Asthma is defined clinically as the combination of variable respiratory symptoms (such as wheeze, shortness of breath, cough and chest tightness) and an excessive variation in lung function.1
With guidelines changing for the treatment of asthma in adults, it is important to remember that, as far as asthma goes, children are not small adults. The adult asthma treatment paradigm does not apply to children.
A 2019 Australian study found that only 54% of children being treated for asthma in primary care received care adherent to Australian and international paediatric asthma clinical practice guidelines.2
Asthma is sometimes overdiagnosed, leading to a risk of inappropriate treatment.3,4
Conducting spirometry to support an asthma diagnosis is not possible with young children. There are also additional barriers that make it difficult for health professionals to use spirometry, ranging from lack of time, training and equipment, to patient reluctance.
Furthermore, asthma control may not be optimal.5
It’s a delicate balance using relievers and preventers, and it is important to regularly reassess asthma treatment and update asthma action plans.