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How did you know your DC had asthma?

(33 Posts)
Stigaloid Wed 04-Nov-09 10:56:18

My DS has had a cough now for about 7 weeks. Going for chest x ray this week. He doesn't have an infection and Dr can't hear anything on chest. His cough is worse at night and i wonder if dust or asthma may be a cause. I removed all teddies from his room and this seemed to help a little. We keep his room dust free but have had works done in the house a couple of months ago and this would have left a lot of residual dust in the house for a while.

What are the tell tale signs of childhood asthma?

lifeistooshort Wed 04-Nov-09 11:03:26

I will be watching this thread with interest as my DS has the same problem and I been wondering exactly the same thing

Stigaloid Wed 04-Nov-09 11:30:34

Am hoping someone will answer!

serenity Wed 04-Nov-09 11:47:05

With us it's night coughs, and long term day time coughs following any kind of cold. Me and DS2 could have the sniffles for just a few days, but we'll end up with hacking coughs for the next few weeks (to the point of vomiting) We also react badly to certain triggers (both of us with dog hair, going from warm to very cold air, and I have problems with humidity)

In my experience the GP seems to be happy to go with asthma if there's a constant night cough with no illness involved.

Stigaloid Wed 04-Nov-09 11:49:58

How do you treat it? DS has been coughing quite badly for 7 weeks. Was worse at beginning and got a little better at night but continued uring the day. Just had a stomach viral infection and cold and again is hacking at night removed all soft toys from room last night and this seemed to help a little but coughing lots again this morning. My mother has asthma but neither DH or I do. DS had milk allergy when young and can get eczema so has experience with allergies.

Dr hasn't mentioned it as an idea, just confused as to why he has had a cough for so long. Should i ask whether this could be a possibility?

Tortington Wed 04-Nov-09 11:53:56

it's obvious i know but i have to say it.

a cough alone isn't it - there has to be trouble breathing.

try cafeine - caffeine is an asthma reliever - see if a nice cup of coffee helps at all and if so - maybe you are onto something.

also leaning forward ( again obvious maybe) but by sitting up and leaning forward you are helping your lungs.

ronshar Wed 04-Nov-09 11:55:28

Not sure if this helps at all.
I was diagnosed with Allergic Asthma. Much against my wishes. Dust, Dust Mites, Cats, Tree Pollen. I did have a cough and a wheeze now I take Becotide morn & night and a nasal spray. I havent needed my Ventolin (blue inhaler) for over a year now. & no cough or wheeze.

DD1 has been told she has Allergic Asthma but that was without any form of testing of even a sound on her chest. She has no medication but has just started up with this horrible cough which seems to be everywhere. So I am considering taking her back to the doctors to see about allergy testing.

Tortington Wed 04-Nov-09 11:56:27

and there are all sorts of triggers, dust mightn't be it - just normal household dust.

for me - dry heat - i do not have the radiators on in my bedroom - i would rather have an extra blanket.

not all aerosols - but stuff like fly spray and some deoderants, perfumes can set me off esp if they are strong.

animal fur especially cats and dogs.

Stigaloid Wed 04-Nov-09 11:56:52

I think 2 is a little young for coffee!

I don't know if he has difficulty breathing. He does seem to hold his breath in his sleep sometimes, which is a little odd and can get me a little panicked. His breathing can go from regular to irregular but that has always been his way i think.

I do notice that he doesn't have the same level as puff as his friends. he does like to run around alot but when playing with party trumpets he can blow the trumpet out but not make the tooting noise that his friends the same age can. IYKWIM.

Tortington Wed 04-Nov-09 11:59:47

and something you have to consider.

asthma is a killer - its not some namby pamby thing that lots of people have - it kills. It is important that if diagnosed medication is taken properly.

the reliever is something that you take everyday - this is a steroid.

as such it weakens your immune system - a bit of a catch 22.

when i am sick with a cold - i am off my feet sick for days. I try to avoid other people with colds. and i take vit c to boost my immune system

Stigaloid Wed 04-Nov-09 12:02:11

"asthma is a killer - its not some namby pamby thing that lots of people have - it kills. It is important that if diagnosed medication is taken properly."

Erm - thanks for that. Am heavily pregnant, hormonal, very concerned about my son and now overly distressed

Tortington Wed 04-Nov-09 12:02:42

there is something call a 'peak flow' meter.

its a tube that you blow into - you could make an appt to see your asthma nurse at your clinic - sometimes ( often IME) nurses are more thorough and ask if your son can do a peak flow to see whether his puff is what it should be.

i don't know if you can do this at 2 though worth an ask - deffo worth seeing your asthma nurse at the doctors clinic - nurses are usually lovley and willing to take time explaining things

Tortington Wed 04-Nov-09 12:03:56

righto i'll leave the thread now


Stigaloid Wed 04-Nov-09 12:04:13

Okay - will do. Would it show up on the x ray that he is having if it is asthma?

Stigaloid Wed 04-Nov-09 12:05:19

Sorry - didn't mean to scare you off - am just highly stressed as it is worrying about pregnancy/new baby/swine flu/sick toddler - apologies.

serenity Wed 04-Nov-09 12:08:38

Aerosols are evil - we can't have them in the house as one squirt is enough to make me cough until I throw up.

