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Severe coughing / wheezing in child of 5 yrs
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Severe coughing / wheezing in child of 5 yrs

I have a son who is now 5 years old.  When we moved into our present house it was the summer he turned 1.  That winter he developed in the evenings a heavy wet sounding cough.  Trips to the doctor's office did not produce much except a perscription for Albuterol Liquid.  In the spring about 2 months after the onset of the cough it disappeared.
The next two winter (2 & 3 yrs old) the cough returned directly after coming down with a cold in January/February.  It persisted for many months and again cleared once spring/summer came.  Going to the doctor she insisted it was viral and nothing could be done as far as anti-biotics.  As the months progressed the cough worsened, although it would not wake him up, it still interupted his sleep horribly and began to affect his personality during the days.  He would get very tired in the afternoons and a little bit moody (he stopped napping when he turned 2, but was now laying on the floor in the afternoons).  I began to give him over the counter allergy medications which would relieve him of some of the heavier wet sounding chesty coughs for a few hours at night.  Some coughing would happen during the day and quite often after running around.  On one occasion he was runnning around the house and began having a coughing attack and then threw up from the force of the coughing.  
Last winter (4 yrs old) he again began his battle with evening coughing in December after catching a cold (which may or may not be a cause).  This lasted well into April.  The worst part is the mornings would be a fit of coughs to clear himself.  I began to notice how exhausted he was by afternoon (especially after pre-school) and that he would get flush in the cheeks after physical activity.  I then scheduled an appointment with a different pediatrician to get another opinion, she said she heard slight wheezing in his chest but did not sound too bad.  She prescribed Q-var and albuterol pumps (with a mouth peice and tube).  She said to give doses in the am and pm.  I began this routine and found not long after that my son was affected by this medication and made him very jittery and changed his personality (he began biting, getting aggrevated and hitting - which he did not do prior).   So after a few weeks I reduced it to the evenings and after month and a half I took him off.   I talked to my regular pediactrician and asked her if bringing him to an allergist would help find a reason for this, and she mentioned that doing tests at this age is not quite accurate and advised that putting him through a battery of test for not an accurate result was not deemed logical at this time.     By this time - Spring had come and the cough dissappeared.
So here we are - my son is now 5 and his cough has already begun this season.  A week and a half ago (Oct 5th) he began clearing his throat (like he has post nasal drip).  I began to give him Claritin for children in an attempt to stave off anything.  And 4 nights ago his evening cough reared it's ugly head!  He has his morning cough clearing session already too!  When he giggles to hard during the day - his wheezing is pretty heavy and eventually he has a coughing fit.  And again he gets very flush after physical activity.  
I continued Claritin until this evening - for his cough is very heavy and wet even with it.   So this evening I gave him Robitussin Allergy and Cough formula along with two puffs of his Albuterol directly before going to sleep - so far he has only had two serperate coughs this evening and I have been listening since 7:30pm and it is now 11:45.  This is great news to my ears especially because the incidents of coughing where after 11 pm (and I know he has gotten atleast a few hours of uninterupted sleep.
My question is, do you think this is allergy related, illness related or asthma related respiratory distress?

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6 Comments Post a Comment
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650886_tn?1226077126
Hi there!

I am so sorry to read about the respiratory distress your little one is experiencing! It's so hard on the parents too, often as difficult or more difficult just because you feel so helpless at times...

I would look into having your son tested for allergies since they're all related. Around 80% of rhinitis sufferers also ail from asthma. In fact, they're really cousins. Asthma, in its essence, is simply an allergy in the lungs to that which ails them as rhinitis is an allergic reaction of the nose to many of the same triggers.

I find wheezing in my daughter the most difficult thing to control. Although we're pretty much under control with staving off the full blown asthma attacks, with lungs filling up with mucus and that whole deal. We occasionally use albuterol through the nebulizer for the wheezing but we also do daily maintenance with her salt pipe. 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes at night before bed. We increase the salt therapy as needed. This natural therapy also tends to increase the effect of the medicines when and if they are needed. She has slept much better through the nights as a result of her regimen on the natural respiratory inhaler.

Hoping all goes better for you and your son. Hang in there!
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Avatar_n_tn
What is Salt Pipe. My son gets caugh every 2-3 weeks, he got allergy test twice already in 6 months time. he just turned 2 in August 08. No allergy, but caugh is still there. He was on Zyrtec, clartin, cingular and # of antibiotics. I feel so bad for little one, wish I could do something, I am trying home made receipes now.

Thanks Dear,

N
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650886_tn?1226077126
Hi there...

A Salt Pipe is a halotherapeutic device based on the ancient but awesome practice of salt therapy. It's an all natural treatment for pretty much all that ails the lungs and respiratory tract.You can learn more about it and about halotherapy, or salt therapy and even speleotherapy (salt cave therapy) at:

http://www.saltrocks.org

I believe it would be too difficult for a two year old to be able to handle unless they could successfully learn how to breathe the dry salt air in and breathe the air back out through the nose.

Does your son get frequent upper respiratory infections also? Pls let me know and take care...
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks Dear.

Not sure if it's upper respiratory, but he caugh's, it starts with crups and then it changes to chesty caugh. which normally runs for 5-6 days, first 2 days are tough ones and then it changes and he is able to sleep. Antibiotics every month, summer was little better but again it started. it never went away in the summer but it was better. He has no allergies. his doctor asked us to continue with Cingular medicine for vibrant caugh. He never had any of this until Feb. 2008 when it all started. Hardly any cold or caughs that I can remember of.
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650886_tn?1226077126
You mentioned that he is and/or has been on Zyrtec, Zyrtec-d, claritin, cingulair and a number of antibiotics. Specifically, what antibiotics has he been on and what infections were they prescribed to treat?

:)
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Avatar_f_tn
I've had asthma since I was 2 yrs old.  I have been on every antibiotic and steroid known to man.  I would definitely do the allergy testing, as that contributed quite a bit to my problems when I was younger.  I had allergy shots, the nebulizer, and was on prednisolone quite a bit to control the coughing. My mom and grandma also did what was known as 'poundings'.  They'd cup their hand and 'pound' on my back to loosen up some of the mucus.  And it really helped.  Are you seeing a regular pediatrist?  Or an asthma specialist?  If you are only doing the former, you really should go see a specialist.  
The coughing is probably due to allergies.  If your child has severe allergies, then it is going to compound the asthma.  Ask your doctor about a course of prednisolone to see if that might help the coughing.  Stay away from any cough syrups that have alcohol in them.  It worsens the asthma.  You also need to try a humidifier.  I slept under one for years.  If you ever need anything, please feel free to message me.  I so feel for you and your son.  I would not wish this condition on anyone.
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