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2 yr old with viral-induced asthma
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2 yr old with viral-induced asthma

My 2 yr old daughter was diagnosed with viral-induced asthma about eight months ago. Her only symptom was a persistent cough, which was worse at night (and slightly after exercise).

She was started on salbutamol and flovent, neither of which helped. We saw an allergy/asthma specialist, who gave her Singulair in combination with the salbutamol and flovent. This also didn't work. She was also tested for the "top ten" allergens, and all came back negative.

Finally, she started Ventolin, Singulair, and Qvar a couple months ago. That combination finally started working, and we cut back to just the Qvar (on the doc's rec, of course). Then we all got sick over the holidays, and she started coughing again. So we we started back on all three (again, per doc's rec). It took three weeks for her cough to stop, and we waited another week, and dropped back down to just the Qvar (all part of the plan from the doctor).

Last night she started coughing again, and so we've started using all three again.

I'm concerned that the medications aren't working. Last time we met with the doctor, he said that we had run out of options, and we may just have to "live with it" until she (hopefully) grows out of it.

It's very hard to listen to my daughter cough all night. Because of the coughing, she doesn't sleep well, and is generally miserable.

I'm wondering if there's anything else we can do, and also, am worried that there may be some long term damage from her constant coughing.

This may not be related, but we're unsure whether she is lactose intolerant. I breastfed her until 15 months, and when we started her on whole milk, she had bad diarrhea. This happened several times, and we gave up trying mild for a few months. Lately she will drink a bit of milk, and hasn't had diarrhea, however she drinks no more than 1 cup a day (and not every day). She eats yogurt and cheese without issue.

