Reactive Airway Disease???

Updated on January 13, 2010
C.M. asks from Sweet Water, AL
11 answers

My 18 month old daughter seemed to be coming down with a cold. She had some chest congestion. So, I took her to her doctor yesterday and he claims she has reactive airway disease. He prescribed her albuterol and flovent. The thing is I dont believe he is right because she just got the congestion in the last week. Its not a common thing for her. How long should it take for the medicine to have any effect on her? How long should I wait before getting a second opinion?

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So What Happened?

THanks everyone. I decided to give her some children's mucinex to see if that would do the trick and it has. I have heard congestion once. Shes still on her other meds.

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answers from Little Rock on

It is a type of asthma per-say. The albuterol is to take action immediately and the flovent should work about the same. If you do not think that is what she has then anytime would be great to get a second opinion. (RAD) is something that does just spring up at any time as does asthma!

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answers from Birmingham on

My son ( 21 months) was diagnosed with Reactive Airway disease when he was 10 months. He was wheezing everytime he got sick and went through several cases of croup and pneumonia. We started daily treatments of Pulmicort and have Xopenex to take as a rescue drug. I can tell you personally....since he has been on the breathing treatments, he has been so much healthier. We havent had near as many issues/episodes that we had last winter. I dont know where you live, but we see a pediatric asthma/allergy specialist in Birmingham. A fellow Mamasourcer referred him to me and he has been a lifesaver. His name is Dr. Joe Larussa. He is great with kids and has informed us so much. He has his own office in Homewood and is a great doctor. I would definitly see a specialist and get thier opinion.
Good Luck!



answers from Oklahoma City on

C., I am a respiratory therapist and an asthma educator. Reactive airway disease is just another way of saying asthma. While you may be right that this is just a one time thing and that your daughter may have been misdiagnosed, be very aware that she may have asthma and if she does, you need to take it very seriously. Reactive airway disease is difficult to diagnose in children, other than by symptoms and patient history. Usually, definitive diagnosis can not be made until the child is at least five or six and is able to do a pulmonary function test. However, if your daughter has a history of recurrent upper airway respiratory infections, accompanied by wheezing, a crouppy or barking sounding cough, frequent night time awakenings with a cough, difficulty with breathing or catching her breath when she is running...then you should be very aware that she may have asthma. Asthma is a chronic condition that is characterized by episodes of difficulty breathing, and cough. The medications that the doctor prescribed are a bronchodilator that will help her keep her airways open (Albuterol) and a corticosteroid that will keep inflammation in the airways under control (Flovent). The Albuterol is the rescue medicine and should be used whenever she is coughing hard or can't catch her breath, or as prescribed (if he said to take it every four hours, then give it every four hours). The Flovent is the prevention medicine, and should be used to keep her from having difficulty breathing and coughing. Never use the Flovent as a rescue medication. As you said, you may want to get a second opinion if this seems like an isolated case of bronchitis, but that depends on how much you trust your doctors opinion. If you're not happy with your doctor, and comfortable with him, then you should try and find a doctor that you feel better about anyway. My concern is that you will not take this diagnosis seriously, and risk your daughters life. Each year approximately 5000 people die from asthma, and that is too many. I always like to give people these warning signs. If your daughter stops playing or acting normally because she is trying to breathe, if your daughter's neck and tummy and around her ribs sucks in with each breath, if she appears to be struggling to breathe, or if her lips or nail beds look blue or grey, give her some of the Albuterol immediately and then get her to an emergency room. These are all signs that your daughter is in serious trouble and you need to be very aware that she is in need of emergency intervention. Good luck with your daughter and write back if you have further questions. D.



