Need Help with Asthma

Updated on November 16, 2008
K.K. asks from San Antonio, TX
37 answers

My son is 5 1/2 years old and he has asthma. He has non-stop coughing. The doctor put him on Advair twice a day. He has been feeling good for 2 weeks but we stopped p.e. in school, soccer, and restrict his time outside especially at night. This week he was allowed to go back to normal routine. He played with a friend outside one evening, soccer practice at 5:15-6:15 and he went trick or treating. He is soooooooooo sick! Since yesterday he's been coughing nonstop and now he sounds like he is crouping. I'm so frustrated because he can't do anything fun. How do other parents handle this. Do you become a drill sergent and say no to everything including holiday things? I'm worn out and sick of hearing him coughing. I also have a daugther 2 1/2 years old. I don't have the energy for all of this. I'm sorry for complaining because I'm truly blessed to have my two kids....just exhausted! The on call doctor did order him cortizone but it takes so long to work. He was on all this meds about two weeks ago. I feel terrible that we are pumping him with so much medicine. We are pulling him off of soccer and he's not allow to go outside in the evening. I feel bad because he loves to look at all the Christmas ligths. I guess my question is how do other parents handle ASTHMA??? I read a lot about it and I keep seeing it shouldn't change their lives and he should be able to do everything he wants but I don't feel like that's the case.

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So What Happened?

I want to thank everyone who wrote in to share their personal experiences. The information that I have received is truly valuable and I'm writing a list of questions and different medications to ask the doctor to switch too. I'm going to see his current doctor on Friday to see about switching his medicines again. I also have another appointment beginning of next month with a new pulmonolgist to get another opinion and try to find out his triggers. I really want to thank everyone for giving me hope that my son will find the right doctor and medicine combination to have his kid friendly life again. He's tired of watching life from the side lines and so am I. :-)

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M.E.

answers from Austin on

Hi K., I am having almost the same trouble, He's always coughing, He'll do well then it's back, He was on Singulair but that didn't seem to do much, Now every time he's ill it's OTC meds and breathing treatments. I'm at my wits end! He cannot miss any more school, How are you doing? My son is 6, M.

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A.C.

answers from Houston on

I had ashtma trouble with my 8 year old last week. Is he using his machine, does he have a pumo, maybe they need to switch medicine.

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S.W.

answers from Houston on

Just a note about Avair, I was on it and my voice started getting hoarse (I never had this before), not thinking it was the avair, while I was at my ear,nose and thoart doctor he also was concern and incerted a camera to get a good look at the vocal cords etc. He found nothing, but I never mention I was on avair, it just did not cross my mind at the time. I stopped taking avair and my voice got normal again.
My hushband was taking avair and the same thing happened to him and when he stopped using it his voice became normal again, that is when I realize it was the avair causing this. Well, that is a side affect of that medication. I would never give it to my children there are so many other better products out there. Go to another doctor that specializes in asthma or research it on the internet first.
I prefer using the pill it last longer.
Also, I have talked with several other people using avair and they had that same thing happen to them, but as myself did not realize it was the avair.
Good luck, people just do not understand asthmas unless they have had it too.

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B.R.

answers from Austin on

Make sure the the doc keeps tabs on your son, Advair should only be used for a year. I was told it is not a good idea to take it more than a year. f he has issues with the air outside, then I think you might benfit from taking him to an allergy doctor. It might help to find out if he has allergies. I found out that I have to be careful around sunflowers and grass.

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A.J.

answers from Killeen on

I don't have a kid with asthma but my hubby has asthma so I know a little about it. I think it sounds like you just haven't found the right mix of medicine for your son yet. Has he tried singulair? that's the one that helps my hubby the best, and my sister uses it for her asthma as well. it usually only takes 12-24 hours to start working, and it's a once a day thing, so if your dr. would let him do a trial period of that, you should know if it works or not right away.
If he is coughing a lot and also congested, it might just be allergies or a cold. Colds tend to last longer with people with asthma. it usually takes my hubby a week or 2 to get over a cold that I would be well in a few days from.
I think it's also imperative that you find out if his asthma is triggered by exercise, allergies, or both! If it's exercise, he will have to limit himself, but he should still be able to be fairly active. If it's allergies, you need to know the triggers and eliminate or reduce them. Oddly enough, my hubby is allergic to cockroaches (I never even knew that was possible LOL). There are soo many different things he could be allergic to. you might have to get one of those allergy tests for him where they put each allergen on a needle and scratch it on his back in different areas and see what he reacts to.
Once you find the right balance of medications and can eliminate his triggers, then he should be just like a normal kid with very few attacks. My hubby is in the Army and does physical training once or twice a day! he runs between 5-10 miles per week! It took him several years to find his right meds, but that's just because army doctors drag their feet =) As long as you work with your doctor closely, you should be able to get your son close to normal soon!

