Is It Asthma?

Updated on September 23, 2007
R.R. asks from Pensacola, FL
20 answers

My 1 year old son has had a cough since the second week in January. He'll wake up in the middle of the night just hacking and chocking. He has a few fits during the day as well but it's really a night time thing. I've tried every kind of medicine there is and nothing seems to work. His ped. wants to start him on Asthma meds. to see if they help. Does this sound familiar to anyone? Does my son have asthma? I hate to label him with such a restricting illness.

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So What Happened?

Thanks to everyone for the responses, I truely appreciate the quick responses. Just hearing that other mothers are having the same issuses and their children are okay make me feel alot less terrified. It's really scary when he's sick, as I'm sure all of you know.

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K.F.

answers from Panama City on

My son who is eight now has the same thing, mainly at night. It's actually allergies. Hope thats all it is for you K.

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T.O.

answers from Sarasota on

It could be asthma for sure. But don't jump to conclusions yet without going to a specialist. My son (he was barely 1 at the time) had/has the similar nighttime cough. He also had a million ear infections and snored so 3 surgeries for tubes and adenoids later, he STILL had this nighttime cough. We saw a multitude of specialists and finally an immunologist at All Children's in St. Pete. Around age 2 we finally got the correct diagnosis and treatment. Turns out it is acid reflux. Many painful surgeries and tests later, it all turned out to be as "simple" as acid reflux which he will likely outgrow. He takes Zantac twice daily and has had NO problems since then... not even the common cold during the winter months.
Point is, just because it looks like a duck and walks like a duck... doesn't mean it's not a swan. Don't freak out until you know for sure. And don't freak out if it turns out to really be asthma. That's manageable too!
Good luck and best wishes!

1 mom found this helpful
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S.B.

answers from Tampa on

The problem you are describing here sounds very similar to the problem that my son has. He has been diagnosed as having cough variant asthma. It is almost always a problem for him when he is laying down or asleep. It does not really seem to affect him very much during the day when he is in an upright position. And actually ever since we've started to give him Singulair I very rarely have to give him a breathing treatment. So my advice for you is to not worry so much about the "label" of asthma. As long as my son takes his Singulair nightly, then there are no restrictions on his physical activity. He does not use an inhaler or anything like that. You would never know by looking at him that he even does have asthma. Good luck to you and your son. And by all means, at least give the asthma meds a shot. I know that I am so much more relaxed now that I do not have to listen to my baby son coughing his head off.

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S.M.

answers from Tampa on

I'm sorry to hear about your son. Have you tried a humidifier? That might be misspelled LOL..Maybe a duhumidifier? Not sure..I'm a single Mom well almost 12 weeks to go and could use all the friends I can get!!! I don't know too many people here I 'm from up NOrth and haven't gone out much since being pregnant. It would be nive to meet other mom's who have been in my shoes. Or lack there of LOL good luck hope to talk to you soon!!

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S.B.

answers from Tampa on

I can relate to ths, my daughter is 6 and she was sick for a while, They tried everything and then finally did a couple of breathing treatments which broke it up and they they gave us a couple of inhalers to use.I was very reluctent to do what her doc had said but when i said okay, it worked. Her asthmas only kicks in when she gets sick. She gets sick when the seaons change.
Let me know if you have any questions or want to talk
[email protected]____.com

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K.W.

answers from Tampa on

My son is 23 months old. He was put on zantac when he was 4 weeks old and abuterol etc since he was 4 months old. As he got older we had many colds...almost constant and he was continually on a decongestant as well. A friend recently suggested I get an air purifier for his room. I did, and he has not been sick since! After some research I decided on a hamilton beech product than I couldn't find it in any retail store. Finally I purchased it on line for about $100.00. The sites will come up if you google "air purifier". It's SO much easier than medicine!

PS If you start looking for air purifiers make sure you know the square footage of his bedroom and purchase the product designed for that size space.

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E.R.

answers from Tampa on

I am not sure if you should really be worried about the label as much as trying to find somehting to help him at night. My daughter used to get a lot of sinus infections, coughs, etc. Until she got a nebulizer, things were not getting better. Even though they have not officially stated she has asthma, I watch for any signs of the cough getting 'wet' and into her lungs. Since we have the machine at home, it makes it very easy to stop something before it gets too advanced.

Hope this helps!