I appreciate any comments or suggestions. Thank you.
Tags: cough, Asthma
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22 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_f_tn
I sympathize for you.. I was looking to get more information myself because my son has been coughing all throughout the night again and  I was amazed to find so many parents in the same situation, it was  like reading about my own experiences with my son's asthma who is also 2 yrs old. Like you,  my son apparantly isn't allergic to anything so I was given a treatment using QVAR  in the morning and at bedtime ;however, when he gets a cold his asthma ALWAYS worstens . His asthma doctor has me do the nebulizer treatments with albuterol every 4 hrs and singulair pills one in the morning and one before bedtime. Once he gets better then it goes back to just the QVAR.  This winter so far has been particularly difficult , he has had a cough , heavy chest congestion for  almost 2 months . Along with the nebulizer treatment during the day at night I leave the humidifier on low setting and keep the door slightly open for ventilation .. you don't want it to get too humid in the room and found that it helps a little to try to alleviate the coughing. I also give him a little lollipop ( you can find over the counter grape flavor ) so he can suck on for a bit to help soothe his  throat or I sometimes I even use a little tea spoon with honey. I can't help but feel so guilty and helpless at times because if you don't recognize when to jump start treatment it can take awhile for the condition to improve.  It has taken me awhile to understand how all this works and yet I still feel clueless about it at times. Trial and error and trying whatever to make them feel better. He does get better eventually but  then as soon as he gets a cold it takes a turn for the worst so I feel and it has been my experience to try and jump start the nebulizer treatments as soon as possible and stay consistent until it is completely gone. So far my son has had this back and forth thing going for two months now. He gets better for a week and then slowly starts to go back to having congestion and that lingering cough. A couple of weeks ago he had a really bad night and was coughing ALL throughout the night so I took him to the dr  the next day and she said he had no infection , no fluid in his lungs but could hear the congestion so she just basically said to do the nebulizer treatments again. This is basically the answer I get every single time , there doesn't seem to be any other way.  I also tend to worry about what side effects this may be causing him. I have read that medication tends to stunt their growth but when I asked his asthma dr he said no.. I can't help but wonder sometimes though because you read about it . He has also already shown to be a bit more aggressive than other 2 yr olds and has mood swings so be aware of your  daughter's behavior aswell to see any changes. I hope this helped you out a bit or atleast know you are not alone. We love our children and it is difficult to see them go thorugh this at such a young age, I know it breaks my heart to hear him coughing and wheezing.
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306245_tn?1244388567
The doctors have put my 4 year old on xopenex and pulmicort via nebulizer. they said that is the best one for him, he has a complicated history. You really need to seek a 2nd opinion, and that is just my opinion. from everything that my little guy has been through I always maek sure that I also have a copy of his medical reports that way there if you go for a second opinion, then you have all of that stuff and you can be prepared. to ask questions or whatever.
good luck
Michelle
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366590_tn?1202700525
What a rough start for your poor daughter! My daughter was also diagnosed with asthma before 2 years old. She had chronic pneumonia. Sometimes her pneumonias would be diagnosed as an asthma problem, then they would try antibiotics and she'd clear right up. Once your daughter gets older it's easier to see the signs. My daughter is on Sinulair, Flo-Vent and Xeopenex. My daughters asthma is illness induced and allergy induced. My daughter is very allergic to milk and that is how her problems started. Does your daughter drink a lot of milk?? Maybe it's making her phlemy and that's irritating her asthma?!? My daughter is on rice milk and does very well with it. Hang in there, get a second opinion.
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Avatar_f_tn
Have your home checked for molds and randon One of my daughters had a cough that didn't stop until we moved upon selling the home we found there was mold in a room not far from hers and radon in the home Check it out and clear the down, flannel and carpet  any where you can especially her bedroom keep it always free of dust and wash all the bedding frequently with hot water no softners keep scents away also this can cause sensitivity Try these things they really are possibilities
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Avatar_n_tn
It's funny because your story along with all the others sounds just like my sons also.  He's 6 1/2 now and has been diagnosed with illness induced asthma also.  One thing I would recommend you do is ask your doctor if they can do a blood test to check your daughters immune system.  The ENT we were sent to, because of all the sinus and ear infections my son was getting from just a basic cold, had us do this when my son was 5 years old.  Turned out that he was deficient in the antibody that fights the pneumiccocal bacteria.  He had the vaccine as a baby but they gave him a booster and the antibody came up to where it should be.  Then at 5 1/2 he had his adonoides removed and has been great for almost a year.  He recently had a bad bout with the flu but is much better.  He used to be on the singular and flovent which are supposed to be preventatives but never stopped him from getting the terrible constant cough.  We'd take the nebulizer with albutoral on family vacations any time of year (including summer) just in case and twice in the past few summers he had terrible flair ups.  They would have him on antibotics, and sometimes pretisone (a steroid) when the coughs got really bad.  When he's healthy he's great, but those little colds would always turn into major issues.  I felt like I was in the doctor's office constantly.  It's like the ENT finally tried to address the fact that if you stop what is getting your child sick, then maybe the asthma flair ups won't occur as much or often.  I wish the pediatricians would've checked his antibodies when he was much littler because that was 1/2 of his problem.  Good luck and hope your daughter gets better!!!!
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks for posting the details. I must tell you that my son seems to fit into the problem description of your son.

However, my son had his Pneumococcal Vaccine first time when he was 4. But he still have cough with any common illness such as cold.
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526433_tn?1212515592
Hello, my daughter was diagnosed with intrinsic asthma when she was 10 months old; after a couple of hospitalizations and several ER visits... She is also allergic to milk and eggs and you know when they are allergic, they scream and cry intolerably, have bad ezcema (eczema), and/or horrible belly aches, etc. Anyway, her asthma is not related to her allergies - good and bad. She started singulair before bedtime, pulmicort (1mg) per day, and xeopenex when needed for wheezing. She is MUCH better! And, she does have asthma problems with drainage or any sinus issues she starts wheezing every time, so they could be the same... I have never heard of Qvar, but my daughter's symptoms have improved drastically so I would definitely get a 2nd opinion. SHe also takes Orapred when her symptons are bad and we are fighting to get them under control (usually when a viral infection comes along or just a sinus infection or drainage in generl) LOVELY.
Kerry
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Avatar_n_tn
my daughtr has a different dad now that I have been married 6 years. but theStep dad was ordered to pay 80 % of bill and caring insurnce.  My 11 year old daughter has a 800.00 prescription for Pulmincort 1mg.I cannot buy at walmart..I have no insurance on health and prescriptions..I just lost my mothe 1 week ago and I cannot loos my daughter too..She is always caughing but did get 12 hr delsyn and nibulizer but the main meds I cannot get because her real dad said he is broke.   WHAT do u do when ur dauhter is n such need. I am at my last ends...I cannot see her caugh not breath, but he did give her atibiotics which we all know it doen't help.


