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Friday, May 16, 2008

Habit Cough?

Today we went to the allergy dr for a 2 month check up for ds-12 and a follow-up appt for ds-9, the dr is referring ds-9 to an ENT for x-rays and a check up to make sure that he doesn't have something else going on, then he will be sending him to a speech therapist for bio feedback......for a "HABIT COUGH", never heard of it but its some sort if tick , and it just gets worse. He has had this cough now for 3 weeks and it's continuous and driving us all crazy!!!
On the lighter note ds-12 is doing great and it rained today so hopefully it will wash some of the pollen away.....below is a description of a "Habit Cough"....


A habit cough is a cough that occurs in the absence of any underlying disease. It is very common, affecting boys and girls equally. Habit cough most frequently affects school age children, usually those in later primary school or early high school.

A habit cough is usually loud, harsh, honking or barking. It may follow a viral illness, but can go on for weeks, months or even, in extreme cases, years.

It can occur many times in a minute, and often becomes more severe when other people are around and if the cough is the subject of the conversation. Even though the habit cough can sound ferocious, the child is usually quite comfortable between coughing bouts. Classically, a habit cough only occurs when the child is awake. It does not occur during sleep.

Habit cough is not associated with shortness of breath or wheeze. If these symptoms develop, it is more likely the cough relates to an underlying disease.

Your doctor can diagnose habit cough by confirming the presence of the above-mentioned features and excluding any underlying medical conditions that could be causing the problem. This will require a physical examination, and possibly also lung function tests, a blood test and a chest X-ray.

Firstly, it is important to recognise that despite the disruptive nature of the cough, and its harsh sound, habit cough is not a dangerous condition, and your child in fact is healthy. Sometimes the simple reassurance that the cough is not serious and will go away helps resolve the symptoms.

The use of cough lollies or a sip of water can also help suppress the urge to cough. It is important to give positive reinforcement in the form of praise and positive comments when there is any evidence that the cough is diminishing.

Habit cough is generally a manifestation of a perceived stress or anxiety. Your child might be able to isolate this stress by identifying situations in which the cough gets worse. For example, bullying in the schoolyard and travelling to and from school is a common trigger of habit cough.

If your child is not improving, your doctor may suggest referral to a child psychologist or similar health professional.

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