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A.S.

answers from Jacksonville on

If he's wheezing too then it is a good possablity. My son is 1yr and has had asthma since 4 months. It started with wheezing and coughing. We having been doing breathing treatment and going to an asthma doctor ever since.
Yours may not be asthma but very close. If the breathing treatment don't seem to work talk to your ped about an asthma doctor. Mine said that my boy could be off his treatments this summer. We caught it early enough and got the help.
I could also be something that he'll out grow. You can email with any other questions. I also have information about an asthma treatment that we do once a day. It has a video you can get for your son to watch.
As for the treatment. If it is a nebulizer machine get both a mask and a mouth piece. My boy didn't like the mask at all but I could put it on him while asleep. He prefers the mouth piece because he can chew on it.

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G.C.

answers from Tampa on

Hi R.
I am going through the exact same thing as you. My two and a half year old daughter coughed terribly at night,,,sould barely get a good night sleep. I took her to the pedi and they have given her a nebulizer to inhale 3 X a day. With our work schedule we can ojnly do 2 X a day but she has been cough free since (about two weeks), The pedi says that it is asthma but a very mild case. Maybe this is the same with your son. She is able to do everything any other child her age can do...since it is a very mild case...hope this helps.

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T.G.

answers from Jacksonville on

My daughter also went to the hospital once for breathing problems, they didn't label it as "asthma" at the time since it was her first episode, but since she's had many more. What I did is put her on Singulair once a day, and they recommended Pulmacourt 2X a day, but I only give it to her once a day and twice if I hear her so much as cough even once. You really get to know when they need the help and when they don't. Get yourself a real doctors stethescope and you can actually hear the mucus in their lungs, it really helps! Just stay on top of it, and he should be fine. Don't worry about giving him the preventative medicine if that is what will make him feel better. Asthma is very very dangerous if left untreated!!

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L.B.

answers from Tampa on

Hi R.,

It sounds like it could be asthma, allergies or perhaps a reaction to something. My son, who is now 4, had allergies and eczema. About 6 months ago, I switched laundry detergents and all of my cleaning products to chemical-free products. I also changed the bath products I use on him in case the body wash was causing a reaction. It's made a huge difference for him, he even sleeps better, and I've even noticed that I've been getting fewer headaches.

My daughter, who is now 2, was on a nebulizer for what seemed like forever. Fortunately her breathing problems and wheezing seemed to have gone away as she's gotten a little older and she's no longer on any medication.

I hope things get better for him and you. It's terrible to have to go through that. Good luck!!

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D.

answers from Tampa on

There are alternative solutions. ONLY use the asthma meds when you have to because long term they cause the lungs to weaken.

Here is what I did for my daughter who did have asthma when she was younger.

1. no wheat in diet
2. No dairy (too much phlem)
3. Supplements for kids particularly, vit e (helps oxygenate the blood) vit C, vit A & D, b complex and minerals.
4. Calcium- magnesium drink twice a day. Studies inidcate that asthmatics have a high need for calcium/magnesuim more so than for regular people. Magnesium also helps stop muscle spasms, which is what asthma is, a muscle spasm of the lungs.

Very good diet.

Get rid of carpets if you can. If you can't invest in a really good vacuum that uses the bags which have the HEPA seal for clean air. Air filters are also good.

Keep a food diary to see if there are food that are a trigger to his breathing problems. My daughter was allergic to peanuts, strawberries and wheat.

I only used the nebulizer and drugs when I absoultely had to when she was wheezing. The rest of the time I did all these other things.

She is now six and does not have asthma.

It takes work and dilligence to improve health and improve the immune system but if you stick with it your child could out grow the asthma like mine did.

Hope this helped.

D.

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M.F.

answers from Jacksonville on

My son was diagnosed with asthma at 3 months old. That was scary. He had to have brething treatments at home for the first couple years of his life and it always flared up during weather changes. He is now 11 and does not need an inhaler or meds at all. He has grown out of it... and many kids do. If it helps him, I would go for it.
E-mail me any time at [email protected]____.com. I could always use more friends. :)
M.