answers from Huntsville on

Reactive airway disease may be diagnosed when the Dr. hears wheezing, a whistling sound in the lungs. Wheezing may be mild and only heard with a stethascope to audible enough that you hear it when you are next to your daughter. She may not have this diagnosis again or this could be a heads up for you during the future that she may be susceptable especially when she gets a cold or as seasons change. You are doing one of the best things by learning more. American Lung Association web site can give you more info on Asthma signs and symptoms as well as asthma triggers.
Albuterol is a quick acting bronchodilator that helps relax the airway muscles so they are not having spasms or wheezing. Once the airways are open, it is easier to clear the congestion when coughing. Flovent will help with the inflammation in the airways and also open the airway passages. It needs to be take a few days for full benefit of flovent. It depends on how well your daughter responds as to how long these meds should be taken. You may need to continue even though she seems better. Check with your doctor.



answers from Little Rock on

It' never too early to get a second or even third opinion. If you are uncomfortable with the Dr's diagnoses then by all means get a second opinion. The popular Dr Oz tells us that is always a good thing to do and if the 1st Dr objects then that is even more reason to get one.



answers from Tulsa on

I think the doctor gave you the wrong medicine. Most Pediatricians are perscribing Xophenex for little ones because it doesn't have the side effects of Albuterol. I get Bronchitus every year and it lasts for a month to six weeks on an average. I take Albuterol in a nebulizer and other meds to help my airways open up to help get the goo out. The Albuterol really makes me shake and it really gets my heart beating loudly and fast. But within minutes of using it I am coughing up gobs of crud and it really helps me get well much quicker. It should help her to open up and get it out too.

I don't know what kid of doctor you need to take her to but you may want to take her to see a specialist in breathing issues in young children, it may be Asthma, the symptoms develop at any time in a life. It may just be Bronchitus, but you don't want it to develop in to Pnuemonia.



answers from Birmingham on

Follow your mommie gut feeling and get a 2nd opinion now. By doing so more quickly, if she needs the current medicine she is on, fine - you've got it. If she has been diagnosed incorrectly and the meds are wrong, you can get her on the right thing(s).



answers from Mobile on

I would get a second opinion. My daughter was also diagnosed and prescribed meds because she had a chronic cough and the doctor said she heard wheezing. The doctor even has asthma as a special area of interest, but she prescribed regular use of high doses of meds, and it didn't seem necessary or help with her cough. She was taking Albuterol on a schedule (which I've read can make things worse) rather than for emergencies, and she even ended up on oral steroids. An allergist and pulmonologist have both since told me that she does not have asthma, and it wasn't an appropriate diagnosis based on symptoms and her reaction to medicine. You haven't mentioned many of the symptoms of asthma, and from here I obviously don't know if she's showing them, but if you aren't sure, see someone else. If she has it, she should be treated, but if she doesn't, she should get off of those hard-core meds! Though asthma is probably missed in some young kids, it is also overdiagnosed.

Good luck.


answers from Florence on

My 5 month old son got rsv and after he was better except for the cough the dr. prescribed him albuterol with a nebulizer. Only he prescribed enough for 180 uses. this seemed like overkill. i did it a few times a day until he was doing fine without it. After a few days I stopped doing it because he wasn't having anymore problems. It will help with congestion. I would give it a try and see if it stops the congestion permanently so she doesn't need it anymore or if she really does need it all the time. Unless you don't have insurance... The Nebulizer we got was $99, but our insurance covered it.



answers from Lafayette on

You should find a children's allergist, but my son has this and now he's had it so often he's classified as having asthma. Xopenex is very expensive and probably why they gave you albuterol. They typically prescribe Xopenex to children with heart conditions or if requested by the parent. I would trust your pediatrician though because I typically bring my son into ours when his asthma is acting up. I would give the albuterol treatments as often as the dr recommended until this clears up. If he said that she was wheezing then you definitely need to give her the treatments. Wheezing is a sign of an underlying inflammation of the lungs and the albuterol will help to get the lungs back to normal. Just because the wheezing stops doesn't mean the inflammation has gone away. You certainly don't want her developing pneumonia. Good luck.



answers from Pine Bluff on

i'd get a second opinion if you don't feel right about it. that sweet baby, they are so miserable when they are all snotty and coughing.

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