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

Answered by
Dr. Faisal Abdul Karim Malim
and medically reviewed by Dr. Hemalatha
This is a premium question & answer published on Feb 21, 2023

Hello doctor,

My son is five years old. He has had a wheezing problem for two 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 did not have an allergy. The primary complex test (Mantoux test) proved positive, but the doctor also looked at the chest X-ray and enquired about the family history. There were no smokers, and all were vegetarians and non-alcoholics in the family. So she asked us to wait. No medicines were given.

Did my son inherit this from his father's family? Will his wheezing also subside after a particular age? He gets a 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, which happens when he skips breakfast or eats breakfast late. Also, he does not pant for breath during wheezing 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?



Welcome to

I thoroughly read your query and understand your concern.

Yes, your son may have inherited it from his 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 eight. Even if it has not been inherited, this issue usually disappears by the age of 8 to a maximum of 10 to 12 years. The issue and its frequency of occurrence go on reducing with age, and it eventually disappears. The issue may persist into adulthood in very few cases (1 % cases).

The condition is not curable, but it is controllable with medications till the time it goes away with age. I would suggest he use an Asthalin (Salbutamol) inhaler and the Foracort 200 (Formoterol and Budesonide) inhaler during such severe episodes. Asthalin inhaler is to be used as Asthalin 100 mcg one puff four times a day for three to five 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 emergency basis. As far as the reflux is concerned, I would suggest you get it diagnosed by imaging, and as per the grade, we can start medications like Lanzol (Lansoprazole) 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 of kids out there, out of which most of them get rid of the condition by five to six years.

So do not worry.

I hope this has addressed your concern.

Kind regards.

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