Teresa
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Avatar_f_tn
My daughter is now 5 1/2 and was diagnosed with viral induced asthma at about 1 1/2.  We went through years of hell of many different medications, terrifying episodes that ended in the ER for oxygen,etc.  Every cold or virus was horrible.  I think I lost years of life in the stress of that time.

I did so much research and found out that viral induced asthma is a different illness than regular asthma.  If your child only has asthma symptoms in response to illness, you may find that normal asthma treatments do not work or do not work well.

I worked with my ped. Dr. and with a naturopath.  My daughter now has had only one episode in the last 1 1/2 years.  I think the main thing that helped was pycnogenol.  It is a supplement derived from maritime pine trees. plus some other basic things like probiotics and cod liver oil.  

I could go on, but if anyone is interested, email me and I'll give you the info.  The bottom  line is that viral asthma needs to be treated differently, but most Docs have no clue, and just want to drown the child in dangerous meds.

Good luck.

***@****
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Avatar_n_tn
My 2 1/2 year old son was diagnosed with viral-induced asthma a couple weeks ago.  We've already cycled through action plans that included daily Singular, Nasonex, & Pulmicort.  We've used Xopenex and Prednisone (steriod) too.  Nothing (short of the steroid) worked.  The doc thought he was having allergic reactions because he does have allergies to a couple grasses and one tree (skin test).  But the last episode came during very low pollen counts, that's when we finally got the 'viral-induced' diagnosis from our new allergist.  This process took over 1 year and spanned 1 pediatrician, 2 allergists, several sickness episodes, and countless coughs.  Like many of your stories, my son's cough was much worse at night.  If it's really just plain asthma from allergies, you child would cough randomly some time in the middle of the night (because allergic responses vary throughout an episode).  If it's viral-induced, kids will start to cough almost immediately when you lay them down.  This is because (at least in our case) our son's viral-induced asthma was caused by large amount of mucus build up in his sinuses that was draining into his throat and cause him to cough (hence the instant cough when he's horizontal).  He didn't necessarily have a stuffy or running nose, but he always sounded very congested during his episodes.  We just changed his action plan completely from proactive daily allergy type meds, to reactive mucus management types.  He takes nothing daily anymore.  He got sick this past weekend and I put the plan into action.  SUCCESS!  No coughing at night.  Zero.  No coughing that led to gagging, vomiting, and him sleeping in his car seat vertically.  None.  In fact, I stopped the plan on day 3 and he started coughing that night.  Started the plan back up and within an hour put him back to bed and he didn't make a peep.

If your child's cough gets instantly (say 1-5 minutes) worse when they lay down, they are producing a lot of mucus that is irritating their throats and causing the cough.  Ask your doctor about drying agents to manage the mucus.

Our Plan:

1) 0.5mg Pulmicort (1 AM, 1 PM) to manage true viral asthma.  The kind that causes his airways to constrict and make him cough.  In our case this is estimated to be only about 20% of the reason for his cough.
2) Rynatan, 3ML (1 AM if necessary, 1 PM) to manage the mucus orally.
3)Atrovent noise spray (1 spray each nostril 1-3 times/day) to manage the mucus topically.

We back off on the Atrovent first, then the Rynatan AM dose, then the PM dose, then the Pulmicort.

