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Asthma and seasonal allergies

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

I cross-posted in special needs until I realized there was an allergies forum.  Duh.  I apologize.  I'm copying and pasting.  I hope someone is able to shine a little light.  I'm not sure just how much to "put up with" because I know asthma symptoms run a cumulative affect and I don't want to be doing damage to her lungs by allowing this to continue and our pediatrician has pooh-pooh'ed my suggestion to run allergy testing several times over the years.  Another thing I didn't mention below is that she is dairy-free but it's only been about 2months.

 

My daughter is 5 and was officially diagnosed with asthma at 2.  I believe her official term on record is moderate persistent asthma.  We had her on pulmicort once daily from 2-4 1/2 and took her off for last summer and never put her back on.  The triggers we've pinned down appear to be cigarette smoke, any time she's ill, and seasonal allergies/pollen.  This year has been particularly bad.  We've dealt with severe coughing spells after coming in from outside or while playing outside and near constant wheezing for about a month now.  We saw the pediatrician last week and there's no other symptoms to indicate illness(fever, runny nose, etc)  We did a 3 day course of oral steroids that helped for less than 5 days and she was wheezing again.  I'm calling again tomorrow for another sick visit but I'm not sure where to go now.  She also started back on OTC Claritin last week which decreased the wheezing so instead of breathing treatments every 4 hours around the clock it's probably only 3 or 4 times a day.  I'm not sure if this is just to be expected at this time of year for a few months or if we should be medicating more intensely.  I'm doing all the normal things like humidifer, no outdoor line drying, bathing the pollen off nightly, doors and windows shut, cleaning normally for pollen/dust.  We have no carpeting and linens are washed weekly in hot water.  I'm at a loss.  She's on a 7ft leash attached to the nebulizer multiple times a day and the 'roid rage is starting to frustrate me AND her.

post #2 of 9

Is she on an oral daily asthma med?

 

Daily inhaler?

 

 

DS was like this for well over 6 months before I said enough with our ped and went to our allergist for some help.  At that point they put him on an inhaler. He still wasn't under control so back to the ped (they got a new one who specialized in asthma). They put us in a daily oral med and inhaler twice a day. We also have albuterol as needed. First sign of a cold we start it because even a day into a cold and we're screwed if we don't. I am so anti meds but really, I am pro breathing so this is what we do.  DS doesn't have an issue form about May-October and then it starts up again. 

 

 

Not sure if that gives you any helpful info, but that's our plan. 

 

Hugs, its tough!

post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thank you for the response.  She's on pulmicort for daily maintenance, claritin for allergy control, and albuterol as needed.  We just saw the pediatrician today and we are back on Orapred for 4 days to try to get the inflammation under control.  She sounded like your son for the first few years.  No issues from May to September or so and once cold and flu season started, we were constantly battling bronchitis, croup, and multiple bouts of pneumonia.  Now her seasonal allergies really seem to be getting out of control and shortening that "safe" window of the year.  She's not at ALL well controlled on what we are doing.

post #4 of 9

I would consider the oral Singulair or something similar.  Until he was on that it, his asthma was not well controlled. We also had to increase his inhaled maintenance meds from 40 mcg to 80 mcg. I know the one "measure" the Dr. asks about was how often he would cough at night.  If they are waking up with a cough at night it isn't being well controlled and meds need to be adjusted. 

 

I'm trying to decide when to start our Claritin now too.  What general part of the country are you in?

post #5 of 9

This sounds very much like my 5 year old son. He has been on Flovent twice a day and Albuterol every 4 hours and still clears his throat all day and coughs all day.  He is much worse after playing and/or crying. We have had Predisone and have Singular on hand for when/if we want to start it. Claritin never really helped him. It has all been trial and error so far which I don't like, so tomorrow we go to an Allergist. My doc also didn't seem to really want to send me there, but I feel it is best to see what the triggers are instead of keeping him dairy free for no reason and just not knowing for sure what the best route is. I hope we get some answers and the testing is not too rough on him.  I hope you also can get some answers.  

post #6 of 9
I responded in special needs too. I'll just leave that there, I hope some of it is helpful. I mis-read over there and didn't realize you were still on an inhaled steroid so ignore that part but the rest might help. We've found some additional things very helpful (pycnogenol and tumeric) in controlling my son. Singulair and Zyrtec are vital for the allergy control link to asthma in my other son. I gave links and more detail on the special needs board. http://www.mothering.com/community/t/1380790/asthma-and-allergies#post_17317500
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 

I'm just updating in case anyone searches and comes across this thread.  After I posted, we went back on the Orapred for 4 days and she didn't wheeze at all for nearly a week and then it started up again.  I tracked it from Easter until the first week in May and we went back to the pediatrician and got referrals.  We saw an allergist and pulmonologist and are discontinuing the Pulmicort and adding Qvar and Singulair.  She tests positive for allergies to mold, and multiple kinds of tree pollen(beech, birch, oak, maple, and sycamore, all of which are in our yard).  We are waiting on blood tests to confirm any food allergies as well.  It's only been 3 days so I haven't seen any big results on the Singulair yet but doing 2 puffs of the Qvar twice a day is much more manageable for a 5 year old than being stuck to her nebulizer 35minutes a day.  I'm hoping we get this under control.  Thanks for the help.

