In denial with diagnosis and differing opinions confusing me!

My 3 year old son had frequent 'viral induced wheeze' episodes in his first 18 months which resulted in hospitalisation; nebuliser and steroid.

We then saw a private consultant who advised that children with many 'chest infections' are actually asthmatic. Is this really as scientific as a diagnosis can be because I feel like he just guessed?

Anyway, he now takes 125mg flixotide and singulair granules 5mg with Salbutamol if needed. He has woken up on 3 occasions (always at night?) in the last 8 months with a barking cough where he was unable to catch is breath and said he was 'choking' and 'couldn't breathe'. The doctors said this is an asthma attack but my consultant believes it to be croup as he does not wheeze but barks?


1. Is it possible to have a bark like asthma attack?

2. My doctor tells me it can not be croup as it would last for a length of time after and not just a 5-10 minute episode...Is that true?

3. Is 125mg flixotide a lot for a 3 year old to take?

4. If it is asthma and not croup, are 3 attacks in 8 months a lot-it is not being controlled well enough?

5. After each 'incident' he has had a chesty cough for a week and run down but chest is clear when listened to by the doctor. Is that what happens after an attack or could it be croup and that is part of it?

Many Thanks. Asthma is completely new to me and both my husband and myself do not have it (but my husbands brother developed it at aged 6.)

2 Replies

  • Hi,

    My son also has 'viral asthma' as I call it, which means he only ever suffers when he has coughs, colds etc.

    During an attack he can have either a barking cough, a wheeze or a mix of both.

    I would strongly urge you to call the really lovely asthma uk nurses on the free phone number.

    No question is silly and they are incredibly knowledgeable!!

    Can't help with themeds as my son only has.ventolyn inhaler qs his attacks have all been manageable at home qnd are over quite quickly I'm glad to say.

    Take care


  • Hi

    My son was finally diagnosed with asthma 4 months ago, he is 2yrs 9months, I had suspected he may be asthmatic for a while. I still feel confused and sometimes quite scared by it despite having asthma myself.

    Thomas sounds quite different to your son, he never has chest infections each time he is admitted they always do a chest xray and every time it is clear. When he has an asthma attack it quickly passes a wheeze stage as his airways become so tight. Sometimes when his asthma is playing up he will cough but it is a very dry sounding cough with a slight wheeze. I have never noticed him have a chesty cough after an attack?

    His medications are: Seretide 125 (twice am/once pm), flixonase (one squirt in each nostral in mornings), Nedocromil (twice daily), Montelukast (singulair) granules and the ventolin as required.

    This is just my experiences but everyones asthma is different. I called the asthma uk nurses this afternoon as I was concerned at the medications Thomas is on and if you are worried I would call them they were really helpful :)


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