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Asthma diagnoses with cough? Surely not (NHS24)

(20 Posts)
TwoIfBySea Sun 20-Feb-05 20:09:49

Phoned NHS24 today looking for some advice on a cold that dst have had for 17 days now. I just wanted to know if there was anything I wasn't doing that could maybe get rid of it.

They started nursery a few weeks ago but haven't been the last 2 weeks after getting this!

But then the nurse advisor says I should take dst to the doctor because they are coughing at night. She says it might be asthma. So the reason for this post is that I am a little confused by this. The cough isn't chesty, they have no trouble breathing and are, until recently, have been really healthy little boys.

So has anyone else heard of this kind of diagnoses, coughing asthma? I looked at the NHS site and there was a list of symptoms, of which coughing is one. Am a little confused & worried.

Yorkiegirl Sun 20-Feb-05 20:12:19

Message withdrawn

NotQuiteCockney Sun 20-Feb-05 20:12:31

I had heard that a dry night cough in children was often a sign of asthma.

Asthma's not as absolute a thing as it seems from the outside - I wheeze when I exercise in cold weather, and was surprised to find this means I'm asthmatic. The puffer certainly helps, but it's a bit of a surprise to suddenly be asthmatic in one's thirties!

efmach Sun 20-Feb-05 20:27:48

Yes, coughing can be a symptom of asthma.

coppertop Sun 20-Feb-05 20:48:02

Before ds1's asthma was kept under control he used to cough when he'd been running around. He sometimes coughed in the night but this wasn't a regular thing.

IME it would take more than a bit of coughing at night to get a diagnosis of asthma. Ds1 was only diagnosed after his second full-blown attack. Both times the GP sent him to the hospital.

Twiglett Sun 20-Feb-05 20:49:43

are they waking up in the middle of the night and coughing though

asthma is worst in the early hours (from 1am or 2am till about 4am when it starts to calm down)

that might be what they're thinking of

nightowl Sun 20-Feb-05 21:00:54

its surprising really. i always pictured asthmatic people as wheezing, gasping for breath and turning blue until ds was diagnosed with it.

he never wheezed, not once. but almost every time he had a cold his breathing would go haywire, rapid. it was frightenening. i refused to beleive he had asthma at first for the very same reasons. its not always how you imagine it to be. luckily (touch wood) he grew out of it about 2 years ago.

nightowl Sun 20-Feb-05 21:02:11

thats right too what twiglett said, 9 times out of 10, it would be the early hours when we had to take ds to hospital.

musicmaker Sun 20-Feb-05 21:08:36


My dd has a cold now since January, it happened the same time last year were the cold just rolls into another one with the cough at night and seems like it last forever.

But the cough at night is just the phelm on her chest because she is lying down. In the morning she coughs a bit or sneezes which usually brings all the snot out and then she is fine but with a nose like a tap in the day. I have noticed the cough only comes when she gets a cold. She has not had a cold for months.

Your childs cough is most probably just related to the phelm on his chest due to sleeping on his back at night.

sacha3taylor Sun 20-Feb-05 21:12:33

I have asthma and although it apparently is different in adults and children, i just cough!
I had to go to hospital walk in centre as i had a chest infection and they told me to go to the doctors. It tutned out that this and a niggly cough i had had for ages were both related and they told me i had asthma! I am 23 amd thought that asthma was one of those things that you were born with and you couldn't just get it! I am now on an inhaler which i have to take twice a day and a differant one to take when i get this naggy cough. I don't want to scare you by saying all this abought inhalers and chest infections but i wanted to let you know that a cough can be linked to asthma and i have never had what you would think of as a typical asthma attack [cant breath]. Hope this is some help.

mummylonglegs Sun 20-Feb-05 21:25:13

Me and dp have both had asthma since being children. Dd's recently had an awful cough that's gone on and on and I refused to think it was asthma because it didn't seem like asthma as I've always known it. I know now that it is asthma.

Read my thread on this board called 'miracle cures for night time coughing'. I'll try a link but never seem to get it right! \link{}

mummylonglegs Sun 20-Feb-05 21:31:48


jabberwocky Sun 20-Feb-05 21:33:20

My asthma was diagnosed by a friend who is a respiratory therapist when I started a coughing fit while we were out to dinner one night. I use a steroid inhaler when it is acting up.

TwoIfBySea Sun 20-Feb-05 22:51:09

Sorry to hear about your dd mummylonglegs and thanks for the link. Will definitely get dst2 (who is the one doing the majority of coughing) for a check-up just in case.

Wow, when I hear asthma I only think of wheezing and shortness of breath. I would never have associated it with coughing, ever. Neither dh or I have asthma, nor do any of our families.

I am hoping that it is this just due to their runny noses and as today has been snot free will see how tonight fares. Dst2 has been waking up about 12.30pm and then coughing a dry cough that makes him gag sometimes. He has a habit of sleeping on the mattress without using his pillow so I will keep him propped up to see if that also helps.

Thanks all, having this information from you all has made things clearer.

Slinky Sun 20-Feb-05 22:57:23

I was diagnosed with asthma 18 months ago after several bouts of bronchitus lasting months. I too assumed asthmatics were wheezing, out-of-breath and not once did I assume that my coughing/occuring bronchitus be a sign of asthma.

Once inhalers (blue and brown) were prescribed, I started to feel a lot better. Not had a bout of bronchitus since and now sleep properly without having regular wake-ups due to coughing fits.

In fact, recently I became a bit blase with the asthma and because I felt so well, thought that the doctor had made a mistake and in fact I wasn't asthmatic. I stopped using my brown inhaler for a few weeks - stupid mistake - because I did start to cough/get wheezy again.

Also, it is very common for asthmatics to be left with a cough after a cold (colds/viral infections are one of the main triggers).

mummylonglegs Mon 21-Feb-05 09:35:33

I agree with Slinky about coughs and colds. Asthma can be fairly 'dormant' but any kind of viral thing can set it off. The gasping / wheezing is usually an asthma attack rather than the everydayness of asthma. A tight, dry cough, especially worse at night CAN be a sign of asthma. But it might also be post-nasal drip in a child. Worth checking out just in case.

Incidentally, a lot of colds in children (and adults) that turn into bronchial things can be prevented by taking regular asthma medicines.

Casmie Mon 21-Feb-05 09:37:35

TIBS: just wanted to add that yes, it could be asthma so get it checked out. But also to add that asthma can be a bit scary if you don't have it yourself - but it really isn't anything to worry about. Asthma can be controlled extremely well these days with minimal life impact. 95% of the time I completely forget I am asthmatic.

Do keep posting if you have any queries, but also check out the Asthma UK site - brilliant source of information, and should go a long way to reassuring yourself

throckenholt Mon 21-Feb-05 09:47:04

DH has often had lingering coughs after a cold - last weeks usually. He was recently given an inhaler and it did help the cough.

Apparently a persistent cough is a common symptom.

jabberwocky Mon 21-Feb-05 09:59:17

Yes, mine is triggered by exercise, bad colds, and smoke. It is only a persistent cough although I did have one wheezing episode and I don't have to use an inhaler every day but will for a month or two once it gets triggered and then taper off of it again.

TwoIfBySea Mon 21-Feb-05 23:17:32

Okay went to the Doctors today and she checked them both out and they seem fine. She says it is a viral infection caused by the cold lasting so long. Have been given medicine to try and if that doesn't work to go back for further tests.

Fingers crossed!

Thanks for all your replies on this, it has been a real eye-opener this one! Jeez!

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