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S.W.

answers from Houston on

My daughter has slight brochotis and we have been able to control her coughing and chest infections by doing the following: Take a bath if she has been outside, especially if there is an ozone day or the mold counts are high. We use the waterless vaporizor (can get one at HEB, Target, Walmart, etc.). It is our friend. You will need to limit his outdoor activities especially when the mold counts and air quality are poor. Try giving him apple every day (helps with coughing) and limit the dairy products and sugar. Also, give him acidolophis for children (Nature's Way makes a good one). Seek advice from a reputable health food store near you. Get your son off the prescription meds if possible--they all have side effects, some the dr. may not even be aware of. Make sure you son is eating food from the earth as much as possible. Asthma and allergies are closely related. Good Luck!

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T.E.

answers from Houston on

My 7 yr old son has asthma.Advair didn't work for him.He was put on Singular. (He takes it once a day at bedtime and it is a chewable pill the size of a skittle).IT has worked for him.He is also on Prevacid. He had acid reflux as a child and his coughing would get worse after he ate .I took him to our ENT after dealing with the cough for 6 months and got him on prevacid.
He also had a cat scan to see if he had any sinus blockage that was causing the cough.
He has a nebulizer, and a puffer. None are being used now because the singular is working so well.
We also run a cool mist humidifier every night in his room.
I have read that an asthma person needs to be in a dust free environment and have bedding changed often. I do that as much a possible.
Good luck with what you do. I have been there and I am feeling your frustration.
Regarding limiting his activity,
I tried to do that but I had an unhappy child. It got to the point that my hubby and I felt that if he is coughing while just sitting still, why not let him play a little outside.
We would check the mold, pollen count and if it was o.k. and not too high we would let him play outside for about 10 minutes. We would watch him and if his cough got worse with him playing we would bring him in.
good luck.

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D.M.

answers from Corpus Christi on

My son's asthma was allergy induced-in other words his allergies triggered his asthma attacks. It was foods as well as pollens. Once we controlled the allergies the attacks were fewer and farther between. You might consider that approach and look into his allergies. I understand you have a whole lot going on and your plate is full, not that sympathy helps change things but I will keep you and your family in my prayers!

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C.C.

answers from San Antonio on

My daughter has had problems with Asthma for a long time. She is now 7 and we only have problems this time of year. Thanks to all the pollens blowing in.

I also grew up with asthma so I have struggled with how to raise her differently than I was - which was very limited ability to play outside and little sports options outside.

She LOVES to be outside. When she was younger we did not outside sports and I watched the pollen/mold count (you can find it on your local news websites) and we only went out for extended periods of time when that was low. We just didn't do somethings depending on how she was doing. Unfortunately, that is just what you have to do for a little while. We are not that restrictive now and are actually talking about joining some outside sports (we have done gymnastics/dance/karate) when we finish our current contract.

We take singulair EVERYDAY (and zyrtec because they work differently). We tried to get off of the singulair and within a week she had asthma problems. We also have a steroid puffer she starts when the weather begins to change (like now) and we do that whether she has problems or as soon as she starts the coughing and keep doing it through out the season.

When she has the precursers to getting sick I do ask that she stay inside during PE/Recess, but we are currently still doing both.

Hang in there and find fun things to do inside, hopefully this will only be for a 'season' (life season, not year season) and your son will be able to control it more and get out more.

Just keep talking to other moms for support. And remember you are the momma and make those calls - like we will do an extra shot on the rescue inhaler so we can go 'Trick or Treating' but we probably won't go to the Pumpkin patch this year.

Just remember - you are not alone!

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G.K.

answers from Austin on

Been there and it's not fun!! My 17 yr old was diagnosed with asthma when he was 6 months old (they called it something else until he turned 6 months because "you can't be born with asthma?"). Anyway, he was on meds that helped sometimes and not at others and ended up having to take nebulizer treatments several times a day. The frequency of treatments became less often as he got older and learned to recognize an oncoming attack and they were eventually stopped altogether when he was old enough to an inhaler properly. When he was 10-12, they decided that his asthma was triggered, not only by stress (physical exertion or worries like over tests) but by allergies also. They put him on Singulair along with carrying an inhaler 24/7 and he's been "controlled" for 4 years now. Except for an occasional bout which requires the assistance of Prednisone to whip, this means that he no longer has to take regular treatments.
Unless he had an attack while he was doing an activity (P.E, etc), we did not limit him. It's notmal for them to suffer more at night but it's because they've been up and going all day and are simply more tired. (Same reason a child will run a higher fever at night.) In fact, when he was 18 months old, his pediatrician suggested taking him outside into the cooler night air in only a diaper if an attack started because the shock of the cold forces them to take a deep breath which they, as a reflex, exhale slowly. Sounds crazy and we had to provide a doctor's note to CPS when a neighbor turned us in but it worked!! I also bought one of those cushions that resemble the back of a chair for him to use instead of a pillow because he seemed to have fewer attacks if he was in a semi-sit position. We spent A LOT of time sleeping in the living room! You should also be aware that central heat can bring on an attack. Central units dry the air as it heats the house and can be a trigger. Until we got a humidifier, I would take him into the bathroom, shut the door, draw the shower curtain and turn on the shower with only hot water running. We would sit and play or sometimes, if he was just worn out, I'd simply sit and hold him until the humidity did it's job and the attack subsided.
I'm sure that they've told you but you should limit all dairy products and chocolate. They thicken the flim that is causing the cough. (Please have a laugh for me when you walk into the kitchen one day and discover him eating a stick of butter because "he's not supposed to have it"! It's happened with everyone in my family.)
I wish you the best of luck and I hope that he outgrows his asthma as my son did!

