Respiratory Disorders Expert Forum
Asthma ?
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Asthma ?

My 9yr. old daughter had the flu in jan.2004. She got better but it seemed like the cough would come and go. Then she started waking up at least 3 times a night with a coughing spell that would last from 15 minutes - 1hour each time. They also occured several times during the day. We took her to the doctor and she diagnosed it as probable asthma.My daughter was given albuterol,2 puffs twice a day and as needed, 5mg. zyrtec once a day,singulair 5mg. once a day,nasonex two sprays each nostril once a day. She still had the night time coughing spells. She had two different types of coughing. One was a dry hacking cough, which one puff of albuterol would stop. The other was congested sounding and the albuterol didn't have any effect on it. Hot tea helped better than anything for the wet cough. We switched doctors and the new one ran several test. A pulmonary function test was normal. Blood work was normal. The doctor upped the zyrtec to 10mg. and we added 3grams of vitamin-c per day. The night time cough stopped. When we ran out of zyrtec the cough returned. Any type of physical exertion brings on a coughing spell. My daughter is tired of not being able to ride her bike, run etc. There is never any wheezing with the cough or shortness of breath. We had cats in the house and they have been removed and we have cleaned the house from top to bottom. We have removed green and red peppers from her diet because they seemed to cause a problem. Should we press the doctor to recomend alergy (allergy) testing ?
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251132_tn?1198082422
Asthma varies from person to person.  The symptoms of asthma are chest tightness, coughing, shortness of breath, and wheezing.  Wheezing is the most common symptom.  However some people only cough.  Nighttime coughing spells like you have described are not unusual.  Each person with asthma could have only one of these symptoms or a combination of any of these symptoms, including all four of them.

With asthma the basic problem is chronic inflammation along with tightness of the airways of the lungs.  This inflammation increases the sensitivity of the airways to a variety of things that make asthma worse.  These asthma triggers vary from person to person.  For some people allergies cause more asthma symptoms, but for other people allergies do not cause asthma symptoms at all.  Having allergy testing done will clarify if this is a problem for your daughter.  Exercise is a common trigger.  Also asthma tends to be worse during the night, especially when postnasal drip is a problem.  Please read our What Makes Asthma Worse MedFact at http://www.nationaljewish.org/medfacts/worse.html for more detailed information identifying your triggers and minimizing your exposure to them.

Viral infections like the flu can cause inflammation of the airways of the lungs.  This inflammation can cause coughing.  After the flu is gone, it is possible for the inflammation to linger.  This inflammation can last for several weeks.  Sometimes this inflammation may linger for 3 to 6 months.  Eventually the inflammation will go away, and then the coughing will stop.  This is called reactive airways disease (RAD) and behaves a lot like asthma.  On a simple breathing test, called spirometry, this may not show up.  This inflammation often clears more quickly when it is treated with an inhaled steroid medicine that is used to treat asthma.

When this continues, it is generally considered to be asthma.  Testing can be helpful to show if your daughter
2 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
i would...i would also have her checked for sinusitis...my daughter had a cough that was more prominent at night...i insisted she have sinus films and she was diagnoses with a sinus infection...she took antibiotics and the cough went away.....good luck
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