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New here and need to understand asthma

VanWestGold profile image

Have just found this site and am hoping all you experienced peeps can help. My 5yr old daughter was diagnosed with asthma about a year ago (well Dr didn't say the word asthma but she is on steroid inhaler). Anyway I have no knowledge of asthma and as her symptoms are night time cough (no wheeze) I had no clue that this was what it was. She is suffering with a really bad day and night cough this week and I wondered whether I should push to get her allergy tested to see if her asthma is being triggered by something. And what should I do when she has a bad cough - give her an extra puff of the brown inhaler? Anywhere I can go for good advice? Sorry for long post!

8 Replies

take a look on google for asthma in children. They can send out booklets to explain they are part of asthma uk.

I'm sorry to hear that. I had asthma since I can remember, so must have been 5 or 6. It can be completely manageable and happy life, I played sports and as an adult completed several marathons and olympic distance triathlon with ocean swim. But you do need to take control and become more educated so posting on this forum is a good first step :)

Unfortunately I am not so familiar with cough as a symptom. However when young if I got some kind of flu or respiratory infection it had a tendency to migrate into bronchitis for me and then trigger asthma. In that case I would be coughing up phlegm, but it's separate from the asthma which I could also get without the bronchitis from dust, grass etc.

I'm assuming the brown inhaler is Qvar. Was she on that all the time? If symptoms are worsening rapidly you should call the doctor now, even after hours. Normally you would get a rescue inhaler as well for asthma, blue or red (Ventolin/Proventil). Extra puff of the brown won't help it's a long term thing. On your follow up ask specifically if it is asthma, maybe try to see an asthma consultant/nurse or find a different pediatrician that specializes in asthma and allergies. It's possible she is wheezing or has tightening that you can't hear but I don't know.

Anti cough syrup?


Yes, Asthma can present itself as just a cough particularly in children. Also asthma does not always present as a wheeze even in adults - just maybe severe shortness of breath "silent asthma". Unfortunately the brown inhaler is probably only a preventer and while you still need to keep giving it to her, she needs to see a doctor who will check her breathing capacity and, if needed, give her a reliever medication (usually Ventolin or its chemical name - salbutamol). As she is getting a bit worse at the moment she needs to see a doctor as soon as possible. Do not be afraid to call an ambulance if needed or go to emergency if she is having difficulty breathing. They will understand and will be able to check her and give her immediate help. NB Whoever you go to make sure that you immediately tell them that she is having breathing difficulties. Also tell them that she has been diagnosed with asthma and tell them the medication she is on.

She should habe ventolin. My daughter has asthma, she is on symbicort inhaler plus montelukast and cetirizine. I would suggest allergy tests as asthma is most of the times allergy induced

Thanks so much for your advice. She doesn't seem to have difficulty breathing it's just the cough that's been bad at night this last week. Her brown inhaler is beclometasone and the blue one is salbutamol. I will see the asthma nurse and push for allergy tests. Thanks again

green881 profile image
green881 in reply to VanWestGold

Brown = beclometasone or beclomethasone = Qvar = Becotide (original name from the 70s

Blue = sulbutamol = albuterol = Ventolin (original name).

I've been on and off both for 40 years. She's on the right stuff for asthma, but I am quite surprised you weren't told that and educated how to use these medications effectively. It does take some learning and follow up.

Please see a doc soon and be more assertive, it's your right to have them explain it and necessary for her health. If it's managed it is less likely to get more serious and she will not have long term problems.

If you have more questions how to use them let me know.

Hi VanWestGold

There's lots of information on the Asthma UK website to help you manage your daughter's asthma, here's a link to the relevant section which includes information about medication and possible triggers. If you ever need any advice or support our Helpline nurses are here for you on 0300 222 5800 (Mon-Fri 9am-5pm)



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