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L.B.

answers from Houston on

When you mention your doctor, is he an allergy specialist or just your pediatrician? I highly recommend an allergy specialist. The key to controlling the asthma is knowing what the allergies are and knowing your exposure to them. There will be times you will choose the exposure (ie: going trick or treating in the fall even if you are allergic to pollen when being outside irritates your allergies) but then you can at least consult with your doctor in advance and plan ahead.

L.

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B.M.

answers from Waco on

Hi K....you've gotten some great advice here so I'll add my 2 cents. My son has had asthma since age 7 and took Singulair for many years at bedtime, used albuterol inhalers and also has a nebulizer for when it gets really bad. There is no reason why your son cannot be active in sports or any physical activity. Sounds like the Advair may not be working well for him and may be making his condition worse. My son participates in football & basketball and even mows yards now for extra spending $$ (he's 16 now) and uses his inhaler when needed & the nebulizer when the weather gets to him...usually when the temp goes from one extreme to the other. He stopped taking the Singulair a couple of years ago as he stated it didn't seem to be helping him anymore. You might want to check into exactly what he's allergic to that can trigger an attack and see about getting him on some different meds. Good luck!

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A.A.

answers from Waco on

Hi K.,

You are a good mom for seeking out answers about asthma and for wanting to help your child. You sound like a very frustrated parent that is in desperate need of answers. I have asthma and my daughter has asthma so I hope my words of wisdom will be helpful to you. First and foremost, asthma is serious and you need to take it seriously. You need to do whatever you can to muster up the strength and energy to deal with this head on... your childs life depends on it.

First and foremost, I would suggest trying to find out what it is that is triggering your child's asthma. Is it induced by allergens (pets, dust, molds, pollens, foods, etc.)? By exercise? Or perhaps by common illnesses like the cold? Find a good doctor that specializes in the treatment of asthma and they can help you get to the bottom of what might be causing it. From there, you can decide on the appropriate treatment. For example, you shouldn't have to keep your child indoors and keep him from playing soccer or looking at christmas lights if he's allergic to dust mites or your family pet. You have to find the cause before you can figure out how to help him. Also, a doctor that specializes in asthma can make sure your son has regular pulmonary function tests to determine if he is making any progress or not.

Nebulizer treatments are great and they can literally save a person's life. I would highly recommend that you talk to your doctor about getting one. If he is coughing all the time, then you NEED one and you need it today.

Preventative medication, like advair, can also be helpful. It improved my lung function immensely. The drug that helped me more than anything, though, was singulair. It took about a month for me to realize how much it helped, but for me, it was a wonder drug! Again, though, the appropriate treatment really depends on the cause of his asthma.

What you do NOT want to do (and I speak from experience) is blindly think that everything is just fine and not be informed on this subject. Children that grow up with asthma do not know what it is like to breathe normally. They can think they are fine and not have any visible signs of an asthma attack, but underneath the surface, they may have tons of inflammation that will eventually lead to scarring of the lungs (emphysema) if left untreated. At age 25, I found out I only had 40% of my lung function. My parents had great intentions, but they wanted to go with a more "natural" approach. I now get regular treatment and my lung function is better, but it will never be 100%. This is due to years of not getting proper treatment that led to the scarring.

Asthma should not change his life, but he is only 5 1/2 and is depending on you to help him. With proper help, he can be a "normal" kid and live a "normal" life, but you've got the help him get there! If he is coughing all the time and it is excessive enough to bother you, then his asthma is not under control and you need to get help right away.

I hope this helps you and I wish you the best of luck!

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C.F.

answers from El Paso on

Dear K.

My son has asthma also. I don't know how severe his is but son gets those coughing fits also. My son has had asthma since he was 3 he is now six. This is what his doctor does for him. My son does nebulizer treatments daily especially in the winter. During the summer he doesn't have any flare ups so no nebulizer treatments are necessary. He uses Xopenex 3 times a day and Pulmacort twice a day in the nebulizer machine. I had to take him to the ER last Saturday and they gave him 1 teaspoon of predisone and three back to back treatments of the xopenex because he was in the middle of an attack. But the prednisone opens him up completely he only needed it for 4 days after then stop completely because prednisone is a steroid and not a good for the kiddos at all but it helps with the attack. Anyway, how the pulmacort and the xopenex work is the pulmacort is also a steriod (but not as bad as the prednisone) the pulmacort is a preventative treatment (medication) that will keep the asthma under control and the xopenex is just a daily treatment like an inhaler. I actually have an appointment with my sons doctor today because they want to switch him on to an inhaler. I was told that the advair really isnt that good for kids because it has albuterol in it and get them real exicitable, so my doctor is going to try simbacort (sp) but with an aerochamber the aerochamber keeps the medication maintained so it goes directly to his lungs instead of everywhere in his mouth. Children of your son and my sons age arent that great at inhaling so the aerochamber helps them get the medication directly to their lungs where they need it. Well sorry this is so long but I just wanted to give you a full explanation.

