Asthma in Children | Diagnosis and Treatment

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Contact the Asthma Program

  • 617-355-6117

How is asthma diagnosed?

If your child is exhibiting signs of asthma, such as wheezing, coughing or shortness of breath, it's important to visit your primary care provider. Your doctor will request a complete medical history, evaluate the symptoms and conduct a physical exam.

There are also several tests that may be performed, including spirometry, a test that estimates the narrowing of the bronchial tubes by measuring the amount of air the lungs can hold and the speed of your child's ability to inhale or exhale.

What are the treatment options for pediatric asthma?

The goal of each child's treatment program is to prevent asthma attacks, prevent emergency-room visits and to maximize peace of mind. Your child will be prescribed medications to:

  • help control the asthma
  • improve breathing
  • relieve symptoms
  • get back to regular activities

Although the is no cure for asthma, there are many treatments available. For the most part, it can be controlled and managed with proper use of medication and, when possible, avoiding triggers.

For children with severe asthma that doesn’t respond to high doses of inhaled steroids and other medications, or who have frequent exacerbations, evaluation by a severe asthma program is recommended. The team of clinicians in this program will take a broader look at your child’s symptoms, triggers, environmental factors, medication adherence and other factors to develop a comprehensive treatment plan. When their asthma is well controlled, children can do everything their friends do, including playing sports at any level.

Boston Children’s is so much more than a hospital—it’s a community of researchers, clinicians, administrators, support staff, innovators, teachers, patients and families, all working together to make the impossible possible. ”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

Boston Children's Hospital
300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115
For Patients: 617-355-6000
For Referring Providers: 844-BCH-PEDS | 844-224-7337