MY 1YR OLD SON WAS DIAGNOSED WITH REACTIVE AIRWAY DISEASE IS THIS SIMILAR TO AST!
Question: MY 1YR OLD SON WAS DIAGNOSED WITH REACTIVE AIRWAY DISEASE IS THIS SIMILAR TO ASTHMA?
In a way, yes. Pediatricians are very very very reluctant to "label" someone with the diagnosis of Asthma, as this tends to follow a person through their entire lives, and may make it more difficult for that child to get health insurance as an adult (at least before Obamacare, anyway). Reactive airway disease is characterized by when smooth muscle surrounding the breathing tubes in the lungs becomes "twitchy" or over-reactive to common everyday things in the air, like dust, pollen, pollution, etc. The smooth muscle contracts, which squeexes down on the breathing tubes, and makes it hard for the person to expel all the air when they breathe out. If this sounds exactly like the description of what happens in Asthma, that's because it IS. The difference is that many infants have this condition and grow out of it by the time they turn two.
Insurance companies recognize reactive airway disease as a temporary condition, and don't tattoo the Scarlet Letter A on your baby's permanent record. If your child continues to have episodes of wheezing past the age of two, most pediatricians/family practitioners will then go ahead and write in your child's chart that he/she has Asthma.
Many older children with Asthma will still grow out of it by the end of adolescence anyway.
I am a physician with over 18 years of experience.