Good Luck please contact me anytime if you would like to discuss anything.

C. in El Paso

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J.L.

answers from Austin on

Have you ever thought that the chemicals that your son is exposed to every day in your own home may be causing his asthma to be worse?

People every day have discovered Melaleuca.com and switched stores for products that are toxic free and cost less.

Check it out. What have you got to lose?

J.

www.melaleuca.com
www.saferforyourhome.com
www.livetotalwellness.com/janislanz

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M.W.

answers from Houston on

My 2 1/2 year old daughter has asthma, I have asthma, my husband also does and so do several members of our extended family. From all I have learned, it is important to get the asthma under control day-to-day so that your son only has to take the rescue medications (albuterol, etc) occasionally - hopefully only once a month or so. My daughter was on Singulair for a little while but seemed to have adverse reactions so her doctor put her on Flovent, and she's been doing great. She occasionally takes her rescue inhaler when she gets a cold (her main trigger), but other than that, she's fine. She was getting so that she'd cough so much when she had a cold that she would throw up. In order to get your son's asthma under control, you should consider visiting a pediatric pulmonologist. Pediatricians and allergists can only do so much; they only have a limited knowledge of asthma. Hopefully once it is under control he can return to most of his activities (possibly also with allergy medication). It's a hard condition to figure out sometimes, but definitely not impossible with a good doctor and the right meds! Good luck!

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M.D.

answers from Austin on

Is he on a nebulizer? I have two kids with asthma and when they have coughing fits at night I give them Pulmicort before they go to bed and it definitely helps! Does he have allergy induced asthma? What other medicines besides Advair is he on? It might be that Advair is the wrong treatment for him. You should ask your doctor about putting him on Singulair. In the morning is for allergies and taking it in the evening is for asthma. It has helped tremendously for their prevention plan. I also give the kids albuterol when they have wheezing or are struggling to breathe. If you would like to put him in a sport then try swimming because that sport is easiest on the body and gives them rhythmic breathing. Good luck! Definitely ask about pulmicort. It has given back nights of sleep to our whole family!

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O.C.

answers from Austin on

K.,
As a grandmother this really hurts to read about children like this, my granddaughters when they moved here to Austin, they had really bad allergies, of course Dr's precribed claritin.
I told my daughter to check out xanthones, these are powerful antioxidants. The Anti-Infammatory properties of xanthones and the nutritional support offered by mangosteen can play an important part in the improvement of asthma symptoms in children.
Within a day allergies gone and they have been free of allergies for the past 2 yrs,
If this can help an 80 yr old man get off his oxygen, this helps with children.
It is all natural, no toxins and babies, children, pregnant women, young, old, anyone can drink this.
Look into it,
Dr. templeman speaks of this, you can listen to his audio on www.dailyhealhtjuice.com, clik on his name.

remember invest in your health today to enjoy an Illness free tomorrow
You may do your own research by searching mangosteen in the internet, search xanthones at these websites www.pubmed.gov or www.mangosteenmd.com.
Since adverse side effects are warned on all drugs, as is reported in the PDR (Physician's Desk Reference) what's the solution?

The anti-inflammatory xanthones (out of the 202 xanthones discovered in Nature; 43 have been found in the Mangosteen Fruit so far. ) These xanthones may be responsible for providing more immediate relief than any other phytonutrients found in the fruit.Studies done with Mangosteen and inflammation compared it to the strongest anti-inflammatory drug available (Dexamethasone, which is so dangerous it can only be prescribe it for SHORT-term use) was JUST AS POWERFUL WITHOUT NEGATIVE CONSEQUENCES!!!

email me , I have a TIME magazine article that will explain more on this, if you want to learn more.
tecuento123 at yahoo com

God bless you
Oly

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A.D.

answers from Houston on

The idea is to modify his activities not restrict him. If he plays outdoors with a friend one day, then he does not play soccer or play outside at night. Night is not very goood for asthma (my son seemed to get worse at night when outside). Restructure his schedule so that he is not doing too much on any one day. Spread it out over the course of the week. Living with asthma isnt fun but it can be managed. My son did not participate in P.E. much while in school especially on very windy, cold or very hot days. He often found some shade to sit in when being in the sun became too much for him and with a note to his P.E. teacher at the beginning of each year we had no problem with my son being on restricted P.E. and some non participation.

