Does this sound like asthma?

Hi everyone.

My son has had on-off breathing problems since he was about 1.5 but we've never been given a definative answer as to whether he has asthma or not. He doesn't get wheezy when he exercises but if we go away on holiday (we live in London), it's almost guaranteed he'll start coughing when we get back home. We have a slight condensation problem in our flat which causes things to go mouldy if stored in boxes or under beds. We are managing this the best we can but I worry this may be the cause, although every doctor I've mentioned this to does not think this is the case.

I presumed that he was suffering from a string of viruses or croup when he was a toddler as we went to a lot of drop-in groups. However on a number of occasions from age 1.5 - 3 he would start coughing in the day and by evening he would would have laboured breathing. The GP prescribed both blue and brown inhalers, although I was unhappy about giving them to him on a regular basis as he hadn't been properly diagnosed. So I was giving just the reliever when one of these episodes occured, which would last a day or two and only every 3 or so months.

We've taken him to hospital a few times over the years. The first, after a night of monitoring in A&E we were told that it was just a virus, and the second we were seen by the asthma doctor who said it was a viral wheeze and he didn't need the brown inhaler.

He's now five and seems to get these coughing episodes and sniffly nose quite a lot. The doctor recently prescribed an antihistamine which seems to help. Half of me thinks this is because we live in polluted London and he could have hayfever, however the other scared half thinks maybe he does have asthma and he should be having the proper treatement. It's just so confusing when I've been given so many different opinions from doctors. I've seen a top children's osteopath who has treated lots of asthmatic kids and he says he does not think my son is asthmatic.

But now after 2 weeks away in France with my son racing around with no sign of a wheeze/ trouble breathing, the first morning he woke up in his bed at home, he is coughing lots and runny nose and wheezy. I hate to see him suffer - does anyone know what might be going on, or where I could get a proper diagnosis from?

Sorry I have waffled on for so long!

1 Reply

  • franR

    have you tried a mattress cover and pillow case for asthma sufferers?when my son was little I removed his teddies from his bedroom and washed a special one he slept with and it helped.hes ok now and its me now with asthma x

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