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Wheezing Season Is Here

by Sue Hubbard, M.D.

We are having our first really cool night of the fall season and boy is it wheezing season here. This is the time of year that many young kids will get their first colds and some will also start to wheeze. Weather changes also seem to provoke wheezing episodes, especially if you have had a child who has previously wheezed during a cold. So, we have all of the right conditions for another wheezing season.

Wheezing runs in families, so if parents wheezed their children may be more likely to wheeze too. Many parents don’t even realize they wheezed until they probe their own history, as they may have outgrown their wheezing. The genetics of wheezing is not totally understood, but just like allergies, wheezing is on the rise.

If your child seems to have a tight, persistent cough, a frequent night time cough, or coughs with exercise you should discuss these symptoms with your doctor. Some children will only have a persistent cough as their presentation, but with enough history you can figure out that their cough is due to cough variant asthma, and all of the cough medicines in the world are not going to stop that nighttime cough (remember don’t be giving young children over the counter cough medicines). Much of the diagnosis is made through a good history and physical exam and appropriate medication will stop that recurrent cough.

If your child has already been diagnosed with asthma or reactive airways disease, make sure you have your inhalers refilled and current. Wheezing season is here and won’t go away quickly so be ready. Some children will need to be on preventative medicines too. That’s another topic for discussion with your doctor.

Enjoy the weather changes, it feels great outside! That’s your daily dose, we’ll chat tomorrow.

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