When Do They Diagnose Asthma??

Updated on May 18, 2007
K.F. asks from Ballwin, MO
14 answers

My son, who will be 2 in July, has always had allergy type problems and coughs and stuff like that. It's gotten worse over the past few months in that whenever he starts running or gets very active he starts coughing. He also snores a little and has raspy breathing at night. So, my question is, at what age will they diagnose asthma? My son has a very strong family history of asthma, so I want to be prepared for this. (Have my fingers crossed that it's nothing and I am just a worried mommy, but ya never know...) My brother and my father have asthma, and my dad's dad had it. My son's biological father also had pretty severe asthma, and his father has a milder case of the disease.

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S.L.

answers from St. Louis on

My son will be 13 in sept. And was diagnosed @ 4 yrs and not a minute sooner! They wouldnt even do the allergy testing on him until he was 4

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M.L.

answers from Rockford on

I would ask your doctor about it and let him/her know that a lot of your family has asthma.

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J.L.

answers from St. Louis on

Age doesn't really matter. If your child has had two or more asthmatic episodes in a certain time frame the child will be diagnosed as asthmatic. My youngest is "asthmatic" and he really only has flare ups with necessary albuterol when he gets respiratory infections. His triggers are not allergy related like most others. And when my doctor was asking us about family history regarding asthma he would only go as far as the parents (my husband and I). Extended family was of no consequence. I also think it's only true asthma when there is a wheezing episode for longer than a certain amount of time. My son's lasted for about a week from the time it started to the end of treatment the first time. Unfortunately that time landed us in the hospital. The second time the wheezing lasted about four days or so. And depending on the severity of his infection and how quickly we administer his inhaler that time may go down. There's just no straighforward answer as to when to administer medication at the beginning of a flare up because sometimes they resolve themselves and sometimes they get much worse. If you have any concerns though you should speak with your pediatrician.

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L.B.

answers from St. Louis on

Our son was diagnosed with asthma at 9 months. However, they technically can't get a true diagnosis until age 3 or older. This is when they can run the full gamut of allergy tests, as well. We took our son to Ray Davis (allergist) who was incredible -- both with his thoroughness and his way with children. He is on New Ballas in Creve Coeur, MO. I don't have his phone, but he's in the book. Good luck!

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M.M.

answers from Springfield on

My daughter is 22 months old and was recently "unofficially" diagnosed with asthma. She has a bad bout with pneumonia, shortly followed by croup, both of which she was treated with a nebulizer. Since an infancy she has had severe eczema. I took her into the doctor a few weeks ago with unexplained wheezing and the nurse practitioner looked at her history and said basically, she had asthma. They put her back on the nebulizer, this time with pulmicort and albuterol (previously it had just been albuterol). We did pulmicort for 2 weeks, and now she gets albuterol as needed. I have asthma and my husband has terrible eczema, so the genetic odds are stacked against her. I think the reason they hesitate to officially diagnose asthma so young is b/c it can cause drama with your insurance and cause premiums to go up, etc. So my doctors will not officially diagnose, just treat her for various ailments. Hope this helps, and good luck!

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S.

answers from St. Louis on

Even if they will not label your child as asthma, they can treat those symptoms now. My son (now 19 months old) started wheezing at about 4 or 5 months old. In the spring it got worse and he's even had pneumonia a few times. Our doctor calls it asthma and said that this spring is the worst in many years because of the varying temps (which might be why your son's symptoms worsned over the last couple months). In fact, she has had to hospitalize several toddlers and infants due to their symptoms lately.

So here is what we do for those symptoms. When my son was 6 months old they started us on Pulmicort treatments through a nebulizer twice per day for prevention. Then, if he starts wheezing we are to use Albuterol and saline four times a day for a week and then go back to the Pulmicort. We have been doing this for over a year now and it has nearly eliminated the wheezing and coughing.

I hope this helps, but if you have more questions, feel free to email me: [email protected]____.com

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A.L.

answers from St. Louis on

I can't remember when they told us with my daughter. but I she was young. but I would go to a allergy doctor and just see what the see. Good luck. I know it is scary!!!!
A.

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S.M.

answers from St. Louis on

My son is 19 months old. For most of his life we have dealt with this same issue. Everytime he would go outside he would get a cold that would cause him to have trouble breathing. He really never had wheezing just hard to breath. We were always having to take him to the ER to get a breathing treatment to break up the congestion. They told me even though it sounded like asthma, since he had a cold they didn't want to call it asthma because it could be cold related. I was so frustrated. This would only happen after being outside on a nice day. One day the hospital sent a nebulizer home with me so I could do the breathing treatments at home and gave me a presciption for albuterol. This way I was able to give him a treatment at the first sign he was getting a cold and not wait for him to have trouble breathing. Finally after battling this for 1 year, we were able to get him into the doctor, instead of it happening after hours. The doctor said he has asthma. She isn't sure at this point what the trigger is but it is most likely allergies since it always occurs after being outside. For the spring allergy season she has me giving him Pulmicort once a day everyday. This is given in his nebulizer. So far this is working. He has not had an episode at all since we started this late last month. I've even taken him outside while someone was cutting the grass. The doctor said she may send him to an allergist depending on how he reacts to this medicine. So I guess if they determine it is allergy related they will send him. So talk to your pediatrician of course. But don't give up if they don't tell you it is asthma. I was so relieved when they finally decided to call it asthma and gave him something to help.

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K.V.

answers from St. Louis on

K.,
My daughter was diagnosed with "asthmatic syptoms" at 3 and now at 4 has been diagnosed with asthma. Her symptoms started out with very bad allergies getting worse every year. We live in the country by farm fields. I would bring him in to your pediatrician and let him know all those symptoms plus your history. I can tell you that the Dr told me to NOT sleep with the windows open at night as mold spores are higher at night. That is my one suggestion for you. My daughter is now on a flovant inhaler and Zyrtec everyday. Good luck to you!!!
K.

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D.S.

answers from Rockford on

Hi K.,Take her to your pediatrician and and tell him/her everything you just said.My granddaughter has aweful allergies and at times it turns to wheezing.Then she either has to go to her drs and get a nebulizer treatment or we give it to her at home if its not too bad.And shes had this since she was about 2 also. I would take him in as soon as possible.
Good Luck,
D.

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D.M.

answers from St. Louis on

I have been told that by my sons DR. that they don't like to lable kids that young because it can have to do with allergies and the still growing lungs. Have you talked to his Dr. about it? Because of similar symptons my son has recieved nebulizer treatments at home since he was about 8 months as needed. He has also taken singular chewables for kids since he was 2 and that made an amazing difference in his health. None of it slows him down. Talk to the Docs but don't stress. Good luck
D.

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T.A.

answers from St. Louis on

My son Noah was diagnosed and tested after he turned two. Same thing, same symtoms, they even did the pin prick allergy testing. Especially with your family history I would think that you should have him checked fairly early.
T.

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C.D.

answers from Springfield on

My son was diagnosed with asthma as a baby. We also have a strong family history of asthma/allergy problems. He needed nebulizer home treatments on occasion, but otherwise is a happy healthy child. You should take your son to his pediatrician because those symptoms sound exactly like my son presented.

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D.M.

answers from St. Louis on

I would talk to an allergist if I were you.

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