Question: What is the difference between asthma in adults and asthma in children?
Answer: There are many similarities and differences between asthma in adults and asthma in children depending on the age of the child. In both, inflammation in the lung is what leads to hyperreactive or twitchy airways. Control of the inflammation with daily preventive medications is the treatment for both adults and children, although the specific medication and dose of medication will vary somewhat with the age of the patient.
The evaluation of young children can be challenging since it is difficult to assess lung function in very young children and the very young child cannot easily express symptoms.
Triggers of asthma can vary depending on the age of the patient. Very young children are primarily triggered by viral infections and allergic triggers may play more of a role in school-aged children than adults.
Furthermore, some adults asthmatics smoke, which can significantly impact asthma. They also may be exposed to triggers in the workplace. In both adults and children, maintaining asthma control is the goal for all patients by regular use of controller medication and close follow-up and reassessment.
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