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is this an attack coming?

My little girl is 20 months and is taking Montelukast, Seretide, Ventolin and antihistamines for her asthma.

She has recently had a cold that cleared up Monday.

Today she has wheezed on and off. Ive just got her ready for bed and as we cuddled I noticed that although her chest wasnt whistling as it does when she's having a rough time, instead each breath she made was not a normal breath. She breathed in fairly normally but her outbreath seemed to be very long and laboured.

Why is this? Is this an attack brewing?? She has had an 'asthma cough' today and yesterday too.

Any ideas. Shes in bed and settled now but its on my mind as to what the coming hours may bring.

5 Replies

Hi Emily,

Sometimes a lack of wheezing should be taken very seriously, as this could mean that there is not enough air movement to cause an audible wheeze/any breath sounds. This is called 'silent chest', and needs urgent medical care. Check your daughter now - a lack of wheeze doesn't mean that she's not ill. A long, laboured outbreath is a symptom of an attack - is this normal for her, and does that happen when she's wheezy, and does she seem worse than normal?

I don't want to scare you, but your post rang alarm bells in me, because if she's in a 'silent chest' stage of attack, that's an emergency.


Just want to echo that our little lad also does the long out breathe when he gets symptoms, and his breathing when sleeping is stuttery, a bit start stop, if that makes sense. He also very rarely wheezes, but I think about a quarter of people with asthma don't wheeze either. We've also found that as time goes on his signs have changed. He never used to cough either but hacks loads now. I always give my lad his blue inhaler when he gets any symptoms because i find that if i don't then he just gets worse. Hope she's a bit better today x

ps - when we have nights like this we get him sat bolt upright and that helps loads. although it does mean that i don't get any sleep whatsoever as i'm too busy sitting him back up when he rolls off or wriggles down!


Thank you both for your replies.

She woke this morning alot better but then has had wheezy moments throughout the day. Nothing Ive felt unable to handle though.

She got exciteed before bed and was running around which obviously didnt help her and started to cough and cough.

Ive just put her to bed and given lots of ventolin along with her other potions. Shes wheezing a little again now and has also started coughing.

I think I may have to wake her up and take her downstairs to sit up for a while. That usually helps her chest to calm again too.#

Im just at a quandery as to whether to take her to the gp or not. I feel im there all the time for her. Everyone knows her and the Asthma nurse yesterday said they talk about her in meetings etc. I just dont want to become a pain. I'll probably go and she'll have a clear chest and i'll feel silly again!

Arghhhh, what would you all do in this situation of intermittant wheeze????


I would just go to GP - don't worry about bothering them, that's what they are there for. The thing is you can never be sure what's going on - lots of times I've been told my son doesnt have an infection when I thought he had, and lots of times he's got an infection when I thought he hadn't! I ALWAYS like the doctor or practice nurse to check his chest. We practically camp out at the surgery when he's ill and it's a pain, but I'd always rather err on the side of caution.


Emily, I would and do, always just go to the docs as soon as I can. I get really nervous that I'm not judging a situation because I too am keen to be ""normal"". But I just go now, because I have learnt the hard way that my lad continues to push-on through when he's getting symptoms and so by the time I cotton-on, he's actually quite poorly. Just last week I took him, feeling like neurotic mother, again. The doc took about 3 seconds to diagnose an established chest infection and ear infection and prescribed him 2 weeks antibiotics. So I went from feeling like neurotic Mum to rubbish Mum!!!!

I have also learnt that the doctors and nurses at my surgery genuinely care about us and don't care how many ""emergency"" (I HATE that term for what actually is really only a same-day appointment!) appointments I use for him. They'd always, always rather see him and take a look rather than risk him getting poorly.

Honestly Emily, just go to the doc - they'd want you to. x


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