Mom Looking for Advice Regarding Asthma or Bronchialitis

Updated on November 05, 2009
B.H. asks from Detroit, MI
11 answers

I've been wondering if my 3 year old son could have asthma. in August he was sick and he was coughing really bad and wheezing. I took him to emergency and was told that he probably had bronchilatis(sp). I was given a Breathing machine and a prescription for albuterol sulfate. He got sick again in October a day after his yearly exam. Again the same symptoms. I did not go to the Dr. but used the machine again with the medication and it went away (he was out of daycare 3 days).
Now he has it again, this time the symptoms are wheezing, coughing, running noise and vomiting. And I'm not sure why he is throughing up. He says his stomach does not hurt so I sort of ruled out the flu. I'm thinking that maybe from coughing so hard it makes him bring up anything he has eaten or any liquids consumed. I have been using the Albutrol Sulfate again and the breathing machine and he has gotton some relief but it does not last long.
I'm going to take him to the Dr. in the morning.
Has anyone had any experience with this? I have tried cough medicine but it does absolutely nothing for him. I'm thininking that it maybe some type of allergy or Asthma? Any advice would be helpful.

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answers from Detroit on

Hi B.,
I am so sorry that your child is experiencing these problems, but unfortunately, he is not alone. We are undergoing an epidemic of asthma in this country- no one in my generation (baby boomers)had asthma. Now every 1 in 10 children has asthma or breathing difficulties. Why?? Many experts feel it is related to all of the chemicals in our homes and environment. Most household cleaners can trigger an asthma attack, and laundry products are a huge problem, as you are wearing chemicals 24/7 on your clothing and bedding. A chemist can explain the ingredients in commercial laundry detergents and fabric softeners to you, but I have done extensive reading and you don't want to use this stuff on you or your children. Go green and use only natural laundry and household products like those made by Shaklee. I converted 3 years ago and it makes huge difference. I wish that I had known this 30 years ago when my children were small. A Pulmonary specialist in Flint actually tells his asthma patients to go out and find a Shaklee rep. because their asthma will go away or improve dramatically. Please let me know if I can help you- people need to know the truth about what is in commercial products. I have a ton of info to share. Best Wishes, M., RDH



answers from Detroit on

It sounds more like some type of illness to me - I also would not be resorting to the breathing machine or medication without checking with the doctor... Medications expire and you may not be treating the symptoms correctly.

For all the people I have known with Asthma, they never had the above occur in that manner. The signs and symptoms to look for include:
* Frequent coughing spells, which may occur during play, at night, or while laughing. It is important to know that cough may be the only symptom present.(don't forget - coughing and runny nose can be allergy related or a cold... even in the summer time. Your sons issues do not seem to follow this from what you provided.)
* Less energy during play
* Rapid breathing
* Complaint of chest tightness or chest "hurting"
* Whistling sound (wheezing) when breathing in or out
* See-saw motions (retractions) in the chest from labored breathing
* Shortness of breath, loss of breath
* Tightened neck and chest muscles
* Feelings of weakness or tiredness
* Dark circles under the eyes
* Frequent headaches
* Loss of appetite

I'd recommend seeing a specialist referred by your pediatrician instead of self-medicating your son to avoid further complications.



answers from Grand Rapids on

I would make sure to mention everything to the doctor. I know that my step son was throwing up for what we thought was no reason. He would start running around, and get worked up and throw up. We came to find out he had asthma, allergies, and acid reflux. So all of that together, caused him to throw up. He was on several different medications for about 3 years or so, he is much better. He is now on allergy shots, and we were able to take him off of everything else.

You dont want to use the breathing machine without speaking with your reg doctor about what's going on. Unless you have already talked to him about it, and he said to use it, you might be masking another problem. I know for my stepson we had a breathing machine, and can only think of one time that we ever had to use it.



