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Can coughing and wheezing at night in a five month old baby be cured?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2009
Answered : 299 Questions
MY 5 MONTH SON HAS HAS HAD BAD COUGHING FITS & SCREAMS IN THE NIGHT FOR PAST FOUR MONTHS AFTER HAVING A BAD COLD! Hi, my son is 5 months old, he had a bad cold at only four weeks old , caught from siblings, my four year old daughter had scarlet fever just after this. For the past four months my baby still has bad coughing fits and screams during the night mostly, he is not a very happy chilled baby compared to my older two children and even though its mostly during the evening he wakes constantly coughing, eyes are bulging. He will stop after a long periods of time coughing and scream like he is in pain, then again the coughing fits start again once he has had a few breaths, he has always been wheezy. It sounds like something is blocking his airways all the time and he tries to clear it however its been going on for four months now and I really need help as Its mostly during the night I worry a doctor is going to look at him during the day and say he is fine! help
Posted Sat, 14 Apr 2012 in Child Health
Answered by Dr. Vidya Muralidhar 26 minutes later

Thanks for your query.

Bouts of cough associated with wheeze; only at night, precipitated by cold, I could think about reduced diameter of the smaller airways in your baby. This is a very common complaint by most mothers in the child clinic. The following are the possible reasons a child specialist could think of:

1. LARYNGOTRACHEOBRONCHITIS: This is a condition which develops soon after an episode of cough and cold( viral infection).This leads to obstruction in breathing and needs symptomatic treatment.

2. BRONCHIOLITIS: An inflammation of smaller airways, quite commonly narrowed during the night.

Your Pediatrician should have ruled out all the Upper Airway causes by now. Consider speaking to him about a referral to Pediatric Pulmonologist. I know it takes quite sometime before you get an appointment with one.

Meantime I suggest the following:
1) Put a humidifier in the room.
2) Make sure he is free from infections, transmitted from others.
3) No smoking in the house.
4) Practice Burping after each breast feed
5) Your Pediatrician should be able to suggest an inhaler for the baby which can be used only during wheeze.

I will be available for follow ups as well.
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