My son (age 7 1/2) had pneumonia @ age 3. Since then he has a whooping type (barking) cough consistently throughout the winter and with colds during the rest of the year. The cough is mainly @ night only. The first few years he would cough every 10-15 seconds all night. Pulmonology tests were normal, but we were told he probably had reactive airway. After two years and several drs. we started him on singulair and a nightly Albuterol neb treatment. This seems to help. He recently contracted strep throat and the cough started again with this. Nothing we give him seems to calm this cough. It takes him several hours after a neb treatment to get the cough calmed down and for him to go to sleep. We have raised the head of the bed and use a humidifier in his room. Chest x-rays have been normal. It is terrible to hear him "barking for hours". Any suggestions?
If his airways are inflammed, then just albuterol won't necessarily take his cough away. Sometimes a low dose steroid inhaler is given to alleviate breathing issues till the virus has subsided. Symptoms at night is very common in asthma. Singulair is good for allergies, but during viral/bacterial illnesses more may be required. I get severe asthma exacerbations during viral/bacterial infections and require heaps of prednisone for a few weeks, just to get it under control again. But my peak flow readings will by 50%. Does the doctor ever hear wheezing in his airways when he is ill? My daughter also has asthma and as a toddler in particular, she would have a lot of bronchitis and very bad coughing fits in the night. I guess in a sense some of it has to be weathered through. If he still has a lot of cough in between illness, then he should be given more treatment.
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