It all started with coughing fits in early childhood: Julian* suffers from allergic asthma. How do you get a handle on asthma? His mom Barbara* explains the learning process for the whole family.
Children with asthma
- Asthma is the most common chronic disease in children.
- 10 percent of children in Germany are asthmatics.
- With 30 percent of child sufferers, the first asthma symptoms occur under the age of one.
- 80 to 90 percent of patients develop the disease under the age of five.
- Asthma training courses can help children and their parents to better cope with disease. Ask your health insurer or your doctor!
Diagnosis asthma: that was a shock at first
“Even as a little boy, Julian often had a persistent cough, he would have real fits. The pediatrician diagnosed allergic asthma. Julian* had an extreme reaction to animal hair and pollen. We felt pretty helpless at first. Then I started to get clued up. I wanted to know what was happening in Julian’s* body.
Good days and not so good days
‘I feel pain in my chest,’ Julian* says when he’s not feeling good. Often he has no symptoms for days on end. When it gets bad is when various factors come together. For example, when it’s extremely cold or damp outside, when he gets a cold and has possibly played with a classmate’s dog. And of course in springtime, when there’s pollen in the air. Then he complains especially about the tightness in the chest. He has his asthma spray for such days.
FeNO measurement at home is a huge relief
When he’s not doing so well, we can hear it through his breathing. On critical days like that it’s important to measure his values. There are a number of methods and tests for that. We decided to go with Vivatmo me. The small device is really easy to use and measuring the inflammation value in his airways only takes a few seconds A practical feature is that the device indicates whether you are blowing into it properly. This is especially helpful for children.
Thanks to Vivatmo me, we now know exactly how badly inflamed Julian’s* airways are. The device measures something called the FeNO value. A traffic light system indicates how critical the value is. The accompanying app is also very practical. By transferring the measured values to your mobile phone you automatically have them in your asthma diary.
Of course, we often still have to remind Julian* to take his measurements. But it’s important to us to sensitize our son to his illness without frightening him. He has to learn to take responsibility for himself. Because after all, we can’t be around him all day.
Growing up like any normal kid
Of course we hope that he won’t suffer from asthma for the rest of his life. That it’ll go away. Now, at 12, my son loves playing goalkeeper. And I hope it stays that way. Sport is good for him. And if things continue to go well, there’s no reason why he shouldn’t go to soccer camp on the weekends. His coach knows about his asthma and supports us. We want our son to live as normal a life as possible.”