Hope this helps and best regards.
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Avatar_n_tn
My daughter has been diagnosed with viral induced asthma since age 4. She is 5 now.  We have had several episodes of a continuous cough whenever she gets any kind of virus since about 18 months old. She is on Q-VAR twice a day as her maintaince medicine and takes xopenex when needed (which is every time she gets a cold) and then usually takes the prednisone because nothing else works.  Very frustrated! I read your story and very interested on pycnogenol and other things (probiotics) you were talking about. Not familiar with any of them and would love more info about them as I am so tired of giving my daughter all these medicines that don"t even work!!  Thanks for your time!  
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Avatar_n_tn
I read your story and the description of your child sounds exactly like my daughter. I am so frustrated because after years of searching for an answer, she was diagnosed with viral induced asthma.  However, almost every time she gets a cold it is not controlled and we end of having to do the oral steroid which I hate!  I have believed all along it has had something to do with the mucus.  Anyways, I am printing your story and taking it to her pulmonary dr.  I have questions about the medicine.  Does your child take the pulmicort daily or only when sick?   The Rynatan and Atrovent noise spray you said you back away from first, so am I correct to assume those are only used when your child is sick?  I would appreciate any more info you have to give!  Thanks!  After reading your story I feel like this may work!  
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Avatar_n_tn
My son is 2 1/2 and has illness induced asthma. He has had a rough year, been on and off of oxygen, used pulmicort, singular, xeopenex, albuteral, and way too many oral steroids. The pulmicort is a steroid but has less side effects then the oral steroids because it goes directly to the lungs instead of all the organs. Pulmicort is a preventative and should be used before an asthma attack.  (coughing fits that don't stop could be an asthma attack, its not just wheezing) My little guy is doing better now and I am not sure what has made the difference, but these are the things we are doing different. I took him off milk and switched him to rice milk ( a gut feeling I had), he uses pulmicort once a day and the first sign of a runny nose or cough I up it to twice a day. He takes singular once a day. If he starts coughing a lot we give him the xeopenexe or albuteral (albuteral makes him really hyper) These two nebs will cause the inflamtion to go down and give him a quick fix so he can breath and stop coughing but will only last about 4 hours. His allergist said it is important to keep up with the pulmicort so that when he does get sick the lungs wont be as inflamed so much that he wont have to resort to oral steroids. I hate the fact that he is taking so many meds, but I am told that the side affects of one dose of oral steroids equals a year of doing pulmicort everyday. I don't know if I am doing the right thing. I wish he didn't have to go through so much so young and I feel for all mothers that go through this because it is so hard and scary to see your child go through this. I have heard so many different things but it has been almost 4 months since his last antibiotics and oral steroid so something must be working. He was going to the doctor it seemed every week or every other week, now it is more like once a month. He has had several colds but none have affected him to the point where his pulse ox has gone down and he has to go on oxygen and take steroids. I was told that once your child's lungs are really inflamed pulmicort wont get them back. They will have to take a oral steroid to get them back to normal and then put them on pulmicort so they don't get back to that point again. It is hard to get a 2 year old to do a nebulizer, but it is really important to stay on top of it. Another thing that helps some with his night coughing is dallergy. But again if it is really bad I have to do xeopenxe before he goes to bed and some times in the middle of the night to ease his cough so he can get some rest.  I still don't know what I am doing but this is what I have learned in the last year.  Good luck.  
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Avatar_n_tn
hvgljhbl.
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Avatar_n_tn
i received your email and could not reply back.  Please email again and I feel like I have some information to share that may be helpful.  Tried to post it on this but for some reason it keeps logging me off. I think Because I have so much information I cannot type it in time before it logs me off!  Does your son have a lot of mucus with his coughs?  My daughter does and we started a new medicine that seems to help so far.  E mail me again if interested.
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Avatar_n_tn
My daughter has viral induced asthma and is 5.  She got diagnosed at age 4. She takes q-var daily and xopenex when a virus starts and the oral steriod if need be which seems like quite often! Recently she was sick and coughing uncontrollably and we did xopenex and the 20 minute rescue treatment because she was still coughing after the first dose of xopenex.  We ended up going to the ER.  The Er Dr. said she had a bad sinus infection (as x rays were taken of her sinuses).  He gave us an antibiotic and told us not to use the xopenex as it wasn't working anyway.  He said her cough was an irritated cough and not an asthmatic cough.  We scheduled an appt. back with the pulmonologist.  
