Asthma Specialist

Ludlow Pediatrics

Pediatrics located in Ludlow, MA

Asthma is an ongoing inflammation of the airway and lungs that can lead to difficulty breathing and cause your child to miss school, playtime, and other activities. It’s one of the most common respiratory illnesses that Robert J. Willis, MD, FAAP, treats at Ludlow Pediatrics in Ludlow, Massachusetts. If left untreated, the symptoms of asthma can worsen until your child has a potentially life-threatening asthma attack. If your child is having episodes of troubled breathing, contact Ludlow Pediatrics by phone or online to schedule an evaluation today.

Asthma Q & A

What are the causes of asthma?

Asthma can be caused by allergies, respiratory illnesses, and breathing heavily polluted air.

What are the symptoms of asthma?

Asthma can be difficult to diagnose in children and along with a physical exam by Dr. Willis, your child could require further testing. While at home, though, you can look for common signs of asthma in your child age 5-11. These include:

  • Coughing during strenuous physical activity
  • Rapid breathing or difficulty breathing
  • Pain or tightness in the chest and neck
  • Wheezing (a whistling sound heard while breathing in and out)
  • Low energy or a lack of interest in physical activity

Although symptoms can appear infrequently, they can get worse over time, so it’s important to treat asthma in its early stages. If you notice your child’s symptoms getting worse at night or during play or exercise, we urge you to make an appointment with us to develop a treatment plan.

How can I manage my child’s asthma?

While there’s no cure for asthma, the team at Ludlow Pediatrics can help develop a plan that treats the attacks and lessens the possibility of further attacks. Dr. Willis begins by assessing your child’s symptoms and prescribing medication.

He then monitors what treatments seem to work best by determining how effective it is in treating your child’s symptoms. He adjusts the medication as needed.

Common treatments of asthma include:

Inhaled corticosteroids

These are used to control inflammation and are delivered via inhalers. This is one of the most common long-term treatments of asthma and is often used in combination with a muscle relaxant to open up the tensed airway passage.

Allergy desensitization immunization

These are used when children have a severe reaction to an allergen that is not easily avoided.

Leukotriene modifiers

This oral medication blocks the tightening of airway muscles and the production of excess mucus that’s common in asthma attacks. They can be used alone but are more often used in combination with corticosteroids.

Acting quickly leaves a smaller chance for your child to have a severe attack and to require strong medication. An important part of treating your child’s asthma is to monitor their early symptoms in order to quickly identify when they are getting better or rapidly getting worse.

If you are unsure how to read these signs, reach out to Ludlow Pediatrics and Dr. Willis will help create a questionnaire that you can use to determine the severity of your child’s symptoms.

For an in-office evaluation with Dr. Willis, call our office or go online to schedule an appointment today.