Orchard Park Pediatrics

3725 N. Buffalo Road
Orchard Park, NY 14127
Phone:
(716) 662-2300

           & Young Adult Medicine

Quality medical care from birth to twenty-five.

  Asthma
 

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Lea​rn more about asthma, how our office can evaluate and assess your child's symptoms,
and how we can partner with you to better manage
your child's symptoms and improve quality of life.  

What is Asthma?

Asthma is a common medical condition that can present early in a child’s life. Inflammation, swelling, and tightening of airways throughout the lungs causes symptoms such as wheezing, shortness of breath, and coughing.  Asthma symptoms can be provoked by a wide variety of triggers including allergens, colds, temperature changes, exercise, smoke and other environmental factors.

Asthma Care at Orchard Park Pediatrics

All of our providers are well trained and experienced in treating childhood asthma. We also have a dedicated asthma team to help manage and coordinate your child’s asthma care.
Tammy Hornberger, LPN is our certified asthma educator and is available to address your asthma needs and concerns. She works closely with Dr. Anthony Caterina and Nicole Niedzwiedz, PNP to make certain we are providing your child with the most evidence based, up to date care available. Also, our asthma team actively participates in the Asthma Coalition of Erie County so that we are always learning new and innovative ways to better manage asthma in our community.

How is Asthma Treated?

Today there are many helpful medications to treat asthma. These include quick acting medications that provide immediate, short-term relief and maintenance medications that are taken daily to prevent the development of symptoms.

Quick acting medications are used when asthma symptoms are present. The most common quick acting medication for asthma is Albuterol. There are many brand names for Albuterol including ProAir, Proventil, and Ventolin. These medications provide quick relief during flares, often providing instant relief of asthma symptoms. These medications work by dilating and relaxing the airways in order to increase air flow and oxygenation. Although these medications provide quick relief, they are only effective for a few hours. If your child needs to use these medications frequently this is a sign that their asthma is not well controlled.

Maintenance medications are important for patients experiencing frequent symptoms of asthma. These medications reduce the frequency and severity of asthma symptoms as well as decrease the need for emergency medical care including sick visits, emergency department visits and hospitalizations. Even more importantly, they can improve the quality of life for your child and family. These medications are taken every day to prevent and lessen asthma symptoms. Some of these medicines are inhaled like Albuterol or come in pill form. Examples of maintenance medications may include Flovent, Pulmicort, Qvar, Asthmanex, and Singulair. These medications are designed to be taken even when your child is breathing well and not experiencing asthma symptoms, so that when your child’s asthma is triggered the symptoms are much less severe.

 
How do I know if my child's asthma is under control?
 There are several ways to know if your child’s asthma is well controlled. One sign of poorly controlled asthma is needing to use Albuterol or another quick acting inhaler more than 2 times per week. Below are links to the Asthma Control Test (ACT). By answering a few questions about your child’s asthma symptoms, you will know if your child is under good control. If your ACT score is under 20 points, it is very likely your child would benefit from a controller medication.

Asthma control test (ACT) for 12 years and older   - this site automatically scores your results

Asthma control test (ACT) for children 4 to 11 years old - this site automatically scores your results

How does Orchard Park Pediatrics monitor my child's asthma?

We monitor your child’s asthma control two ways. One way is by reviewing your child’s Asthma Control Test (ACT score), the second is by performing spirometry in the office.

Spirometry is quick, painless and gives your provider information about how well your child’s lungs are working. After your child breathes into a mouthpiece attached to the spirometer, the machine produces a report about your child’s lung function. This helps your provider determine if your child’s asthma medications need to be adjusted. This test should be performed once yearly in your doctor’s office.

If you have concerns regarding your child's asthma, please contact our office. Tammy Hornberger, LPN, our certified asthma educator, is here to help coordinate your child's asthma therapy.  

What are the goals for my child's asthma treatment?

NO limits on physical activity
NO night time awakenings due to asthma
NO missed school
NO emergency rooms visits
FEW or NO side effects from medications

 Helpful Websites

The Asthma Coalition of Erie County - Information about local news and resources. 
The American Academy of Pediatrics  - Information broken down
neatly by topic.
The Asthma and Allergy Network - Information for children with both asthma and allergies.
Lungtropolis -
Games for children to
learn about asthma.
American Lung Association -
Basic asthma information.
 Useful Resources
  Create an Asthma Action Plan
 The Asthma Action Plan can help you adjust your child’s medications based upon their degree of symptoms. Use the link to download the Asthma Action Plan from the Asthma Coalition of Erie County website.
Download
Asthma Action Plan
Videos Demonstrating Proper Use of Asthma Medications
Different medications require different techniques. Watching these videos will help you and your child feel more confident in using their various asthma medications.

Examples include Albuterol HFA ( Proventil HFA, Ventolin HFA, ProAir HFA), QVAR HFA, Pulmicort HFA. 
 Examples include Advair Diskus, Pulmicort Flexhaler, and Asmanex Twisthaler.
 Examples include Albuterol nebulizer vials, Pulmicort nebulizer vials and Atrovent nebulizer vials.