DS2 has inhalers in the winter, blue and brown. I react badly to them (get heart palpations) so when I'm bad I make sure I sleep fairly well propped up, use things like Vicks to keep my airways open (TMI I cough because my passages over-produce mucus when there's a trigger rather than just close up, that's what I throw up) We try not to overheat the flat as well - clean, dry, cool/tepid air is easier to breath.

suiledonne Wed 04-Nov-09 12:12:16

My dd1 has asthma. She got a series of chest infections when she was 18 months that she couldn't shake. After one particularly bad one she was coughing a lot and wheezing badly. She was hospitalised for 3 days and diagnosed with asthma.

She uses a preventer inhaler every day now but for some reason got worse this autumn and has now been prescribed Singulair as well to control it.

She doesn't wheeze normally, just when she has a cold it seems to set it off.

She breathes very quickly and very shallow.

I always know she is in difficulty by how quickly she is breathing (count respirations per minute)
Average for toddler is 20-30 per minute.

flashharriet Wed 04-Nov-09 12:28:31

I realise that custy said something that you didn't want to hear but unfortunately it's true - my dd was first diagnosed with asthma after a terrible asthma attack which ended up with her being hospitalised. It was only afterwards that I realised how serious it was and how speed is often key in treating asthma symptoms - I spent far too long humming and hawing and wondering if it really was bad enough for an ambulance; after phoning one, she was whisked in straight away.

Saying all of that, there must be a good reason why your GP thinks it isn't asthma - a chest X-ray, to my knowledge, wouldn't be used to diagnose it (but I stand to be corrected on that). I would give your GP a ring and ask them - if they've ruled it out, they should be able to explain why which will put your mind at rest. FWIW, I didn't and don't have asthma but used to constantly have a cough as a child.

I'm sorry you're worried - I'm sure a quick call to your GP will put your mind at rest though.

flashharriet Wed 04-Nov-09 12:30:28

Also, our experience has been very similar to suiledonne's but everyone's triggers are different, even if the results are similar.

PfftTheMagicDragon Wed 04-Nov-09 12:50:46

suiledonne, we are in the same position as you, DS, triggered by colds, been hospitalised and int he gp several times on the nebuliser. On a beclometasone to prevent day and night but took him to our new GP to get him checked out as requested by old GP after set period on preventor and was told by new GP that asthma in children is hard to diagnose (HA! Not heard that one before in my situation) and if it was cold triggered it was more likely just bronchitis.

Any thoughts? Should I just see another GP (or probably the asthma nurse?)

Sorry for the hijack, in ref to the OP, we realised when we had to take him to the hospital in the night for increased breathing (60 per minute) and sucked in chest when breathing. Took months to get a doctor to listen though.

MrsSaxon Wed 04-Nov-09 14:23:48

My dd has just been diagnosed with asthma. She had swine flu in July, then a chest infection she could not shake, coughing to point of vomiting etc.

She was back and forth to the doctors who prescribed 2 courses of anti-biotics which didnt help.

We were then sent to hospital so she could have a chest x-ray. When we got there she was thouroughly tested and after lots of questions they tried her with an inhalor to see if it would ease her chest, they did not seem keen on giving a chest x-ray to someone so young.

She was diagnosed with post viral asthma and had the blue inhalor. This totally cleared up but came back with avengence in the Autumn, she now has brown and blue inhalor.

suiledonne Wed 04-Nov-09 14:48:46

My dd has had several chest x-rays since she was 18 months. They are used to check for infection rather than the asthma. From my experience if it is asthma there will always be sounds from the chest that the doctor will hear because the lungs are congested.

Pfft My dd has never been diagnosed with bronchitis. Always been told asthma even when she was under two. I was told by dd's paediatrician that using the preventer inhaler would tell him quickly if she indeed had asthma as it would come under control whereas it wouldn't be effective for other conditions. He was right - as soon as she started on the preventer she was a different child. No more attacks and started to eat better and caught up on her growth.
Is your DS's asthma under control on the preventer?

Her attacks are quite scary - she goes from a head cold to rapid shallow breathing very quickly and has turned blue on occasion. Her oxygen levels drop and we have been told than when she has a bad attack bring her straight to the hospital as the nebuliser alone won't be enough - she needs oxygen.

PfftTheMagicDragon Wed 04-Nov-09 15:47:40

suiledonne, yes it is, he has had 2 bad colds since being on the preventor and had no major issues with (what I believe to be) his asthma. Previously it would have been a&e and his attacks were getting worse each time - last time he was pale and almost passing out.

My doctor seemed to be saying that there is no way possible that if it is cold triggered it can be asthma and then he gave me that "stupid worrying mother" look. I didn't believe him but it's good to know we are not the only ones smile

suiledonne Wed 04-Nov-09 16:15:02

Pfft - Our consultant's summary of dd is that she has asthma which is triggered by colds so a cold can definitely be a trigger for asthma. DD has never had an attack other than with a cold so not sure what that GP is thinking. I would see someone else in future if I was you.

flashharriet Wed 04-Nov-09 17:39:23

Agree - DD's triggers are cold air, colds and exercise (so PE outside in the winter has to be kept a close eye on). Interestingly, her asthma also flares up a bit as the weather changes in the spring - spring and autumn are definitely her worst times, unless she has a cold/chest infection.

I would get a second opinion Pfft.

OP - do come back and let us know how you get on smile

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