Chronic lung disease is a term broadly used to describe ongoing lung diseases and disorders in children. Though many chronic lung diseases are manageable with ongoing pulmonary treatment, they can still have a harmful effect on a child’s quality of life. Examples of chronic lung diseases that may affect children include asthma, chronic bronchitis and COPD.
Did you know…
that children who receive optimal treatment for a chronic lung disease can resume many of the activities they participated in prior to being diagnosed? For example, a child who loves sports may feel restricted by asthma. With proper training and medication, however, that same child may be capable of playing nearly all the sports he or she enjoys, such as baseball, football or track competitions.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the symptoms of chronic lung disease?
Only a doctor can diagnose a child with a chronic lung disease. However, there are some symptoms you can watch out for as a parent that may indicate the need to visit a pediatric pulmonologist. Many children with chronic lung disease experience a chronic cough, wheezing and shortness of breath. Symptoms may initially be mild and worsen with time. Eventually, some children with chronic lung disease may cough up blood, experience swelling in the legs and feet, and develop bluish lips.
How will a doctor diagnose chronic lung disease in my child?
Your child’s doctor will first ask for a complete medical history, as well as information about the types of symptoms your child is experiencing. Next, the doctor will do a physical examination and possibly follow-up with a chest x-ray. Depending on the results of these initial tests, a diagnosis may be made or additional tests may be required. There are a variety of pulmonary function and imaging tests that can provide insight into the health and function of your child’s lungs, as well as any conditions that may be causing problems.
What types of treatments are available for chronic lung disease?
The types of treatments available for chronic lung disease are as different the diseases themselves. Treatment may include oxygen therapy, medication and other professional and at-home therapies. For more information about chronic lung disease treatments for children, contact our office to speak with one of our helpful staff members and schedule an appointment for your child.