answers from Detroit on

B.; yes bronchitis can make it hard to breathe too, phumonia too can make it hard to breathe, asthma usually is an alergy reaction, one time i had bronchitis and phumonia on top of each other it was difficult to breathe and i went to drs, they told me this will cause me to have asthma for the rest of my life, well , i got better, and still had to fight the breating issue, i wanted to strengthen my lungs, so i was not stuck with asthma all my life, so i worked hard for a year or more, and worked my lungs, like one day i would do one jumping jack, bout knocked me out, next day one jumping jack,
next day two, then eventually 3, then eventually i kept uppping it, and eventually strenthened my lungs, so it was easier for me, this is not for everyone, and should be monitored when doing it, but it never hurts to stregnthen them, still to this day if i get cold in my lungs i have to cough and it can be hard for me to breathe, once you get bronchitis you can get it easily again, so it may be a long battle, and it could of affected his lungs to where he does end up with asthma, but he is young and could work toward stronger ones, if could, keep smiling and being the good mom you are, D. s



answers from Detroit on

I would love to hear what your doctor has to say. My son who is 10, has missed 4 days of school because of this terrible coughing. He has been diagnosed with seasonal asthma. Also he has an upper respiratory infection. He coughed for so long the other night that my husband took him to the emergency room. They did nothing for him. I did call his doctor yesterday and they put him on an antibiotic. But he has almost the same symptoms as your son. We were also doing the inhaler, breathing machine and a dose of steroids. Nothing has helped much. I feel your pain, it is no fun when your kids are sick and you worry so much. We have had very little sleep in our house because the coughing is always the worst at night. Hang in there though it will get better.



answers from Detroit on

It sounds to me like there is more than one thing going on...One of the things you mention is that he has a runny nose and is coughing and throwing up... Has his throat been tender... Anywhere from "scratchy" to "hurt"... He may have a post nasal drip going on that is dumping snot right into his belly... Hence the throwing up without a belly ache. If it is that then the asthma meds would do very little for it. Treating the lungs for a sinus thing...

Try using vicks vapo rub (I put my kids on their chests... But there are many thoughts on what way works best. Chest or feet...) Prop his mattress up so he is not laying flat. (Helps any dripping from irritating the gag reflex while laying down)Possibly give him some kids tylenol to help relax the spasms his belly is having...

My niece's and nephew's all have breathing machines and meds but are not technically asthmatic... Just have sensetivities that respond in a similar way.

Its been a while since I looked at their meds... Is the stuff you have an anti inflamitory or a stimulant (like an over the counter inhaler).

I usually give my kids allergy meds when they have that post nasal drip going... The kind that helps dry up the extra mucus... It seems to help... But if you've been treating him with the breathing meds you may want to get a drs opinion before mixing meds...

The wheezing does sound like an asthma thing... But could also be a croupy thing... Have you tried hot steam? Put some vicks in a large bowl of boiling hot water, put a towel over his head and have him breathe it in for a while... It should help relax the lungs...

Make sure he is drinking. I usually make my kids some hot tea(sleepy time or peppermint) and let them sip on it. But only sips... His belly may be in a spasm method right now... So little sips, wait a few minutes, then little sips, wait a bit, then little sips... etc.Nothing cold... Room temp or warmer...

Good luck!!! Hope he's feeling better and hope you get some rest tonight. These are the nights that mommy gets to sleep on the pull out sofa (our bathroom is downstairs) with which ever of my munchkins are sick... Cuddle time and I'm there just in case they need me. And mommy can dose between attacks Instead of running around. If you decide to do that... Get 2 pairs of extra jammies out for both of you, a couple of towels and washcloths, 2 large bowls, and what ever else you think you may need... Less running around for "supplies" (All you gotta do is the dumping and rinsing runs to the sink or tub... :-)



answers from Benton Harbor on

My daughter had(has) illness induced asthma, which we discovered was some how triggered by allregies. I cannot explain to you how that works, but thats what it is.
We had her tested for allergies (which we wished we had done as soon as we found out) so know we can try to avoid those things that may trigger a reaction, which lowers her immune system, which opens her up to an infection and becomes an asthma attack.
Some allergies are hard to avoid, like grass, but we can shower or whatever after exposure.
Anyway, you should not worry about using the Albuterol, but monitor how often you are having to use it, because it is only dealing with the symptoms, and not the cause. Albuterol is safe, and opens the airways quickly, but it would be much better to not need it at all.
We have liked Singulair.