 

 

Oh and we are in New England for the poster that asked.  Our pollen counts have been considered moderate to high since before Easter.  Currently the main offenders are oak, birch, and maple according to the pollen.com app on my phone.

post #8 of 9

What we have found the hard way is that we have to start the allergy medication a couple weeks before the allergy season is expected to begin.  If you wait until the allergy symptoms kick in to start taking the meds, then it is too late.  Your allergist should be able to tell you approximately when the mold and each of the tree pollens kick in, although there is a slight variation due to weather from year to year.  Also, it is very good that you are charting at what time of year the onset of the symptoms occurs.  That way, you can mark your calendar next year in advance to remind you when to start the meds so that you can start the meds in advance.  In this way, we found that, with guidelines from the allergist, we could play around with cutting back or cutting off some of the meds during the non-allergy season part of the year.

 

Also, we had to try different antihistimines. For us, Claritin never worked.  After a while, Zyrtec stopped working. We tried Xyzal for a while, but didn't seem to work very well.  We bounced around trying different medications, and we have finally settled on Allegra because it is working much better than the others. So I suggest that you talk to the allergist about how he thinks different antihistamines will do.
 

A lot of people find that Singulair helps a ton.  Didn't help us, so the allergist and I agreed to stop it.  But it has been a godsend to many people that I know.

 

Obviously, the symptoms that you list are respiratory symptoms.  When the allergist looked into your child's nose, did the allergist mention any nose symptoms associated with allergies?  If so, then I have some additional suggestions I can make.

post #9 of 9

What we have found the hard way is that we have to start the allergy medication a couple weeks before the allergy season is expected to begin.  If you wait until the allergy symptoms kick in to start taking the meds, then it is too late.  Your allergist should be able to tell you approximately when the mold and each of the tree pollens is expected kick in each year, although there is a slight variation due to weather from year to year.  Also, it is very good that you are charting at what time of year the onset of the symptoms occurs.  That way, you can mark your calendar next year in advance to remind you when to start the meds so that you can start the meds in advance.  In this way, we found that, with guidelines from the allergist, we could play around with cutting back or cutting off some of the meds during the non-allergy season part of the year.

 

Also, we had to try different antihistimines. For us, Claritin never worked.  After a while, Zyrtec stopped working. We tried Xyzal for a while, but didn't seem to work very well.  We bounced around trying different medications, and we have finally settled on Allegra because it is working much better than the others. So I suggest that you talk to the allergist about how he thinks different antihistamines will do.
 

A lot of people find that Singulair helps a ton.  Didn't help us, so the allergist and I agreed to stop it.  But it has been a godsend to many people that I know.

 

 

It is very important to aggressively deal with the triggers, so work hard on the allergies.

 

Like a previous poster said, I'm all for trying to keep med-free, but I am definitely pro-breathing. I found out the hard way that my dd needs the meds, so I no longer avoid them. I find that I have to go into the allergist appointment with a definite strategy.  I talk to the allergist and he tells me which meds tend to be effective for my dd's problems and which ones might be worth trying.  It is still trial and error, but the allergist is very helpful in explaining that there is a rhyme and reason to which meds to try.  Instead of going to the allergist to get one prescription, trying it, and then going back to the allergist if it doesn't work, I do it this way.  I ask the  allergist for a list of possible medications to try and a pile of prescriptions and/or samples so that I can get the prescriptions filled one med at a time.  I ask the allergist for what is essentially a flow chart.  Which med should I try first?  How long does it take for the med to kick in? How long should I wait before I should expect the symptoms to improve?  How much improvement of symptoms should I expect to see? If the first med on the list doesn't seem to be working, then how long should I wait to look for improvement until I give up on that med and start on the next med on the list?  If I forget to ask about how long to wait before seeing relief, then I call the allergist's nurse later and ask her over the phone.

 

Obviously, the symptoms that you list are respiratory symptoms.  When the allergist looked into your child's nose, did the allergist mention any nose symptoms associated with allergies?  If so, then I have some additional suggestions I can make.


Edited by emilysmama - 5/22/13 at 4:32am
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