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night coughing caused by allergies

my son ( abt to turn 6) has been coughing at night for abt 10 months now.
it started out severly with coughing & breathlesness over due course & many medications later it's moderate coughing now.he's mostly fine by the day,no coughs.we tried albuterol,salbutamol,cetrizine based syrups & nebulization too,only to find temporary relief. 1 tsp of zyrtec at bedtime keeps the cough away.
(of late, he continues to sneeze repititively,which he never did previously. he's also begun grinding teeth at night)
how safe is it give zyrtec over a prolonged period of time?
plz guide with a solution that tackles the root of the problem.
thnx & rgds
kebhisha
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replied November 2nd, 2009
Extremely eHealthy
If it only happens at night, maybe it's something in his room that he's allergic to. Dust mites, the detergent you use on the laundry (it may not bother him as much on his clothes, but close to his face on his pillow might), a pet that sleeps with him, a plant in his room or outside his window, the bath soap he uses right before bed, a snack he has before bed (could indicate a food allergy) or anything else that may be specific to bedtime. Rather than just treating the symptoms, it's probably more important in this case to find the cause. It also might be easier to find, since it only happens at a specific time. Ask your child's doctor about whether giving him Zyrtec every night is okay or not. Also, make sure you use an actual teaspoon, not a kitchen one. The kitchen ones are bigger and you may end up giving him more than 1/3 more medication than he should have.

Have his lungs been checked for lung issues like pneumonia? It's unlikely that it would go this long, but since it started abruptly and is pretty severe, it wouldn't hurt to ask about it.

The fact that it happens at night (when he's presumably laying down) may indicate acid reflux. The acid irritates the throat and causes coughing; sometimes it can even be breathed into the lungs and cause asthma-like symptoms and even pneumonia. You may want to ask the doctor about that and see if you should try acid reducers or if he should be tested for acid reflux first. Don't give him the medication without asking the doctor first.

He could also have some kind of sleep disorder, like maybe sleep apnea that causes his throat to relax and close while he's sleeping. Often, sufferers wake up coughing and gasping for air. If the asthma/allergies and acid reflux are ruled out, I would take him to a sleep clinic or sleep specialist and get him checked. Once it's diagnosed, sleep apnea is easily treated with either a dental appliance for mild to moderate sleep apnea or a CPAP machine for more serious cases.

Please write back if you get more information from the doctor or if you have any more questions. Best of luck to you and your son.
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replied November 2nd, 2009
thnx for the advice,we hav taken him to several doctors,who diagnosed it as allergic asthma or post nasal drip,but not too sure.also nobody has treated it effectively enough,we hav no pets,i assume it mit be dust allergy
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replied November 3rd, 2009
Extremely eHealthy
A dust allergy would affect him all the time, though. Does he have any symptoms during the day and it just gets worse at night? Has he been to an allergist?

