(NAPSI)—The school year can be a hectic time for the families of America’s estimated 57 million schoolkids—but it’s also a good time for parents to bring their children to the doctor to get tested for asthma.
Asthma Affects Academics
According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, Asthma is a leading cause for chronic absenteeism, which is defined as missing 10 percent or more of school days for any reason, excused or unexcused. It detracts from learning and is a proven early warning sign of academic risk. This affects young children in particular in ways that can shape academic outcomes for their entire school career.
Asthma causes swelling and narrowing of the airways that carry air from the nose and mouth to the lungs. Allergens or irritating things entering the lungs trigger asthma symptoms. There’s no cure, but it can be managed with proper prevention of asthma attacks and treatment. More than 25 million Americans have asthma, 7.7 percent of adults and 8.4 percent of children. Additionally, diagnosed asthma cases have increased since the 1980s.
Asthma symptoms vary from person to person. A person may have infrequent asthma attacks, have symptoms only at certain times—while exercising, for example—or have symptoms all the time.
Asthma signs and symptoms include:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest tightness or pain
- Trouble sleeping caused by shortness of breath, coughing, or wheezing
- A whistling or wheezing sound when exhaling
- Coughing or wheezing attacks are worsened by respiratory viruses.
If your child shows any of these symptoms, it’s even more important to have him or her visit a pediatrician for testing.
How Asthma Is Diagnosed
In order to accurately diagnose asthma, a doctor will take a detailed medical history of the patient, conduct a physical exam, and test lung function with spirometry. A spirometry test measures the volume and speed of air that a patient can expel from the lungs, this helps determine the type of asthma and the optimum treatment plan.
Treatment generally involves a blend of medication and avoiding triggers such as pollen, chemicals, extreme weather changes, smoke, dust mites, stress and exercise.
The good news is your child can live a normal life with asthma as long as it’s properly managed and monitored. Even many professional athletes have asthma.
More good news is that doctors now have better equipment than ever to help them accurately diagnose the condition. For example, the EasyOne® Air Spirometer created by ndd Medical Technologies and available through Henry Schein Medical, helps doctors make diagnoses confidently. Built for healthcare providers large and small, it uses TrueFlow™ ultrasound technology for unprecedented accuracy and reliable diagnosis.
A portable stand-alone spirometry solution helps doctors stay flexible. The device is extremely robust and calibration-free TrueFlow technology provides a lifetime of worry-free operation. The color touch screen lets doctors view real-time curves, easily enter data, and navigate using a premium touch screen interface while it easily connects wirelessly via Bluetooth for real time incentives, data exchange, and electronic medical record connectivity.
It’s just one of the many medical devices available through Henry Schein Medical, a provider of medical and surgical supplies to health care professionals.
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