Our son is 5. He's always had a history of complaining that he can't swallow certain foods (meats like pork chop, roast feef etc), but otherwise had no issues. About 6 months ago he started making this noise, we originally thought he was clearing his throat (we've since been informed it is indeed a cough, as he noticeably inhales first. The cough can be seen here, at 0:45 and 1:30 in the clip):
Finally this summer, his GP suggested maybe it was post-nasal drip and that we try allergy meds. After a month on Claritin and Flonase there was no improvement. He went back for his follow up and she finally listened to his chest. While we can't hear it, with a stethoscope, she said she did definitely hear a wheeze in his chest. She said it "could be" asthma, but wanted to send him to a pediatrician to see what he thinks. In the meantime, she gave us a Salbuterol puffer to try during the "spells" to see if it helps. It's been two weeks, and it doesn't help at all. We've even tried cough suppressants, they don't help.
This cough happens all day, every day. Sometimes worse than others, he might go a couple/few hours and hardly do it at all, and other times it's almost constant. "Triggers" seem to be increased activity, shortly after eating, some nights laying down.
Someone mentioned to me that their child had a chronic cough similar to this and they ended up having this vascular ring. Could it actually be a possibility? What sort of tests would be needed for diagnosis? Should I ask the pediatrician to make sure it's ruled out?
Without seeing your son, it is difficult to tell the cause of his swallowing issues. This could be due to a vascular ring. A chest X-ray can suggest abnormal arch sidedness, although a barium swallow usually can be diagnostic, although echocardiography can also demonstrate arch sidedness as well as the vessels off of the arch that can suggest a ring. I think that it's a reasonable request to make of the pediatrician.
The Content on this Site is presented in a summary fashion, and is intended to be used for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to be and should not be interpreted as medical advice or a diagnosis of any health or fitness problem, condition or disease; or a recommendation for a specific test, doctor, care provider, procedure, treatment plan, product, or course of action. MedHelp is not a medical or healthcare provider and your use of this Site does not create a doctor / patient relationship. We disclaim all responsibility for the professional qualifications and licensing of, and services provided by, any physician or other health providers posting on or otherwise referred to on this Site and/or any Third Party Site. Never disregard the medical advice of your physician or health professional, or delay in seeking such advice, because of something you read on this Site. We offer this Site AS IS and without any warranties. By using this Site you agree to the following Terms and Conditions. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your physician or 911 immediately.