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confused by my asthma nurse. Asthma or not?

hi all,

I posted on here quite a while back. My 2 1/2 year old son had been diagnosed by doctors as asthmatic. He had suffered three asthma attacks each spaced 3 weeks or so apart. Two times he needed prednisilone and one time we had the ambulance out and he was admitted to the hospital. He had classic symptoms of wheezing, tummy breathing and not being able to get his breath with the ventolin not helping much... each time it seemed to go hand in hand with a cold. Anyway, the doc put him on regular Becotide inhaler and referred us to an asthma nurse. I have seen her twice and the last time I was there she made a comment that she wasn't even sure my son was asthmatic?!

Now I am confused. She said she wants to keep him on the becotide for now(he's not had an attack for 6 weeks now) although we have finally cut it down to one puff morn and evening. So far it is all under control as far as attacks, although he does have periods of really bad night coughing. Almost croupy sounding... not chesty but weird sounding. So I was confused to hear her say she wasn't sure he was asthmatic. He's had 3 big attacks with lots of different doctors seeing him and treating him and they all said he was having asthma attacks.

Is it possible to have asthma attacks and yet not be asthmatic? Or is it because he hasn't had an attack for several weeks that she thinks he's no longer asthmatic? I thought you could still be asthmatic without having an actual attack if it's being kept under control. I guess I am now feeling that she's not taking us seriously enough and I feel like a fraud or something! Any thoughts/advice?

5 Replies

Hi Landa,

Can't really help I'm afraid, but hope you son stays controlled as he is now with no more frightening attacks. Am sure have been told you can't properly diagnsoe til you're 5 due to not being able to do all teh tests? I amy be wrong - all you mothers out tehre please feel free to correct me! But if true, that may be why, tho certainly sounds like classic asthma


My son is 7yrs and the nurse is not sure whether he has asthma or not. She says that they do not like to make a diagnosis to early and put it on the medical files, as once it is written on and if your son/daughter would like a job in the forces they will be refused, even if they only had asthma for a short time in early childhood. Also asthma is not that easy to pinpoint, my daughter was 18 months when she first presented with symptoms but it took the nurse and doctor till she was 5 yrs before they finally decided she was asthmatic.

Just keep perservering and read as much about it as you can to help you ask the right questions.

Hope the little guy stays well.

Bye for now.


My daughter was 2 when she was diagnosed asthmatic, although had all the signs from about 3 months old. GP said they couldn't diagnose asthma until they are two and called her pre-asthmatic up until then. Because he wouldn't diagnose it he wouldn't treat it either so we rarely had a decent nights sleep because of her incessant coughing, particularly in the winter, up until she was put on ventolin. However my son was wrongly diagnosed with asthma and put on ventolin when he was 6. He also coughed all night and the GP said with the history of asthma in the family it had to be asthma. The asthma nurse felt quite strongly that he wasn't asthmatic at the time. His turned out to have chronic tonsilitis. The gunk he was draining down his throat at night was making him cough.

This has probably helped to make you even more confused. Sorry if it has.

Ange xx

hi my son was 18 months when told he had asthma he was given ventolin liquid for 3 months and all was well and he was taken off it,i was told then that it was just a mild childhood asthma,he is almost 18 now and so far has shown no signs of having asthma, it does run in both families and i myself am very bad with it especialy with the weather just now,im not sure if this is of any help to you ,but i hope you get some proper answers soon anne

I wanted to thank you all for your replies. I appreciated your thoughts and advice. At our last asthma nurse appointment my son was actually having a lot of trouble breathing and so the nurse finally got to see him struggle. She got the doctor and they diagnosed a chest infection. I was kind of glad she finally got to see him struggling to breathe and all the other symptoms that go with it. Now I feel I have complete understanding from her!

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