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B.R.

answers from Longview on

K.,

I can sympathize. I had severe asthma as a child, and now I'm raising my three year old nephew who also has it very bad. It sounds to me like the Advair isn't working like it should. I would suggest talking to your son's doctor about trying something else. My nephew takes Pulmicort through the nebulizer and Singulair (chewable pill) by mouth, and his stays under control most of the time. I would also ask about an allergy test because asthma can be triggered by allergies as well as activity. I would also keep him away from dairy products while his asthma is flaired up. Milk, ice cream, and other thick dairy products aid in mucus production. Cold, dry air also tends to trigger asthma symptoms, so a humidifier is a great idea, especially this time of year. When my nephew's asthma acts up, we stop the dairy, begin Albuterol nebulizer treatments 2-4 times a day, and try to keep him subdued when playing outdoors. Sometimes we do have to make a trip to the doctor for prednisone (or other similar steroid) to get it back under control. Bottom line, keep in good contact with your son's doctor and let him know what is and isn't working for him. A daily or weekly journal might be a good idea while you are experimenting with different meds. Just try to keep your cool; it will get better once you all get into a groove. If it offers you any encouragement, I outgrew my asthma (for the most part) by the time I was about 13. Hang in there!

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S.C.

answers from College Station on

Hi K.,

I can tell you what works for us and has been a life savior and the doctor said if it works don't fix it so we ran with it.
Run humidifiers when he sleeps, when hes awake, that will help the air passage and open them up. The cough, there is a medicine from Tylenol its call cool burst and they have one for the cough and mucus. Now it is adult strength so you have to give him a smaller dosage like a 1 tsp. They have daytime and nighttime get both. You can even go to Tylenol website and some times they have a coupon for a 1.00 off they run about 5.99 a bottle. You give him this in the morning and at night time. This stuff cools the throat but it also has eucalyptus in it so it opens the lungs and kills bacteria and helps get rid of the mucus that is causing a lot of the problems. Also, get a bag of some party balloon and have him blow them up it will strengthen his lungs and when hes done he can play with the balloons. When he is outside and its just a little cool put a hat over his head and cover up his ears it will help.These thing will help ease until the doctor can help with a prescription or get him on a nebulizer. Just keep his play to a minum until his lungs are stronger.They are expensive, but if you have insurance it will help. Until then use the humidifiers. Good luck, and don't worry your not alone. :)

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B.C.

answers from San Antonio on

Good Morning K.;

I had asthma until I was 12!! It is horrible, but, there is
a way to help your son NOW!
Medical doctors will subscribe drugs, but, they are just temporary cover ups!
I'm sorry but in order for you to understand where I'm coming from I have to tell you a story (sort of long) about me.
For as long as I could remember every time the weather changed to the cooler period, Fall and Winter, I would be
unable to breath if I did any type of physical activity, for
instance playing touch football, baseball or even dodge ball.
It did not matter where we lived, during those first 12 years we lived in North Texas, South Texas (Kingsville, Beeville)
Louisiana (Pineville and Alexandria) the attacks were the same!
Doctors told my mother that she should just move me to Arizona as that was the only place I would be able to have a semi normal life! That made her a very mad lady!! hahaha She
was one that felt there had to be a cure! The doctors told her to not let me play any type of sports! Well she knew that
I loved all sports and that also made her mad.
O.K. so now you know my condition! Well we were on our way
home from a medical doctor who had just told her to move me
to Arizona when she passed a chiropractor sign on her left, she did a u-turn and we went in. The chiropractor told her
to let him study my x-rays for a few days and to bring me back the following week.
We went back the following week, this was July 1948! Well
when we went back he said and used the x-ray to show her that
a nerve in my spine was causing the problem and that a series
of treatments he thought would strengthen that nerve. Well
we weren't rich and Mom worried about how much the treatments would be. Dr. D.E. Ray put the treatments the first month
I would go every 3rd day and the cost would be $6.00 for each
treatment. That series would last two weeks, then it would drop to 2 a week at $6.00 and then after a month at 2 a week
it would drop to one a week for 3 months.
K., I started playing football in September of 1948 and
never missed a game for the next few years until I ended my
career in the army in 1956! I also went to state in track running the high hurdles and ran on the all army team in Germany!
Now to prove my point>>>take the two fingers of your left hand and move them down the spine of your son, starting at the top near his neck, pressing kind of hard, all of a sudden
you will hit a really sore point about mid-way between his
should blades!! Keeping your two fingers at that spot, vibrate them with your other hand, softly hitting those two fingers at that spot. It should bring him some relief and then
find a good chiropractor near you!
Good Health,
B. C.

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S.M.

answers from Sherman on

You might want to consider talking to your doctor about purchasing a nebulizer. I have nocturnal asthma and I take breathing treatments at home. I purchased mine on Ebay for a lesser cost then through the doctors office. Plus you don't have to have a prescription for them on Ebay. I have been using mine everyday here lately, and still use my inhaler also. Another good thing about having one, it saves on doctors bill or ER bills. Keeps you from having to go all the time.

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D.B.

answers from Beaumont on

Asthma can be and should be controlled. When it is, the child should be able to participate in all activities normally. If your doctor isn't able to control it, find a new one. As a person with asthma and a child with asthma who by the way is very athletic and plays softball pretty much year round... asthma should not stop any normal activities.

Allergies are quite often a big problem for asthmatics. You might have your child allergy tested and put on the proper meds. Once my daughter's allergies were brought under control her asthma symptoms almost went away entirely. But we have to really make sure we keep the allergies under control.

