Asthma UK community forum

cough cough

Just wrote a huge post and it disappeared. Grrr!

Anyway my eldest is almost 6. He has cough variant asthma and has used clenil and ventolin since he was 18 months. These work well and the huge majority of the time he's controlled. Apart from two, sometimes three, times a year (usually when the seasons change) he has a week of constant coughing. We must be in the spring week as the cough is back. He is manageable during the day but awful at night. He's coughing constantly 6-10+ times a minute so literally constantly all night so is shattered the next day. He missed school today and is struggling to get to sleep tonight. His peak flow is 80% and sats are 96/97% so not terrible but its heartbreaking hearing him cough cough cough.

Anything we can try? Anyone the same?

We've tried humidifiers, cool air, steam and plug ins and none remotely help. 10 puffs of ventolin help a little but its still constant. I don't think an increase in preventer is really needed as its only the few weeks of the year and the rest of the time is no problems at all. I can't deal with another wasted four hours+ in a&e being constantly reminded his chest is clear and there's no wheeze (the lack of knowledge of cough variant drives me crazy). Last time I was even told not to give him his ventolin just for the cough, which I ignored and followed his asthma plan instead.

Any advice before I get to the GP?


8 Replies


Did you go to the GP? If so, what did they say?

I think I will be there with Thomas again tomorrow we still have no resolution his medications still don't seem to have control over his asthma. His consultant is going to refer him to RBH now as he doesn't know why they can't control Thomas's asthma, I even got asked at the last appointment if I give him his inhalers, wasnt impressed!

How is your other son doing?

Jenny x x


My son as just turned 6 is also on clenil and as cough variant asthma , he cant do the peak flow at all but we practice each day in hope he soon works it out ...Can I ask what your son,s best is as maybe he is doing it right ..he gets 90 everytime ....Not much advice i doubled my sons clenil up and took him to the Gp I think its the awful winter we are having thats making them worse x


Jenny I have been asked if I give my son his inhalers too :( x


It's a joke as if I wouldn't give him his inhalers, I admit it does concern me the amount of meds he's on as he's only just turned 3. BUT anyone who's seen him ill would know I wouldn't risk that, its horrendous (as I'm sure you would all agree) to see your child in hospital struggling to breath and then being rushed into the HDU for IV salbutamol because the nebs aren't working. It terrifies me every time his breathing takes a turn for the worse. I just wish they could get his breathing under control I feel so helpless watching him suffer. X


If it was the seasonal change then it was combined with viral tonsillitis so not entirely sure. The infection seems to have broken and he's over the worse and the cough is easing off. He's still coughing a little at night but his peak flow is staying steady. Not sure if the night coughing or the infection is making him grumpy. Maybe both. As his chest was clear we are just to keep regular ventolin.

His normal peak flow is 150 which is apparently about right for his height and weight. He's a titch bless him! I asked about peak flow on here, might be able to find it further down and we just did some practice on his technique. He picked it up quite quickly but the nurse did say it's just one of those things and they all get there in the end.

Sorry to hear Thomas still isn't great. Hope the referral to rbh helps get to the bottom. We have been doing great on Seretide, he hasn't had any real test yet but he's now got what his brother had so we shall see! We are seen by ent now about his nosebleeds and snoring as now he's nights are better asthma wise those two things are still disturbing his sleep.


I was hoping Thomas would have improved by now, we have the appointment in less than two weeks so fingers crossed we will get the referral then. We should also get the results of all his blood tests. Following that we have his MRI at the beginning of April. I have to admit they have been really good and are looking into everything which does give some reassurance. He's been referred back to endocrinology as well as they are worried something had been missed in that area.

I think we are over the worst of this episode and by some miracle have avoided hospital for the first time he has had a cold. We are still using a lot of ventolin but hopefully things will calm down over the next week.


I do know what you are going through! My son has cough variant asthma also! From reading your posts it seems our medical systems here in the US is very different. But when I take my son to the doctors office I always here the same thing ""he's not wheezing, thats good!"" And I have to explain that he does not ever wheeze! He coughs! We have been going through a major flare recently so I can relate to the not sleeping. I also have been doing everything I can. Cool mist humidifier, inhaler at bed time, I make tea with honey and give it to him. We also have a medication called benzonotate, it is a prescription cough suppressant. It's not supposed to be given to children under 10, but my son has been on it since he was 6. It does seem to help!

I know how awful it is to listen to the constant coughing and feel so badly for him as I know he must be so tired from all of the coughing racking his body.

I took him to a lung specialist yesterday and it was so nice to talk to someone who KNOWS about the different types of asthma. He saw that my son was still having a hard time and made some changes.

We also flare in spring but my sons major flares happen after having a cold.

I hope your little one feels better soon!


Thanks Julie. He's back to his normal self and hasn't coughed for days now.

I often wonder about a cough suppresent and whether it might help as well as ventolin. You are so right about finding someone who actually understands the different types of asthma. I'm baffled at the lack of understanding sometimes and to be frank a little irritated that I'm looked at like I don't know what I'm talking about. I've lived with my son's asthma for quite a few years now and am experienced with what symptoms he usually has and how it affects him.

I hope you have a healthy spring.


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