It’s been over a year now that my son, Tristan’s coughing wakes him up at night. The allergist swears it’s asthma, and while he wheezes on occasion, mostly when he’s sick, I’m not convinced his habitual coughing in bed is his asthma flaring up. It got so bad at one point that anytime he laughed he’d have long, intense coughing fits. Again, our allergist said it was severe asthma and that given my son’s condition, he’d be on inhaled steroids daily for the rest of his life.
We’ve been using Flovent on and off for prevention, as well as Ventolin as needed, and both seemed to really help. But I was frustrated because Flovent seems to trigger more aggressive behavior in my five-year old. So, I called the allergist, whose nurse told me it is very rare to see aggression on an inhaled steroid. Usually it’s just the child doesn’t feel well and is aggressive from the breathing difficulties. I could see that. I’m much less patience and on edge when I’m sick or not feeling well. Made sense. I was talking with the nurse for some time and she asked if my son was a good nose blower. To which I laughed. My son HATES to blow his nose and when he reluctantly does so, it’s a weak, pathetic attempt. My daughter on the other hand, she could blow the trumpet with her nose blowing – she’s a pro!
After hearing about my son’s sensitive nose, the nurse suggested a saline nasal spray to remove the leaky drainage and congestion in the nose, perhaps it would help the coughing. My ears perked up because honestly, just one week before, I was reading Asthma, Allergies Children: A Parents Guide (a must read for any parent of an atopic child) on the plane ride home from the Food Allergy Blogger’s Conference and guess what triggered my interest at that time too? Yup, you guessed it, using saline nasal sprays for asthmatics with night-time coughing! Turns out some of Tristan’s coughing was likely due to inflammation in the lungs caused by post nasal drip! What? Why wasn’t I told this before? Or maybe it was the first time I really grasped it. Goodness knows my brain is always so full after leaving any medical appointment. I know I’m guilty of not taking it all in sometimes too. It’s possible I was told this before, but regardless, it was news to me when reading about it and then when the nurse reinforced this idea.
I hung up the phone feeling hopeful and went to the store to buy a bottle of saline nasal spray. Wow, I thought my son hated blowing his nose, but trying to spray the saline into his nose, honestly, close to impossible. We worked with bribery (I know, the shame!) and sheer force to hold him down for several mornings and nights, each one getting easier, until soon it was barely a fight. And miracles of miracles, the night-time coughing stopped! Completely stopped. He’d have a random cough here and there during the day and sometimes at night, but the wet active coughing was gone! We completely stopped using Ventolin and Flovent as there was absolutely no need for it!
Since we’re doing homeopathy for my son’s asthma/allergies/eczema as well as the GAPS diet (posts coming soon) for the same reasons, to be sure it was the saline nasal spray doing the trick and not the homeopathy or dietary changes, we stopped the spray alone for one full day – that night he coughed a lot. It was obvious, the saline nasal spray has really helped my son. Have you seen the same for your child?