She rarely uses her inhaler anymore and she plays hard! She not only plays league softball but also plays open tournaments all year long... she's on the All Star team every year and she has become the fastest runner on the team with little to no asthma issues anymore.

Talk to your doctor, it may just be your child hasn't found the right medication yet. He can be a normal little boy and not be bothered by asthma. Good luck!

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M.S.

answers from College Station on

I have had asthma since I was a child. it started out as "runner's asthma" (induced by exercise) and then progressed to a chronic cough, never going away. I had it for over 20 years.

Then one of my sons about 1 1/2 years, at the age of 3 started having asthma attacks in the night and I would have to take him to get breathing treatments at the e.r. The dr wanted to put him on 4 meds and I felt very against this. So, I looked into alternatives. I made dietary changes and added supplements. The asthma went away, mine and his!! Taking the omega supplements really help asthma (which I had done over the years and it really helped a lot for me even more than the inhalers except when I was pregnant) and certain dietary restrictions, especially milk. Even if he isn't allergic to milk, it causes mucous build up making asthma attacks more likely. This along w/what you are already doing could cut back the severity of the attacks and the frequency.

I would go to a wholistic/naturopath and let them guide you in the best way to control the asthma w/less meds and perhaps it will go away all together, like mine and my sons. Also, they can tell you what he is allergic to and they can tell you how to stop an attack immediately w/o meds like mine did. It is AMAZING at how our bodies can heal if we give them the right ingredients! Asthma is a symptom of an underlying problem. When you found out what is triggering it (and it could be a combo of things), the asthma will be less and less.

Chemicals in your home can add to the problem too. He may be more sensitive and if you cut out one or more of the sensitivities, then being outside won't trigger the dramatic attack it is now.

Let me know if you want more info. I also have a good book I can recommend that really helped me understand it a lot better written by a dr.

Blessings,
M.
Mom to 5 Wonderful Kids
www.4MyChildrenSake.com

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J.L.

answers from Austin on

In the past my asthma has flared up at this time of the year with all the weeds. It could be this extreme coughing might be seasonal and when it gets colder it could settle down. An at home nebulizer machine should be in your home. Asthma is tied up with emotions as well. Your son might feel the anxiety of what you are going through and take it on making his symptoms worse. Maybe your doctor can help you find a support group, heck you might find one here, but you sound like you need some support to help understand what he is going through. It is frustrating missing out on things, but it may just be for a while. I had an anxiety attack a few months after being diagnosed (at 41) b/c it is such a scary thing to deal with. Once I understood it more, how to breath etc... I had tools to help me cope. Try to stay away from worrying about future events and just be vigilant, like you are, to find some answers.

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E.K.

answers from Houston on

Definitely purchase a nebulizer...it works wonders especially when they get that nasty cough. I know that medications are scary, especially for the little ones. My husband and my step-daughter both have asthma and it is NO FUN when they aren't feeling well, so I know how you feel! They both take Singular, which seems to help with maintaining, and my husband uses Albuterol inhalers / solution. I know that the Singular does come in a chewable form for kids, which you may want to ask your doc about, especially if he isn't able to participate in any of his normal activities. Good luck and take care!

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K.D.

answers from San Antonio on

K.,

I thought I would reply because I had severe asthma as a child, so I KNOW exactly what your son suffers. I applaud your questions, because gaining greater knowledge of some aspects of the disease and of "asthma management" is sure to help both you and your son. The good news is two-fold: 1) Many children "grow out of" asthma - I did. I am 54 now, and by the time I was in college, I hardly ever had an attack [although there are certain triggers that I still avoid.] 2) The BEST thing is that medications and treatment methods are much better today. Back then, we only had the inhalers that were used once an attack was underway. The medications could only be used sparingly (because they made you so jittery and were not effective if used too often). With the "new" medications like the daily inhalers (Advair), asthma can be treated much better today than it was when I was a child - so be encouraged! Here are some personal observations:

(1) When people (even some doctors) speak about asthma, they often say, I/he/she "can't breathe." Both having had asthma and having grown up in a family full of asthmatics, I know that the REAL problem with asthma is getting the air OUT of the lungs. During an asthma attack, it is like you have a lung-full of air that you cannot expel; there is no place for additional/new breaths of air to go. It feels like you simply have no ability to expel the air and draw a new breath.

(2) Asthma is triggered by different factors in different people. If your son has not had allergy tests, I would recommend them. Knowing what to avoid will improve his (and your) quality of life. I would get asthma when: I was exerting a lot of energy (running, playing rambunctiously, etc.); the air was very cold (and even more so when I was hot, bundled up, or running about in the cold night air); I was exposed to allergens (for me, certain fall-time triggers, like weeds, wood-smoke, cat dander, molds, etc.). I would almost certainly get asthma when I got sick with a cold and then I would get bronchitis. I took allergy shots for years to build up my resistance to the things I was allergic to and apparently this really helped. When I was very young, the nurse gave them twice weekly. When I got older, I gave them myself. By the time I was in college, I asked the doctor if I needed to continue shots and he said there was no to way to tell without stopping them. We discontinued the shots on a trial basis and I did very well.

