization, emergency room visits and missed days at school.

The board-certified and fellowship-trained pulmonologists, nurse practitioners, respiratory therapists and registered nurses at Norton Children’s Pulmonology, affiliated with the UofL School of Medicine, treat more kids with asthma each year than any other provider in Louisville or Southern Indiana.

If your child has been newly diagnosed with asthma, we’ll get you in for an appointment by the next business day. It’s not too soon to get started on helping them control their asthma.

There is no cure for asthma. Specialized care aims to control asthma through proper treatment to prevent and stop asthma attacks and a regularly updated asthma action plan.

Norton Children’s Pulmonology provides specialized care for all types of asthma in children and teens. We provide the latest treatments and medications to help prevent attacks and bring relief when a flare-up strikes.

Our specialists provide you and your child with a customized treatment plan and asthma action plan to help control their asthma. Your care team will use a comprehensive approach to provide family-centered asthma education so you are empowered to manage the disease.

Kids who have to be admitted to Norton Children’s Hospital work with certified asthma educators before they go home.

Getting your child’s asthma under control

What you can expect from successful treatment to control asthma in kids:

  • Very few symptoms throughout the day
  • Waking up at night with asthma symptoms declines to no more than twice a month
  • Less shortness of breath, chest tightness, coughing or wheezing during activities like walking, climbing stairs or playing with friends
  • A quick-acting inhaler isn’t needed more than twice a week
  • No missed school because of asthma
  • Asthma attacks are rare, if not eliminated entirely
  • Lung function is normal when the child is well

Children with controlled asthma can benefit from playing sports. Staying active, working out and participating in sports helps kids with asthma stay fit and keep a healthy weight. It also strengthens breathing muscles to help their lungs work better.

Asthma Treatment for Kids

The first step in asthma treatment is doing what you can to remove asthma attack triggers from your child’s environment. Tobacco and other smoke, dust mites and pet fur are common causes of asthma attacks.

Norton Children’s pulmonologists are at the leading edge of the newest, safest and most effective treatments for children with asthma. Some of the more common treatments used to control asthma and restore easier breathing include:

  • Short-acting beta-agonists, or bronchodilators, are “rescue” medications that can provide quick relief by relaxing the muscles in the lungs and widening the airways.
  • Low-dose inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) as a maintenance medication can reduce airway inflammation, cutting the risk of an asthma attack.
  • Low-dose ICS in combination with long-acting beta-agonists can be more effective for some patients at controlling asthma symptoms and inflammation than higher doses of inhaled steroids.
  • Antileukotriene agents can deliver dramatic improvements for some patients, while not making much difference for others. They’ve proven helpful for exercise-induced asthma, aspirin-exacerbated respiratory disease and as a supplemental therapy for allergic asthma.

Severe Asthma Clinic

The Norton Children’s Severe Asthma Clinic in the Novak Center for Children’s Health near Norton Children’s Hospital helps children with the most difficult-to-treat and severe asthma. Specialists from Norton Children’s Pulmonology and Norton Children’s Allergy & Immunology, affiliated with the UofL School of Medicine, see patients in the same offices, allowing families to consolidate multiple appointments into one visit. The clinic can help you manage your child’s asthma, with the goal of eliminating the need for emergency room visits and returning your child to an active life.

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 ages and levels of severity. We base an asthma diagnosis on a child’s symptoms, as well as lung-function testing using the latest technology.

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.

We develop an asthma action plan for each child and tailor treatment based on their asthma and its severity. The center arranges periodic follow-up evaluations to ensure adequate asthma control.

Why Choose Norton Children’s for Your Child’s Pulmonology Care

  • Our physicians are members of the American College of Chest Physicians, American Board of Pediatrics, American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Thoracic Society.
  • Our cystic fibrosis (CF) program is accredited as a Cystic Fibrosis Care Center by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, offering “the best care, treatments and support for those with cystic fibrosis.” It is the only accredited pediatric CF program in Louisville or Southern Indiana.
  • Your child may benefit from access to new and innovative treatments being studied through our extensive clinical research program, including our membership in the Cystic Fibrosis Therapeutics Development Network.
  • The Childhood Asthma Care and Education Center at Norton Children’s Hospital offers comprehensive, state-of-the-art therapeutic strategies for all stages of asthma.
  • We offer a multidisciplinary Severe Asthma Clinic dedicated to caring for children with the most difficult-to-treat cases of asthma.
  • Our certified asthma educator and other providers offer individualized education on asthma, proper monitoring, effective use of medications and correct use of inhalers.
  • The Norton Children’s Hospital laboratory has one of the region’s only pulmonary function testing and diagnostics systems.

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