answers from Grand Rapids on

SOunds just like my son about a year ago! He has since been officially diagnosed with asthma and takes meds daily to prevent attacks, and also takes allergy medication. Usually asthma and allergies go hand in hand. Our pediatrician told us that with asthma in a child there is no test to see if they have it or not, it's diagnosed when symptoms persist and keep coming back. So, it sounds like your little guy could very well be diagnosed.....BUT in my experience it's a very good thing because once he's diagnosed he can be treated properly and then it will help him from getting those awful attacks! My son would get the attacks that would eventually turn in the we had several ER visits late at night with him. Now that he's been on his meds, I've only had to use the nebulizer w/ albuterol sulfate maybe three times. He also has an allergy to dust which can give him respiratory problems, but he takes meds to control those symptoms, too. Just be clear with your doc and ask if he/she thinks it's asthma, they may treat him but might not come right out and say those words to you unless you clearly ask. Also, if you think he's got an allergy to something, speak up and ask for him to be tested. They may not test for it wnless you give them a heads up that you think something is going on....
Best of luck!



answers from Saginaw on

Hello B., I have 3 grown kids who all had asthma. My son was severe and chronic. The meds that your son is on with the machine are asthma meds. When ever my son picked up a virus, his asthma flared up. What concerns me right now is that it sounds like your son could have the swine flu. Vomiting is a symptom, and his stomach does not have to hurt, along with the runny nose and congested lungs. This is a major issue IF your son has asthma, so I'm glad you are taking him to the doctor. Keep track, on a calender, when ever you have to use the machine. This way his doctor can understand what is happening with his lungs. Also ask for a preventive medicine. My son used Intal, and it was a life saver. Using both the Albuterol and Intal in the nebulizer together, 3 times a day, prevented his asthma from getting out of control. The Intal will NOT help an active asthma attack. It only prevents one, or decreases the severity of one. Also, use a face mask, as treating the nose is as important as treating the lungs. The hand held meds are hard to use on a 3 year old, but also, my sons doctor told me that they do not get deep enough into the lungs to reach the bronchial. The fact that cough medicine will not help him leads me to believe that it is asthma. Let his doctor know how often you have been using the machine. Hope this helps. Feel free to contact me if you have questions.



answers from Detroit on

My 7 year old has asthma (diagnosed at age 2) which presents itself as a cough and wheezing. He doesn't have to have daily treatment but when he gets a cold he always has a very bad cough with it which really lingers. He has the breathing machine which helps a lot. My doctor said I can use it up to four times a day.
He also used to throw up when he coughed too hard. I would always put a large towel on his pillow at night when he had a cough because I knew he would throw up (makes it much easier to clean up in the middle of the night), now he's a little older he doesn't seem to do that as much.
I also find that if I put a humidifier in his room when he has the cough it really helps to ease it, it was one of the things my doctor recommended. My son actually has a cough right now so we're going through the same thing.
It does sound like your son may have asthma, and if so, your doctor can give you more advice in the morning.



answers from Detroit on

Hi B.,

Please consult your doctor, however, my son (1 1/2) has/had similar issues. His official diagnosis is Illness Induced Asthma. There is no evidence of asthma other than when he gets a cold. We spent most of last Winter/Spring at Urgent Care plus 3 trips to the hospital due to low Oxygen levels while at Urgent Care.

He typically starts with a bit of a runny nose which eventually thickens and he becomes extremely congested. Then the fever and sometimes vomiting kick in. Everytime we have taken him in it is because we can visibly see that he is struggling to breathe. He wheezes and you can see his chest/stomach retracting. The hospital treated him for the breathing issue and Dx him with bronchiolitis. The next time it was bronchiospasm....whats the difference? I have no idea.

Our doctor said it is most likely Illness Induced Asthma and prescribed a steroid treatment along with the Albuterol to be used in the nebulizer (breathing machine). We eventually decided to take him to a specialist ourselves (he also has eczema and my husband has allergies), so we saw a Pediatric Allergy, Pulmonary Specialist who confirmed the Dx of asthma. He also did an allergy test and an overnight sleep study (he also snores and is a restless sleeper). Bottomline- no allergies found, Severe Pediatric Sleep Apnea diagnosed and treated by removing his tonsils and adenoids.

He was just recently sick for the first time since the tonsil removal with MINIMAL PROBLEMS. He had a temp of 103.8 at one point and still did fine (yes we had him checked for the temp). We gave him two breathing treatments one night and that was it! He is on a daily dose of Singulair to help prevent the asthma flare-ups and has the Albuterol as needed.

I know this is long, sorry. It does sound like asthma to me. The vomiting could simply be from the mucus build-up. PLEASE tell your doctor everything and if you want, ask to see a specialist. In our case, we do not need a referral so we took it upon ourselves to take him.

Good Luck and remember that the doctor works for you. If you want something checked out please be persistent about it.

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