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M.H.

answers from Tampa on

My son just turned four and around the time when he was two- just before he starting coughing a lot.. and our issue was always at night too!! Even since he was little, I noticed that he seemed to have "colds" all the time and his under eyes were always red or had circles. Because he only had the severe symtoms @ night, my pedi thought maybe it was allergies. We started giving him over the counter childrens claritin, which seemed to help a lot.. however, within a couple weeks it started back just as bad. One night he had a coughing fit and I was convinced that he was going to throw up from coughing, well he ended up having an asthma attack and we needed to call 911. This is a very scary thing! There's nothing like your child not being able to breathe and U not being able to do anything about it! My doctor then prescribed a low dose of singular chewable tablets. This helped tremendously.. He has a albuteol inhaler (with an aerochamber) that we were having to use approx 2 times per week or more (to help him breathe) and once the singular got in his system and we got him on it reg. not only has the coughing/wheezing stopped, but we've only had 4 severe asthma attacks in the last 2 yrs(but those attacks were due to bronchial viral infections like croup) we don't have to use the inhaler either (unless of course he was having an attack). He has asthma induced by allergies, so as long as his allergies are kept under control, so will his asthma and singular is for both. Email me and we can specifically go over what my son was having (barking cough, coughing fits) and you can compare it to your situation... good luck!

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M.S.

answers from Tampa on

Yes. I have struggled with this myself. Dr wanted my daughter on all kinds of preventative meds. Right now, she's on albuterol with the nebulizer only when her asthma (the cough) acts up. If it doesn't go away after two to three days I switch to Pulmicort through the neb as well. That usually does the trick. So far, no maintenance drugs for us. I am glad I did not put her on any of the drugs my dr suggested. I actually switched peds as well, because I didn't think one round of coughing warranted drugs every day. Let me know if you have any more questions.

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F.N.

answers from Tampa on

Here is some advice that may help. It's coming from someone who has asthma since I was a kid. You may want to try putting a vaporizer in his room. Also, you can apply a sparing amount of vicks rub on his chest before he goes to sleep. Use very little since he may not like the sensation and the vapors may be over powering to him. I have used vicks on my daughter since she was about 4 months old eventhough it's only reccommened for older children. They have a baby version as well - but I've never tried it. Also, and this may sound a little wierd - before bed give him a couple sips of black coffee. The caffine will help open open the airways. That is a good trick to always keep in back of your mind in case he has asthma and gets an attack during the day and you don't have the medicine with you. To be honest if your son does has asthma don't think that it's going to restrict him that much. I had it as a kid and to be honest I could do everything like a normal kid. The good thing with children who get asthma is that as they get older they usually grow out of it since our bodies change every 7 years and during that time our immune systems have a chance to get stronger to certain things. Take care and I hope this advice helped a little.

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R.

answers from Tampa on

My three year old does the same thing and it's so bad that it makes him vomit in the middle of the night (about once every two weeks). I was researching the signs of asthma for my niece's baby and found that if your child has a sever cough at night then it's probably a early indication of asthma. I have not taken my son in to the pedi yet, as I thought he might think I am crazy, but after reading all these posts, I probably should. Just like all the other mother's said, it's worst during season changes. I would at least give it a try to see how your son reacts to it. Also look at Dr. Sears on line and type in "signs of asthma in toddlers/babies" or varations of that search. You will find articles that will help answer your questions. Good luck!

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M.G.

answers from Jacksonville on

R. - I would not just assume it is asthma. I have a 13 month old son and we have been going through the same thing. I did get an inhaler for him but that is only to help open his airway - to be used on an as needed basis. The season is really bad this year and I think a lot of babies are dealing with this. We just started allergy meds to see if that helps too.

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D.D.

answers from Tallahassee on

there is a possibilty that he could just have allergies. my son was the same way and they put on steriods, cough meds, name it and it was given. Fianlly they put him on Singulair and occassionaly breathing treatments which slowed it down. but during the cold/flu season i can still notice that he'll cough in the middle of the night. The Dr keeps telling me that he'll grow out of it. We'll see. Good luck to you.

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A.L.

answers from Tampa on

It is hard to say from what you said and not being able to see and listen to your son. Is he weezing? Does he sound like he needs to cough when he is having his fits? My son has asthma, has had it almost since day 1 (he will be 3 in June). I feel the illness is more restricting to us as parents than to our children. My son has pretty serious asthma sometimes enough to hospitalize him but you would never klnow by the way he acts. Kids are strong and are not held down by much. Let your doctor start him on some breathing treatments and meds and hopefully you will know 1 way or the other.

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