Prepared by: Sandra Tamm
Asthmais a chronic inflammatory disease of the bronchi that causes temporary narrowing of the bronchi. It is a reaction due to the increased sensitivity of the bronchi to various factors. The narrowing is caused by contraction of the muscles in the walls of the bronchi (bronchospasm), swelling of the mucous membrane lining the lumen of the bronchi, and increased secretion of mucus in the bronchi. As a result, the movement of air in the airways is obstructed (especially during exhalation), resulting in symptoms characteristic of asthma: stuffy wheezing, difficulty breathing and wheezing in the chest.
More common triggers of asthma symptoms are common respiratory viral diseases. Some children suffer asthma symptoms only when suffering from a viral disease. This form of the disease is especially common in young children.
Asthma often has an allergic origin. In an allergic person, asthma manifests itself in contact with allergens, especially dust mites, animals or pollen.
Asthma symptoms can also be triggered by certain medications (eg aspirin), tobacco smoke, chemicals, strong smells, exhaust fumes, food supplements, cold air, weather changes and nervous tension. In many asthmatics, an asthma attack is triggered by stronger physical exertion, but also by crying, laughing or shouting (1).
My child's asthma was triggered by increasing physical exertion, as well as by inhaling cold air in winter, consuming inappropriate foods, and increasing psychological stress. His symptoms were shortness of breath - he himself described the feeling as shortness of breath and wheezing.
Atopic skin inflammation or dermatitisis a chronic skin disease with exacerbations and remissions, the central feature of which is itching. The disease is characterized by dry and rough skin, during an exacerbation, inflamed red and scaly or wetting spots are added.
The location of the rash is quite characteristic: in infancy, mainly on the face, later also on the limbs and trunk, preferably in the elbows, wrists, kneecaps. The disease picture varies from barely noticeable symptoms of short duration to itching and permanent rash leading to sleep disturbances.
The causes of the disease are far from clear. Based on research, it can be assumed that it is a combined effect of hereditary predisposition and living environment. It is known that the formation of the skin's natural protective layer is disturbed in the case of atopic dermatitis.
Atopic dermatitis is common among children: it is estimated that one in five children suffer from it. In early school age, 60% of children experience a longer latent phase of the disease, but the rest have more or less constant skin problems. The disease is diagnosed by anamnesis and clinical examination.
One of the important factors is psychological stress, whether it is caused by relationships in the family, at work or at school.
In the treatment of the disease, it is important to avoid all exacerbating factors, treat skin inflammation, relieve itching and properly care for the skin.
In case of food allergy or intolerance, the offending foods must be excluded from the menu (2;3).
My child's eczema has changed as he has grown. If in infancy eczema was spread on the face, hands, legs, and sometimes on the body, today the main place of manifestation is the back of the thighs. The skin there is also very thin, typical of atopic skin. In appearance, it has always been dry and rough, in more serious exacerbations it has also bled, due to severe itching. If you observe the different periods in the child's life, you can clearly see the connection between psychological stress and the exacerbation/calming of eczema.
1. Annus, Triine, "Children's asthma", Estonian Allergy Association brochure "Children and Allergy"
2. Lehtmets, Ama, "Food allergy and atopic dermatitis", Estonian Allergy Association brochure "Food and Allergy".
3. Volke, Annika, "Life with atopic dermatitis", Estonian Allergy Association brochure "Children and Allergy"