Nightime Cough

Can anybody help me please, as I'm fast running out of ideas. My five year old was diagnosed with suspected asthma two years ago after countless round of antibiotics for chest problems, none of which seemed to do any good. She now uses a clenil inhaler twice a day (two puffs) and a ventolin inhaler when required.

She's been seeing the asthma nurse at our GP surgery who's very helpful and past on quite a few ideas but very few of them actually work when the cough is very bad at night with her

We've tried everything to try and help her get this under control at night including placing towels on the radiators / water in her room, using karvol etc/ anti allergy protectors but over the past two months, it seems to be getting a lot worse with her.

We had a trip to see the emergency doctor during October 1/2 term hols, as the cough started affecting her during the day (something which has never happened b4). He told us to increase the ventolin to 4 puffs when used, which thankfully helped on that occasion. She has though been coughing constantly now overnight for well over a week and a half, nearly ending in a trip to A&E one night last week as we couldn't get the cough under control and she couldn't catch her breath. I've lost count of the number of nights that I've spent sitting up with her over the past two years, as she brings up so much mucus.

We saw our GP after this last week and his response was to put her on yet another course of antibiotics (this is definitely the second, it may even be the third course, I'm losing count) and another course of prenisdolene ( the second course this year) because he couldn't hear a wheeze on her chest (although her main symptom is the cough rather then a wheeze). We thought this was working towards the end of last week, as she seemed to be getting better, until last night - when the cough came back with a vengeance!!

Does anybody have any ideas please!!! I have a one year old who is also ill & am desperately in need of a good nights sleep to be able to cope better.

2 Replies

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  • I know what it's like

    I am 37 years old and have suffered terribly from nightime coughing. This has been going on now for about 4 years. The symptoms were really bad for more than 2 years, it affected my work because of the exhaustion and I spent many nights on the sofa because I couldn't sleep for more than maybe a couple of hours before the next bout would start. At its worst I would also cough all day too - which was tiring and very embarrasing at work.

    So I sympathise with your daughters' situation and I wish her well asap.

    The best advice I got was from the asthma helpline - where they told me to be more forthright with my asthma nurse. There are a range of treatments available, which increase in strength - for adults - and the trick was to step up to a level where I could get ahead of the symptoms. I.e when I got a cold the asthma wouldn't start.

    I have also seen 2 asthma consultants privately, but the best treatment came from a practicing nurse at my GP who used to work with an asthma consultant - she knew all the treatments and of course is free!

    The cough was particularly bad (and still is at the moment) when I have a cold. I have been through this spiral of anti-biotics, prednisolone etc. The anti-biotics worked because I always had some kind of chest infection or tonsillitis. I am less sure about the prednisolone. But the problem with all treatments is that they took a while to work - and whilst they often helped, when the next cold started, they stopped working (i.e the coughing started)

    Now - my main trigger is coughs and colds and with 3 children in my house I am permanently infected.

    But I also have some allergies and my asthma is also triggered by cats and dustmites

    So my advice is:

    1. Really work on the inhaler technique - and use a spacer always

    2. Speak to the helpline and see what the treatment cycle is for children and what the next level of treatment may be - if there is one - and follow up with your nurse. And don't be afraid to push for the next treatment if you know of one. All the experts would agree that the blue ventolin inhaler should only be used once every 2-4 weeks if the asthma is under control. It sounds as if your preventative treatment simply isn't working

    3. Check whether your daughter has allergies - dustmites in particular - there's lots of advice on how to treat for this online

    Good luck- this process takes a long time but you will get through it and eventually you and your daughter will have continuous good sleep.

  • hi Katied,

    Have you tried putting something under the bed at the top so head is raised.using two pillows can give you neck ache.Also a mattress cover for asthma.

    Would also ask the doc aswell.Have you tried a humidifier .

    love Glynis xxx

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