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My 2.5 yr old has been coughing at night very rarely during the day for 6 weeks now... I keep getting told his chest sounds clear and X-Ray came back clear.  I was then told it is likely his asthma which is only a speculation at this point. Went for a second opinion and was told it is considered asthma until proven otherwise... But this diagnoses makes no sense to me... He doesn't cough with exercise, he isn't wheeze sounding, the ventilin and qvar have made no difference, elevate his bed and that hasn't helped... Also the cough which can last up to 2 minutes doesn't usually wake him and his nose doesn't flare and his chest doesn't sink in like he is actually short of breath... I think it is something else... But I'm not a dr. So I'm curious if you would agree with asthma or if it is something I should peruse further into it being something else?

Hi, Samantha,

Chronic cough in relatively healthy kids in pediatrics is generally asthma, allergy, or GERD.  The fact there is no wheezing is common in asthma, and lots of kids have a cough variant asthma.  If there is a component of runny nose, a trial of an antihistamine or montelukast might be in order.  Not responding to the asthma meds at all is a bit unusual for asthma.  Exploring the GERD option with a trial of ranitidine might be an option.  A visit to a peds pulmonary person might be in order if the other options have been ruled out.

Good luck, Dr. Olson


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David Olson, MD


I would be happy to attempt to answer any questions about general pediatric topics, either medical issues or behavioral issues. This would include all the various questions one receives in a busy pediatric practice. I`m a board certified pediatrician in northern Michigan and have been in practice for over 15 years. I enjoy the teaching role I have in our practice and would enjoy the opportunity to help others with their pediatric problems.

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