DS (3) woke up one night about a month ago coughing violently and unable to catch his breath. It sounded like whooping cough. Eventually he fell back asleep and in the morning was totally fine, no residual coughing or anything. it just disappeared. This morning, he woke up with a similar cough, not as violent as the previous time. He was able to catch his breath, but it sounded like there was something there, phlegm or mucus, obstructing his airways, making it difficult for him to breathe. Now he is fine but is coughing (normally) every few minutes and sneezing. At night I did notice that he seemed to be wheezing lightly while sleeping. I need to take him to the dr. but they wayyy overmedicate here where I live and I dont want to subject DS to something unnecessary. What could this be? The coughing episodes dont seem common or frequent enough to be asthma. COuld it be just a form of allergies? Any help is appreciated here, I just want to know what this could possibly be... thanks!
- topicAllergiestagged by System, 4/21/12
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Weird infrequent coughing - could this be asthma?
Sorry no response. Coughing in association with allergies is usually connected to pre-asthma, as far as I know. Does he cough when he's upset? Coughs in proximity to dust or pets? Also, sometimes allergens can "tickle" the lungs. I get that and end up with a little, reflexive cough after each breath until the sensation goes away.
So, if you are not hearing these things, while I am not expert of course, allergies would not be the first suspect on my list of suspects.
Also, with no response, I wanted to give your thread a bump!
That said, this is new--is that right? Did it go away (I know this is a bit of a late response). I'd wonder about viral. If it did go away still watch. Some kids have asthma associated with viruses specifically. The wheezing along with that coughing would make me think asthma. My son is asthmatic..when he was younger it was primarily virus induced and then became allergy and exercise induced as well as he aged.
Oooh, good call! I had no idea viruses could induce asthma symptoms. Thanks for the heads up. OP, how is your son doing?
My DD was diagnosed with asthma a few years back, and the initial trigger was a virus. We've since had issues with her breathing when it is damp or wet, or when there is smoke of any kind in an enclosed area (burning candles, theatrical smoke, etc.). The first sign that she is having trouble is usually a cough.
Then, if I listen to her lungs with a stethoscope, I can hear the wheeze. With asthma, I was told that you will hear the wheeze on the exhale. I know if I am hearing the wheeze on the inhale and the exhale, that she is having a particularly bad episode.
You should probably consider going to the doctor, and getting things checked out. Untreated asthma can lead to irreversible damage: http://articles.nydailynews.com/1998-05-19/news/18060026_1_lung-function-asthma-death-rate-asthma-network
We didn't realize that our daughter was dealing with asthma. We had never heard of it manifesting that way before.
Edited to add: The attacks were infrequent, and spaced out. She had an episode in early October the year that she was diagnosed, which a Physician's Assistant told us was the beginning of pneumonia. I'm not sure why it was incorrectly diagnosed at that time. Then she had an episode on Christmas Eve, and finally, in the middle of January, which was when she was diagnosed. The episode in January was pretty bad, and soon AFTER she was diagnosed, we were in the hospital 3 times in the space of a week, because the Symbicort (which is a long term control medicine) was not working. She also was not getting enough relief from the albuterol treatments, AND she was having a lot of the common side effects from the albuterol. She was switched to Advair, and levabuterol, which got things under control.
We do supplement her treatment with other natural and holistic remedies, but after all of my research, I would not mess around with trying to get it under control using alternative meds only, as each attack can leave irreversible scarring. I felt it was in our daughter's best interests to get the asthma under control quickly with western meds. Then we worked on reducing her reliance on those meds using alternative treatments. If the incident of attacks lessens, and is very infrequent, and easily controlled, our doctor is willing to consider reducing or stopping her prescription medication.
Edited by Breathless Wonder - 4/30/12 at 7:38am
well, I would definately see a doctor, hopefully one that won't go straight to the benadryl, in case it can be improved with herbs etc. My daughters persistent cough went away with lemon quince, which she was recommended by her holistic pediatrician. It is always best to bring them in and get peace of mind, but often frustrating with the western doctors who only know of antibiotics and OTC drugs.
Thanks so much for your helpful replies. I was not notified of them and was only reminded of this thread by another weird coughing episode by DS today.
Today, just over 20 days later, DS woke up from a late afternoon nap with that hacking cough again (lasted for a minute, not more). He started crying, as he did the previous 2 times he had gotten it. This time, his voice was hoarse for about half an hour after the coughing episode and then that was that.
it is really strange. I cant think of any particular things that trigger it. The strange thing is, it always occurs while he is sleeping or having just woken up. Does that tell of anything? And the episodes are so brief and so infrequent that you totally forget about them until the next one comes along.
Oh - I just thought of something. Every time it has happened so far, he has had what I thought was the beginning of a cold - runny nose, sneezing, etc. And then all symptoms vanish within a few days. Sounds like allergies, right? I am so clueless about this, as allergies and asthma do not (until now anyway) run in the family so my experience is nil.
ETA: that untreated asthma article is freaking scary. He needs to see a dr. asap.
I was just thinking about coughing episodes my girls have had-- but it wouldn't explain the wheezing. DD1 wakes up some nights coughing and gasping for breath, but no wheezing and the episode is over in short order. So, she's probably having stuff collect in her throat. DD2 sometimes breathes through her mouth and wakes up with her throat dry and choked and it gets so bad she coughs and hacks, gags and sometimes vomits (she's sensitive that way). Neither really quite fits in with what your son is experiencing, then, but it's nice to try and think of mundane reasons sometimes, just in case.
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