Helios expert Seiffert reveals tips and tricks on the topic of asthma and allergies in children and adolescents in the WA health dialogue: "The three layers block breathing"

It's a hot Wednesday night, the sun shining through the atrium windows of the Volksbank Rhein-Ruhr-Zentrale inside the harbor. Despite the good weather, about 50 people took part in the health cooperation dialogue between Wochen-Anzeiger, Volksbank Rhein-Ruhr and Helios-Kliniken Duisburg.

The health dialogue should this time provide information on asthma and allergies in children and adolescents.

After the reception of Thomas Diederichs, spokesman of the Volksbank Rhein-Ruhr-Board, the med. Peter Seiffert, Chief Medical Officer of the Department of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine at the Helios St. Johannes Clinic, responded to the current state of medicine and answered general questions about the topics of diagnosis, therapy, the influence on school performance and sports and allergy risk prevention in children. "The causes of atopic diseases, namely an allergic disease with hypersensitivity to otherwise harmless natural and artificial environmental substances, are always the combination of genetic and environmental factors, which can be applied as an individual puzzle. to your own situation and determine if your own child presents a particular risk of allergy, "said the chief physician.

In the atrium itself, next to Dr. Seiffert, the entire evening with Dr. Robert Schmitz, Silke Seiffert and Stephanie Nitzsche have experienced the trainers of asthma training "Luftsprung" from the Helios Clinic St. Johannes to answer individual questions and concerns available. They informed about triggers, drugs and their mode of action, psychosocial aspects, sports, relaxation exercises, emergency management and other elements to cope with the disease.
There were also stands for children with "Hands-on Medicine", which tackled the theme of children's friends and with various do-it-yourself utensils under the supervision of "Geckos", voluntary aid from the Children's Hospital. .

Anyone unable to attend the conference will be able to read the most important questions and answers here.

What's an allergy?

An allergy is a defense reaction of the immune system against non-harmful but foreign substances extracted from the environment.

How does an allergy develop?
First, there is contact with a potential allergen from food or the environment. The immune system then checks what type of allergen it is and classifies it as harmless or dangerous. If it's harmless, the immune system develops tolerance to the allergen and then the human does not respond sensitively to the substance. If the immune system has classified the allergen as dangerous, it will make antibodies and sensitize the body to this allergen. If there is repeated contact with the allergen, the body develops an allergy to the substance in question. It should also be noted that a mixture of heredity and environmental factors contributes to the development of an allergy.

How do you recognize an allergy?
Allergic reactions include eczema, hay fever, allergic asthma, and food allergies. Here, one could classify in the studies the frequency of the different allergic reactions in children and adolescents. Young children generally suffer from food allergies and atopic dermatitis, while older children and adolescents are more likely to react to bronchial asthma and hay fever.

What should be considered in the prevention of allergies?

It is important to promote protective factors, preferably through the nutrition of the infant and the mother. But also avoiding direct contact with environmental factors such as tobacco smoke and air pollutants. During pregnancy and breastfeeding, the mother should follow a diet as balanced and nutrient-rich as possible and avoid excessive obesity. Eating fish is also recommended. However, there is no general diet or nutritional approach to allergy prevention. The situation is different with regard to infant nutrition: in case of increased risk of allergy related to heredity, that is to say that both parents or one of their brothers and sisters sisters have one or more allergies, the infant should be breast-fed until the fifth month of life. If this is not possible, a special hypoallergenic food is recommended. Whether it is an increased risk of allergy or not, it is always "the breast is the best". When avoiding environmental factors, it is important to prevent the child from being exposed to cigarette smoke and / or airborne pollutants and mildew-infested parts. In children at increased risk of allergies, it is also recommended not to keep cats as pets.

What is asthma?
Asthma is a small airway disease and is considered the most common childhood disease: about 10% of all children suffer from asthma. In asthmatics, the "three layers" – muscle layer, mucous membrane and mucus – thicken. The air is virtually trapped in the lungs. Inhalation is possible, but the exhalation is difficult.

How can you detect asthma?
There are several tests that you can do. Among other things, a breath test in which lung function is tested – once at rest and after a load, for example after a short climb or descent down the stairs. At the end, the two values ​​are compared one with the other and with a "normal value".

How to treat asthma?

In addition to avoiding triggers such as cigarette smoke or pet dander, some postures and breath remedies help. The drugs are divided into "protectors" and "helpers". Protectors are long-acting drugs with a preventive effect. Helps are emergency medications that help immediately in case of respiratory distress.