   We have always questioned her asthma as the xopenex usually doesn't work for her.  Ever since she was 2 she would cough a lot if she had a cold but only when she would lay down at nap time or at night.  She never wheezed and still doesn't.  Our family Dr. told us it was post nasal drip causing the cough. We have noticed also that if we can keep her nose dry she seems to not cough as much. The pulmonologist says it is viral induced asthma causing the cough.
     Anyway, we basically have been told they will re-evaluate her when she gets over this sickness.  She has completed the blowing test, (not sure what it is called) and it shows normal per her Dr., but the Dr. says she has the q-var in her so it is not accurate.  So we are waiting for a re-evaluation again with her pulmonologist and getting a second opinion from another pulonologist, as my daughter's pediatrician is recommending one.  
     The other night my daughter was coughing uncontrollably and we tried everything:  xopenex, warm apple juice, a teaspoon of honey, and a warm steamy bathroom and nothing worked.  My husband took her out for a drive in the van in the cold and she stopped coughing.  As soon as she came back inside she started coughing.  The vibration of the van seemed to help as opposed to the cold.  My husband got a old vibrating back massager in our basement and we sat her on it.  She stopped coughing within minutes!  That day during her nap she started coughing and we put it to the test.  I sat on the vibrating back massager with her and after 4-5 minutes she stopped coughing.  That night she woke up 3 different times coughing and each time we sat and held her on it and she stopped.  We also watched the position of her while sleeping.  If she sleeps on her back she will cough so i try to position her on her side or stomach as much as possible.  I know it sounds crazy but I had to tell people about this as it worked for my daughter!  I don't know if it will work all the time.  It makes sense though since we do believe her cough is triggered by post nasal drip and the vibration does something with that!  We also pray a lot and I can not express how the power of prayer helps!  We are still searching for and praying for answers.  This was just one thing that worked so if it works for someone else's little one that will be a blessing!  
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Avatar_f_tn
The way I look at this situation, do whatever works for your little one.  If the Xonopex isn't working, and hasn't worked, than I wouldn't use it again.  I had the same problem for the last 10 days.  I did try standing in the bathroom the other night with hot water in the shower running, which helped.  
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Avatar_n_tn
My daughter was diagnosed with viral induced asthma approximately 2 and a half years ago.  She has had several different medicines she has tried and none of them work.  We were recommended to see a Homeopathic Dr. by my husbands co-worker.  We made an appt. and started her on the natural vitamins/ herbs and it seems to be working well.  The true test was when she got sick a week ago.  It was the first time in about 3 years she didn't have an asthmatic reaction when she got a virus!  My husband and I could hardly believe it ourselves!  Just passing this on to all the parents who are frustrated with endless nights of no sleep and days due to coughing that will not be cured by all medicines!  We were tired of giving her steroids, inhaled and oral, that didn't help much anyway.  God has blessed us with answers to our prayers and I am passing on the blessing to hopefully another little one!  
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi,
My five year old son seems to have a similar form of asthma/ coughing due to mucous in his throat.  If you wouldn't mind seeing me more info about the natural remedies that you use, I would really appreciate it.
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Avatar_m_tn
What natural vitamins and herbs did you give please?
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4719185_tn?1358346176
I'm VERY interested! My son was recently diagnosed w/ viral induced asthma & the asthma medications are not doing the slightest bit of good for him. I feel like you're exactly right in the fact that this is very different from normal asthma & shouldn't be treated the same, but I can find no doctor that says this. To hear your daughter has gone so long w/o an episode is miraculous! I would be so grateful for an email w/ your info of what you did for her. I'm not able to see your email address so I'll send you a private message. :)
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi there,

Please could you give me your email address or details. My son 2yrs old has been diagonosed with viral asthma and been given pulmicort and combivent via nebuliser. I am so dead against these type of hectic drugs so would love to hear from you about pycnogenol?

thanks
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