My son is 7 and was diagnosed with asthma 2 years ago. He currently takes advair on a daily basis all year. His only symptom when diagnosed was a chronic dry cough. once we started the advair, the cough was gone. However, this winter has been crazy. he had a cold last month and I didn't think anything of it, next thing I know he is in the hospital with pneumonia. It's been about a month and a half and he is coughing again and has nose congestion, no other symptoms. last month we did not increase meds when he was sick but this time his pulm has me doing his regular advair plus qvar plus albuterol. I started this about 6 days ago and he is still coughing and still has a congested nose. I took him to his primary doctor who did bloodwork and chest xray and all was normal so they told me it was viral and has to run its course. My question is this, being that he is curently on 3 inhalers, should that be controlling the cough? I know it controls his typical asthma cough but should it be controlling the cough with this cold? Is it possible this cough is just part of a viral infection and not his asthma cough therefore the inhalers cannot stop it? I'm confused and do not want to overreact but last month he had nothing more than a cold, then a fever and by then it was too late and the pneumonia was there...just trying to figure out this lingering cough...any thoughts?
I would start using a peak flow meter daily - that helps take the guess work out of the coughing.
Once you have his typical peak flow readings (or look at the normals for his age to begin with) you'll see a drop in peak flow when his asthma is acting up. If the cough is truly due to the virus only then the peak flow readings shouldn't change. This also gives you a warning if the meds aren't working as good as they should be.
Peak flow meter is a device you blow into and it measures the amount of air blown out of the lungs - asthma causes this amount to be lowered. Of course this means your son would have to be old enough to follow directions but it is worth asking your doctor or pharmaticist about.
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