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Child has mild cough. Prescribed medicine for allergy. Worried for acid reflux

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General & Family Physician
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My 7 year old grand daughter has a persistent light cough. Not while sleeping but soon after waking and all day. She has been prescribed meds for allergies but I am wondering if it could be acid reflux. She is very slender and active. Does not eat much at a sitting. Her time at her dad's can be tense with his outbursts and temper. I don't know if the symptoms are worse at his place. He and his father are both smokers and spend alot fo time together. Been lots of drama in her life in the past few years.
Posted Sun, 3 Mar 2013 in Asthma and Allergy
Answered by Dr. Shoaib Khan 2 hours later

Thank you for your query. I understand your concern. Let me provide you with some information on a condition causing acid reflux, called GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease).

Stress is not a risk/triggering factor for GERD. Although risk/triggering factors do include smoking, passive smoking is highly unlikely to cause GERD (although mildly possible). More importantly, GERD has more common and obvious symptoms like:
-Chest pain
-Heartburn (burning sensation in center of the chest, sometimes spreading to the throat)
-Difficulty swallowing
-Dry cough (not persistent though; on and off)
-Regurgitation of food into the throat and/or mouth
-Hoarseness of voice
-Feeling of something in the throat

If you have noticed a few or all of the above symptoms in your granddaughter, you could take her to visit a doctor. Diagnosis is usually made by monitoring 24-hour acid in the esophagus and a chest x-ray. Treatment is simple and easy.
If your grand daughter has only persistent cough, this could most probably be a respiratory condition requiring medication removal of the stimulus (or allergen) causing irritation.

Feel free to write back to me for any further clarifications. I would be glad to help.

Best wishes.
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