Q. What causes frequent wheezing without any allergy in a baby?

Answered by Dr. Faisal Abdul Karim Malim and medically reviewed by Dr. Hema


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Hello doctor,

My son is 5 years old. He has a wheezing problem from one and a half years. Recently, a pediatric pulmonologist diagnosed his condition as reactive airway disease. Currently, my son is taking Foracort 200 one puff in the morning and one puff at night. My husband and his brother both had a wheezing problem when they were children. However, wheezing disappeared after they reached eight years.

The allergy test was done and the doctor said my son does not have an allergy. Primary complex test (Mantoux test) proved positive but the doctor also looked at the chest X-ray and enquired about family history (no smokers, vegetarians, non-alcoholic). So she asked us to wait. No medicines were given.

Did my son inherit this from his dad side? Will his wheezing also subside after a particular age? He gets wheezing problem once a month or once in two months which settles only after nebulization even when he is on Foracort. As of now, I successfully identified one trigger that causes wheezing which is acid reflux that happens when he skips breakfast or eats late breakfast. Also, he does not pant for breath during wheeze but coughs a lot. Is this condition curable? He also gets wheezing whenever he has a throat infection. Why does he get frequent wheezing even when he has no allergy? Does he have asthma?

Related Questions:
What causes frequent sneezing, wheezing and cough during cold climate?
Kindly advise how to control wheezing and shortness of breath while having cold.
Why am I having cough with wheezing and sneezing?

Dr. Faisal Abdul Karim Malim
Child Health, Paediatrics


Welcome to icliniq.com.

Yes, your son may have inherited it from the father. Considering that the wheezing may have been inherited from the father, it should follow the same course and should go away by the age of 8 years. Even if it has not been inherited, usually this issue disappears by the age of 8 years to a maximum of 10 to 12 years. The issue and its frequency of occurrence goes on reducing with age and it eventually disappears. In a very few cases (1 % cases) the issue may persist into adulthood.

The condition is not curable but it is controllable with medications till the time it goes away with age. I would advise you to use an Asthalin inhaler during such severe episodes along with the Foracort inhaler. Asthalin inhaler is to be used as Asthalin 100 mcg one puff four times a day for 3 to 5 days following a severe attack. After that you can continue the Foracort and stop the Asthalin. You can obviously use a nebulizer along with it on an SOS basis.

As far as the reflux is concerned I would advise you to get it diagnosed by imaging and as per the grade, we can start medications like Lanzol 30 mg once a day before food to reduce such episodes. Please do not be depressed about this condition. It happens to 20 to 30 percent kids out there out of which most of them get rid of the condition by 5 to 6 years. So do not worry. Be happy.

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