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Mumsnetters aren't necessarily qualified to help if your child is unwell. If you have any serious medical concerns, we would urge you to consult your GP.

3yo runs around in park in cold air without wheezing, but has persistent cough at night. Asthma? Or not?

(22 Posts)
mumtocuddlebundle Sat 10-Nov-12 21:20:23

Anybody got any idea on this? We've taken him to doc who said he doesnt think it's asthma. But wondering if we need second opinion as the cough at night is almost permanent. It does clear up occasionally, but then he gets another cold and it starts all over again. He's coughing tonight, but has no cold at all during the day.

Gigondas Sat 10-Nov-12 21:21:31

Yes get a second opinion- my asthma didn't show up during exercise but night coughing was a symbol.

3littlefrogs Sat 10-Nov-12 21:23:00

Any pets or smokers in the house?

jennys79 Sat 10-Nov-12 21:24:07

Sounds like asthma to me. All 3 of my children have it. Look up "cough variant asthma" on google.

Also worth having a look on the asthma UK website.

Startail Sat 10-Nov-12 21:26:54

DD did this, dr said it was post viral wheeze andgave here a blue reliever.

Wefound she need to take it night and morning at the first sign of a cold and for a couple if weeks after and it helped a lot.

Wish someone had given me one. I coughed all winter some years. Heavy smoking DDad probably didn't help.

hellhasnofurylikeahungrywoman Sat 10-Nov-12 21:27:28

My dd is chronically asthmatic, she wheezed for the first time ever recently at the age of 22 (years, not months). Some asthmatics never wheeze.

Startail Sat 10-Nov-12 21:28:00

Sorry I should have proofed that.

IwishIwasmoreorganised Sat 10-Nov-12 21:29:06

Could it be a dust mite allergy?

cathpip Sat 10-Nov-12 21:29:20

My 3 year old has asthma which is bought on by sudden changes in temp, so winter and air con can set him off he also coughs a lot after exercise. It is difficult to diagnose asthma in the under 5's but i took him to my dr's on reccommendation from my boss ( a dr) after she heard him and inquired as to his cough and was it mainly at night. My son does not wheeze or sound rattlely and this is also common according to my dr, so yes second opinion and keep persisting.

Sirzy Sat 10-Nov-12 21:31:43

Do get a second opinion if worried.

Have you tried deep cleaning her room? I have to clean DS room daily because any dust and he doesn't stop coughing all night.

Whyriskit Sat 10-Nov-12 21:32:09

Exactly the same as my DS1. Had a persistent night cough for around 3 months before FIL (retired GP) suggested it might be asthma and to take him to doc. She gave him an inhaler which worked instantly. I felt so bad!

Passmethecrisps Sat 10-Nov-12 21:32:35

Asthma can present itself in so many different ways that this shouldn't be dismissed.

Personally, cold air won't make me wheeze but in the winter at night I will cough.

It could be a post-viral wheeze but it also still could be asmtha. Go for a second opinion but don't be too surprised if the diagnosis is the same

Sirzy Sat 10-Nov-12 21:36:20

Also, you may well find that they won't diagnose as asthma because of her age. Generally they won't diagnose in under 5s (unless it is serious, DS was diagnosed at 12 months) but that doesn't mean they can't treat the symptoms so push to try an inhaler if you think that would help.

skyebluesapphire Sat 10-Nov-12 21:48:07

last year DD coughed every night for 8 weeks until she was sick. The drs wouldn't do anything about it until I broke down in tears one day. Then they have her a blue inhaler which helped a lot.

OhYoubadbadKitten Sat 10-Nov-12 21:49:47

It can also be post nasal drip.

mumtocuddlebundle Sat 10-Nov-12 21:58:40

Thanks. I wasn't expecting such a good response from you all!
No pets or smokers. He has wooden floor in his room so no dust in carpet either.
I will probably try taking him to doctor for second opinion.

forgottenpassword Sat 10-Nov-12 22:07:33

My DS had similar with colds. Went to a specialist who said not asthma but an asthmatic type response to colds. No idea still what that means but he seems to have grown out of it.

LiegeAndLief Sat 10-Nov-12 22:47:02

My dd does exactly this. Whenever she gets a cold she gets a terrible cough that keeps us all up most of the night. The doctor couldn't hear any wheezing or rattling etc when I took her and said it is normal for small children to cough when they have a cold because of a post nasal drip type thing.

One thing he suggested which seemed to work was regular Calpol through the day (not just at night as it has a cumulative effect). He said she was in a vicious circle where the post nasal drip made her cough, the repeated coughing made her throat sore, and that made her cough more. He also recommended keeping her as tilted as possible when sleeping - we put books under the bed legs but also stuffed blankets and towels under the head of the mattress.

None of this is a miracle cure though and she does still cough a fair bit. She's three so has a permanent cold!

OhYoubadbadKitten Sat 10-Nov-12 22:51:08

We found that anti histamines like Claritin help too with post nasal drip.

mumtocuddlebundle Sun 11-Nov-12 16:49:06

Thanks everyone I will research post nasal drip.

HeathRobinson Sun 11-Nov-12 16:58:05

If your heating's on, I wonder if it'd be worth having one of those little humidifiers that you hang on the radiator? I used to find it helped with dd's croup.

AdriftAndOutOfStardust Sun 11-Nov-12 17:21:15

Look up "Viral Induced Wheeze" too - effectively it is asthma-like symptoms which are brought on by a cold virus rather than asthma itself, but it can look very like asthma and a night-time-only cough is a very common early symptom.

See a GP and get a blue "reliever" inhaler. Taking this regularly whenever DS has a cold and it should prevent it getting too bad. Don't ignore this or hope it goes away - it can and does get worse if this is what your DS has you need to take it seriously. Of course it may be something else so see your GP.

When he is showing symptoms, take his top off and look at his torso as he breathes. If you can see his torso muscles straining as he breathes in (tugging in the muscles between the ribs so that you can see each rib clearly defined as he takes each breath, strong tensing in the diaphram, a big musculuar pulled-in-dip at the throat) this is more serious and you should take him to an OOH dr or A&E as he may need oxygen and/or nebulisers to enable him to stabilise. Don't panic - he may be fine but the doctors would far rather you erred on the side of caution and took him in even if it turns out to be unnecessary, rather than deciding not to bother them if there is a problem!

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