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If you suspect your child has asthma, take your child to the doctor for an official diagnosis. The doctor will use a stethoscope and listen to your child’s breathing.

The doctor’s role is to differentiate that the wheezing is coming from the lungs and is not a noise from the throat or nose. There is not an asthma test, but if your child is old enough there are some breathing tests that can be done.

If your child is younger than three years old, sometimes they are too young to diagnose it as asthma, so your doctor might refer to it as reactive airways disease. 

Treating Asthma

While there is no cure, you can manage asthma with proper treatment. Treatment of your child's asthma may include medication, as well as learning how to avoid the triggers that cause asthma attacks. People with well controlled asthma can live very normal and active lives if their asthma is under control.

With good control of your child's asthma, your child should:

  • Be able to play and exercise without difficulty
  • Be able to sleep at night without their asthma waking them up
  • Not miss school due to asthma symptoms
  • Not need urgent care or emergency room visits for asthma

If your child is not able to do these things, their asthma may be out of control. Talk to your child's health care provider. He or she may need to make some adjustments to their asthma plan.

A pediatrician or family medicine doctor can treat asthma. To determine what may be causing your child’s asthma, the doctor might send you to an allergist (allergy doctor) to have specific allergy testing and treatment.

For severe cases, the doctor may sometimes refer to a pulmonologist (lung doctor) for additional testing and treatment.