Maybe an air purifier in his room would help. Just make sure it's *not* one of those ones that makes ozone--they're known to cause health problems, especially lung damage. Most places don't sell them anymore, but some still do.
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replied March 2nd, 2010
coughing in sleep
My 4 year old son has been experiencing the same thing for the last year as well. We have been everywhere. Doctors have said it was asthma as well and treated with constant medicine, but even then after a while the medicine began to no longer work. Nothing has changed in our house, we use the same things as we did before this started, but he wakes up coughing until he sometimes vomits. We have had his adenoids and tonsils removed thinking it was an airway problem and still he coughs in his sleep. He has been to pulmonary doctor too. His Lungs seem well although the doctor recommended a sleep study since it only seems to happen at night. Asthma usually happens during the day when active and allergies although not completely out of the question seem unlikely. It is almost like you can hear mucus that he can't get out while sleeping. I am now going to try the reflux medicine approved by the pulmonary doctor and see what kind of results that does. I will be back in touch, but please let me know kebhisha what you have discovered.
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replied March 28th, 2011
You just described exactly what has been going on with my 2 year old son. He sounds so stopped up and snores at night but nothing ever comes out. During the day he has no symptoms at all of allergies. the doctors just want to load him up on all of these allergy meds...reflux meds..etc without doing any testing. He has always had a cough at night..nothing severe and would sometimes stop breathing for about 8 seconds but the doctor never seemed concerned enough to test. Now he has been snoring at night for about 3 months. It did stop for a few weeks after 3 weeks of antibiotics but is now back. I feel so bad for him. He has not had a good night sleep in so long. I am getting so frustated and wish i could find a doctor that would take the time to find out what is wrong.
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replied October 22nd, 2011
Allergic cough
Hi,
I had the same problem with my daughter she is 3,5, you have go to check his room to find the cause of his allergy. My daughter is allergic to feather pillow that she slept on and we could not find it for quite some time. Also, please show him to a peadiatric allergist and not just an ordinary peadiatrician.
All the best
Lyuda
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replied March 1st, 2012
Asthma/ dust allergy
I have same problem with my daughter. Paediatric allergist diagnosed dust mite allergy and now beside medicine I wash all her Beddings in hot water once a week. Have also bought allergy resistance covers for her pillow. I steam vac carpets very 3 months and have humidifier for her room. Her allergy symptoms are not all that bad now. Hope this will help. Desperate mom
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replied March 25th, 2012
Continuous coughing even after meds tonsils removed.....
Doing and done all the things that the docs have said, had tonsil, adenoids rmoved sinus flushed on multiple meds and still have severe coughing at night when the allergy season starts. It gets so bad that she throws up. Most of the time she doesnt even know she is coughing. I wish there was something I could do... anyone know of anything else????
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replied September 23rd, 2012
Same night time cough
My son, almost 7, has same night time coughing problem. Not every night but more often than not and it's one or two spells that last 10-30 minutes each time. He was diagnosed with dust mite allergies. We have taken all the precautions with the bedding, dust mite proof coverings etc. We are also putting in cork flooring in both the kids rooms and wood flooring in the main living areas to keep the dust mite population down. We have had air filters in every room but they get dirty fast and changing filters every three months gets expensive. So, getting rid of the carpeting will help in reducing the dust. We have had good luck with magnesium. There's magnesium pills and a lotion that you can get. When applied generously the magnesium lotion normally stops the coughing within a few minutes. We also do some alternative medicine - look up ayurvedic medicine for asthma. It may or may not work but no harm in trying. I'm just happy if we don't have to resort to conventional steroidal medication which may give immediate relief but does more harm than good in the long run. If your childs asthma/allergy is mild to moderate try alternative medication and modify the diet to limit sugars/candy and very little or no meat. Eat lots of veggies (juicing is good) and fruit (except bananas which I've heard aids in mucus formation so it's not good with someone with mucus problems). Just out of curiosity, for anyone with kids with asthma or allergies, did your kid(s) take frequent antibiotics as infants/toddlers?
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replied July 26th, 2013
unexplained cough
My daughter has recently had a terrible cough with no other symptoms. She is pretty good during the day, but coughs and coughs for about 1-2 minutes non-stop accompanied by large gasps for air. The biggest spells seem to be in the evening and right when she wakes up in the morning. I am having her tested for a mild strain of whooping cough. My research has indicated that whooping cough cases are on the rise, and doctors are not diagnosing it because it hasn't been a problem since the '70"s. I don't know if this is what your kids have, but it is worth having them tested. Doctors told me that my daughters cough was due to allergies too. She's 10 and is the only one in our family that doesnt' have any allergies. I do have allergies and have only recently had any symptoms. Since it's onset it has passed from my older daughter, to my son to my younger daughter to my husband. I am pretty sure allergies aren't contageous! You might want to google the viruses B. Pertussis, and B. Parapertussis and refer to the checklist of symptoms. I am not,nor have ever been an alarmist, but this is worth checking out. Especially since your children are so young. Hope this helps!
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