(3) Asthma is first and foremost a physiological disease, but there is a very REAL psychological aspect to it, also. It is quite frightening to feel that you are unable to get new air into your lungs. So, when someone - particularly a very young child - is having an asthma attack, it is good for everyone to be very calm and still. This is why "quiet games" are good for controlling asthma - everything from "I Spy" (when a little one is confined to bed) to jigsaw and crossword puzzles, and I'm sure today Game-Boy and other electronic games that one can play with quietly on his/her own. I personally feel this need for "calming" is why there is a "tradition" that Chihuahua dogs are helpful. My great-grandmother had heard of this and, because I had such severe asthma, she purchased me a Chihuahua puppy (it was 1962 and I was 8 years old!) That little Chihuahua was soooo tiny. He became a complete house-dog (king of the house, that is - we ALL adored him.) My parents would let me have him in bed when I was having asthma. He would curl-up and sleep right there by my chest, where I could pet him and talk to him. It was SO calming to have a tiny animal lying there with me. And, I imagine the tradition formed because Chihuahuas are one of the best breeds for little hair/dander and they are generally inside dogs and therefore are not bringing in pollens from outside. Whatever the secret, my Chihuahua was a blessing to me during my asthma years (he lived for 19 years and it was an enormous loss to the entire family when he died.)

(4) Running is very tricky for asthmatics, so I'm surprised that your son plays soccer. It has to do with the "rhythm" of breathing, which can be thrown off by running, huffing and puffing. CONTROLLED exercise is very good (versus erratic exercise, which often brings on an attack.) My physician suggested that I become involved in swimming because it would build my lung capacity. So, I started swimming at the local "Y" and became a good swimmer. I eventually got involved in the swim team. My strength was duration swims for long distances. Indeed, I gained much greater control/discipline of my breathing through swimming, and this may be the real factor for my continued improvement, to the point that I do not experience asthma as an adult*.

[*FYI: When I was in my mid-20s, I did have a sudden and sever asthma attack when, without knowing it would happen, I went into the Rabbit Barn at the State Fair. Something (an allergy?) triggered a violent reaction and I literally "stopped breathing." My husband had to practically carry me out of the enclosure, where I was able to regain the ability to breath once outside. We we had to head home. That never happened again, but interestingly enough, I still keep an asthma inhaler at home (unused, but I get it renewed when it expires) and I carry it in my luggage when I travel overnight. There is something about not wanting to be "caught" without relief, even though I have not had an asthma attack for 30+ years, now.]

Anyway, I hope that ALL of the responses you get will add to your knowledge of the disease and will help you to discover some lifestyle changes that will provide the greatest benefits. You have my sympathy. Asthma affects the WHOLE family (and I know my own mom and dad had countless sleepless nights and much worry over me. I TRUELY LOVE and APPRECIATE their love, care and supportive actions.) One thing that will really help your son is for you and other family members to remain very calm and serene when he is experiencing breathing problems. It will also help if you will help him to do things to take his mind off of the situation. Your attitudes will calm him and encourage him a great deal.

Because I am very AWARE of the blessings of being able to breath, here are two of my favorite Bible verses. Perhaps these will encourage you, too:

Psalm 150:6 - "Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD!"

Acts 17:24-28 - "The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things; and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation, that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, 'For we also are His children.'

God bless you all,
K.

R.W.

answers from San Antonio on

Our son has asthma. We take him to Dr. Diaz. He's located at 2414 Babcock Rd. Suite# 109. Their phone# is: ###-###-####. They are AWESOME.

Our son is doing alot better from his asthma. He was diagnosed at about 18 months. Looks like he is out growing it. He will be 6 in Jan. He also has allergies on top of it. He's been on Singulair (for allergies), Pulmicort twice a day. Albuterol as needed, and he has an inhaler just in case he needs it. He would play T-Ball, Soccer, and attend Taekwondo classes in the past, when his asthma was acting up. With his breathing treatments he was able to participate and have fun. We always took his inhaler with us, if he did need it.

He only takes his Singulair, Pulmicort, and Albuterol as needed for coughing or wheezing. Now he is only taking Asmanex Twsisthaler before bedtime.

His asthma tends to act up when he has a cold, an infection, or a change in climate.

Good Luck. Hope my advice helps you and your son. It can be very frustrating to see your child go through something like this.

Rosie

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S.K.

answers from Beaumont on

K.,

My son is 6 1/2 and has asthma and allergies.He was taking Advair, but it just wasn't working that well for him. His new Dr. put him on Pulmicort which is a medicine he uses with his nebulizer once before bed. When he has a lot of coughing especially at night we mix Xopenex and Pulmicort and he takes it twice a day. He is doing great and is able to play soccer with no problem. Hope this helps!

S.

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J.J.

answers from Austin on

I have had exercise/cold induced asthma since my late teens and my older brother had childhood asthma that went away just as I was starting to show signs of mine.

