14yo diagnosed with cough variant asthma....how does he get rid of the mucus??

This is my first post as my son has just been diagnosed with cough variant asthma and, following an initial two week dose of prednisolone along with symbicort twice daily and now also one tab of singulair, is having a horrendous time trying to shift the remaining mucus from one of his lungs.

He is rarely sick at all but the only times I've ever had him at the doc was with bronchitis... maybe, 3 times in the last two years. I have wondered if he has asthma for a while now cos although he has never had wheezing of any kind he often complains of a ""cold"" feeling down the centre of his chest after sport. The previous time (April) I had him at the GP he saw a locum who dismissed Asthma completely but this time when his own GP re-read back over his previous visits and listened to his symptoms etc he diagnosed Cough Variant Asthma.

My sons main problem at the time was a really dry cough that was mainly at night and left him purple in the face ! At this stage, 3 weeks later, the cough has is now 24/7, become much more productive and while he does get some mucus up with his cough there is still a considerable amount present in his lower left lobe.

Has anyone any suggestions as to how to help move this mucus? We're willing to try anything, be it herbal, homeopathic etc - if it helps, we'll try it!!! I have also read a bit about postural drainage and think I will give this a go on him.

Thanks in advance for any help you can offer.

Denise

2 Replies

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  • I'm sorry to hear about your son and the cough - but it sounds like it's still early days in terms of his treatment. I also have cough variant asthma, only diagnosed 6 years ago after years of a similar pattern - catch a cold, have it turn into a dreadful cough, cough all night long, etc.

    I never entirely lose my cough during a cold or virus, but it no longer keeps me awake all night long, and I do recover much more quickly. I find the pattern is that these coughs get worse before they get better - and once they become less productive they go through a really irritable phase, and then disappear. Cough suppressants make my cough much worse (and believe me, I've tried them all). But, antibiotics taken when the cough has been around for over a couple of weeks often improve things - and I have read on the internet that someone's done a study about antibiotics and asthmatic coughs and it was found they do help, with the theory being that if you've had the cough beyond a normal virus period, there may be an underlying infection.

    Once you get through this bad patch, ongoing inhalers and ventolin as needed may be enough. Good luck!

  • Dear Pandscarr

    Many thanks for taking the time to reply. I spent a bit of time (too much, my boss would say!) googling yesterday and found an article for postural drainage which included a diagram. So I had him take a puff of ventolin, steamed him with karvol for about 10 minutes and spent another 10 minutes trying out the postural drainage. Neither of us could believe the amount of mucus he got rid of. He slept soundly until about 5am at which point he started coughing on and off until I got up for work - but that is a huge improvement, up to this he was coughing constantly all night long. We'll definitely be giving it another go again tonight, hopefully I'll be able to do more than 10 minutes but my arms were falling off me at that stage.

    Can I ask you a quick question? Andy plays a lot of sport - soccer, gaelic football (we live in Ireland), learning kayaking at the moment and started going out for a run a couple of times a week. His GP says fine, great - keep it up and Andy definitely wants to keep at it. Once this initial bout settles down do you think its reasonable to hope that he will be able to continue with these sports - the impression I got from our GP was that once he gets rid of the mucus etc this form of asthma should be much easier to live with than standard asthma....maybe this is just wishful thinking on my part!!

    Anyway thanks again for your reply, when you know as little as I do about this condition its great to hear from someone with first hand experience.

    Best wishes

    Denise

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