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1 year baby having barky cough. Treated for allergy, asthma and acid reflux. Chances of having cystic fibrosis?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2009
Answered : 983 Questions
my one year old daughter has had a "barky" cough since she was about 4 months old, they said she had acid reflux, but we treated her for it and it didnt stop her cough. She is now, 17 months old, she has the same barky cough, sometimes you can hear her breathing from across the room. We have treated her for allergies and asthma and neither medication has worked. I have been taking her temperature here and there over the past few weeks and it is almost always 99.5-100. What is wrong with her? Is it possible that she could have cystic fibrosis? i know that wouldnt cause the fever, but the chronic cough, she was tested at birth, what are the chances that test was wrong? I am taking her to our regular pediatrician again on friday, but we always get the same answer... Nothing..
Posted Tue, 7 Aug 2012 in Child Health
Answered by Dr. Aparna Kohli 7 hours later
Thanks for writing in.
I do understand your concern. To answer your question, chronic cough in children could be caused by an ingested foreign body, chronic bronchitis, post nasal drip, dysfunctional swallowing and exposure to cigarette smoke.
The possibility of this being cystic fibrosis is remote as there would be other signs as well including failure to gain weight, salty sweat etc. Its not such a common condition and its unlikely that the test was wrong.
To help you better, I would request to answer the following questions:
a. What treatment has been given to her?
b. Is there a family history of asthma?
c. Have inhaled drugs been given to her?
d. Has an Xray been done for her?

Till then, please try and humidify her room and see if it helps. Keeping a symptom diary to check if anything makes it worse would also be very useful.
Awaiting your reply

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: 1 year baby having barky cough. Treated for allergy, asthma and acid reflux. Chances of having cystic fibrosis? 13 hours later
she was given ranitidine at around 5 months, we tried that for a few weeks and got no relief, so I stopped. About a month ago I started her on a store brand of zyrtec, tried that for 2 weeks, no relief. One week ago we started Singulair and that has not made a difference. My mother has asthma, but neither her father or I have it. SHe has not been given any inhaled drugs and we had a chest xray done at 5 months and that showed nothing.
Answered by Dr. Aparna Kohli 1 hour later
Thanks for writing back.
I think we should be thinking in terms of cough variant asthma. We can pretty much rule out a foreign body obstruction or reflux or any kind of infection for that matter.
This is one possibility you should be discussing with your physician as she would not improve if she has this condition and she has been given the treatment that you outlined above.
We should consider starting her on a low dose steroid inhaler and steam inhalation for 3-4 days. Given her age, we should be using a spacer advice for her as it will allow her to take the drugs better. In my opinion, she should considerably improve.
I hope this helps
Let me know if you have any more concerns

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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