Is it Asthma?

February 12th, 2013 posted by Gwenn Schurgin O'Keeffe, MD, FAAP

Dr. Gwenn Schurgin O Dr. Gwenn Schurgin O’Keeffe, MD, FAAP

Dear Dr. Gwenn,

My grandson is 3 years old. He had tonsillitis and ear infections for about three months. After about 4 different antibiotics and 3 or 4 rounds of steroids they sent him to an ENT who decided he should have tubes in his ears, his tonsils out and adenoid removed. Since the removal and tubes, every time he starts running or gets wound up, he starts coughing until he throws up. His doctor thinks it might be from his asthma. He cannot seem to shake this. We are getting very frustrated for him. He is a very active little boy and cannot play like he longs to do without throwing up. Do you have any suggestions? We would be grateful for any help you might give us. Signed, Rhonda

Dear Rhonda:

Asthma is a very treatable and controllable condition. It involves the airways of the lungs that are essentially tubes. Those tubes get small and swollen with various triggers that are different for each child: infections, weather changes, allergens, pets, smoke, food, activity. Medications are designed to clear the swelling and get the tubes back to their normal size. If your grandson’s pediatrician is convinced this is asthma, a trial of asthma medication may be all he needs. In addition, a pediatric lung specialist, a pulmonologist, may be able to help you sort out the cough and what is driving it during activity. Best, Dr. Gwenn © 2005 – 2007 Pediatrics Now. All rights reserved. PEDIATRICS NOW™ is a trademark of Pediatrics Now

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Gwenn Schurgin O'Keeffe, MD, FAAP (36 Posts)

Pediatrician, Dr. Gwenn Schurgin O'Keeffe, MD, is a board-certified pediatrician and Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Dr. Gwenn is an experienced columnist, educator, and practicing pediatrician. Dr. Gwenn strives to write as if she were talking to a parent. As a parent herself, she knows how important it is to obtain information but also understand how precious little time parents have to find that information on the internet. Pediatrics Now was developed to fill that gap and provide a bridge between the parenting and pediatrics worlds.


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