First, identify his triggers. This may be a bit of experimentation, but do foods make it worse? If you think so have him tested for food allergies and you can eliminate some of those items from his diet. Dust was a HUGE trigger for my brother so my parents got rid of the carpet and put in hardwood floors they kept swept and dry mopped. If you can identify the main triggers and keep those minimized he will be able to do more (also check air quality on a given day and keep him on slow mode on the yellow days and more confined on orange but give him more rein on green days).

Also, it sounds like you let him go back full-scale once he had been on the Advair two weeks. I'm on Advair and it helps alot, but it took 1 month for me to fill better and the longer I was on it the better I felt. Let him do some of his activities, but work them in gradually. You may find you will still have to cut out some, but watch and use common sense has to what bothers him most (for example: swimming bothered me because of the chlorine, slow jogs were ok but sprinting was out, hiking was fine as long as I pre-treated with my albuterol). See if his soccer coach will switch him to less demanding positions for awhile (side defense or goalie) so that he can play but not run as much as say a half-back. Let his P.E. coach know the situation and let him play, but ask the coach to keep him in less full-run type of positions for awhile. Also, BEFORE he does something that might trigger an asthma attack (like play soccer, spend a lot of time active outside) have him take 2 puffs on his albuterol inhaler and it will minimize the affects. The inhaler can work as a preventative, not just an after-the-fact.

I would also recommend talking to the doctor again because all the advice I just gave you has been stuff told to me by my physicians over the years. Good luck.

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M.K.

answers from Sherman on

You need to get rid of the harsh, dangerous, chemicals in your household cleaning and personal care products. Indoor pollution is far worse on children who have asthma than many outdoor pollutants. I would be more than happy to show you how easy this is and save you money too! Email me and I will show you how. Good Luck!!

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L.J.

answers from San Antonio on

We had the same thing happen and it was the Advair. I repeatedly went to the doctor about his night time cough, my son was exhausted and so was the rest of the family...the doctors just kept pumping him full of meds.and upped his advair dosage...I read the warning label and it said may cause coughing...duh! so he will never take that again...I keep a good watch on him and if I notice or know he is going to be around his allergy triggers I give him a zrytec....with no side effects....if he does start wheezing then he gets a puff from his inhaler...but if I catch him before the wheezing, even better....
Hope this helps. If you haven't already I would have him allergy tested and then at least you will know what triggers it. I think there is something in the air this fall because my son has not needed his inhaler for a couple of years and now all of a sudden here we are wheezy again.

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C.M.

answers from Houston on

I have a six year old son with the same problem. He is also in soccor. His doctor put him on Advair HFA twice a day. Do you faithfully do the Advair twice a day? Does your son use a inhaler or a nebulizer? I would not restrict him from those activites. It is like you are punishing him for having asthma. I would talk to your doctor and let the doctor know what is going on. My son was on Pulmucourt twice a day and that worked beauitfully. We just switched to Advair a month ago. Does your son have asthma attacks? Or is it just the horriable coughing. It probably keeps him up all night too. That is the worst for me. anyways, talk to your doctor about different meds.

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M.L.

answers from Houston on

I admit I have not read the other responses but this hits close to home. My daughter is two and went through the same thing. She had a persistent cough and recurrent pneumonia (4 hospitalizations in 6 months). We had her allergy tested and found out she is allergic to dust and eggs. I am sitting at home right now while they rip out the carpet and we have done our best to eliminate eggs from her diet. She is also on several medications including: Claritin, nasal saline, nasonex and pulmicort. She doesn't cough any more and can run around all she wants. You might consider allergy testing to see if there is a hidden culprit.

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M.M.

answers from San Antonio on

K. -

I have two children, 14 and 10, both with Asthma. We moved here from Colorado 5 years ago and the difference in climate really gave both of my kids a hard time. We take our kids to wonderful doctors, Dr. Michael & Adrienne Vaughn at Alamo Asthma and Allergy. They have helped us figure out what the triggers are here in San Antonio for my kids and adjust medicine regimens appropriately. There are many different things that can trigger Asthma and finding out what they are for your children can allow you to get a headstart on what could potentially become a problem. I would highly recommend these specialists if you are not already seeing an Asthma specialist.

Good Luck,

M.

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K.T.

answers from Houston on

Hi K.,
Do you have a breathing machine? If not you need to tell your doctor to get one on order for you. I have a son who is now 19 years old and he has been doing the breathing treatments at home since he was diagnosed at 9 months old. He too was sickly and they would put him on steroids and he would get well and soon after be sick again. I too felt very frustrated and he also suffered with eczema and it would flair up when he would have an asthma attack. I discovered a company when he was about 10 years old called Melaleuca who offered safer alternative products for the home. I started using the products such as laundry and his skin started clearing up and he started on their vitamins and his health started improving. He rarely needs his inhaler any longer and he has had a very healthy 9 years since I became a customer of this wonderful company. No one had ever talked to me about harmful chemicals in the products I was using and how they could be effecting Conner with his asthma. It seems so simple but its all about the "Tea Tree Oil" in the product line. If you would like more info I would be happy to share more, please call me, K. Turner ###-###-#### or email: [email protected]____.com I hope this helps.

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