Friday, October 24, 2014

Saturday, October 31, 2009 webmama, Community Member, asks

Q: Does recurrent croup lead to asthma?

My 4 1/2 year old just had another quick bout with the croup. She had just one night with the barking cough. She didn't have a fever or any aches or pains. She had it last January too, but her upper respiratory infection was very bad at the time. I think she had it one time when she was 2 also. She had her first round of it when she was about 7 months old. Therefore, she seems to have had the croup a total of 4 times in her young life.


All the medical information I have read about it so far says that usually babies and toddlers get it only once. Therefore, I am wondering if she is likely to end up with asthma. One website said they can get it up to 6 years old. She seems to not have any issues with breathing when she is active at all. I wonder if she has an underlying condition which causes her to be more susceptible to the croup?

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Answers (2)
John Bottrell, Health Pro
11/ 1/09 10:32am

Croup occurs when a virus infects the upper respiratory tract and causes swelling there.  This swelling causes a noise on expiration that we call stridor.  It is also commonly associated with a harsh barky cough.  Most of the time exposure to cold air or humid air (like in a hot steamy bathroom) will ease the swelling and make breathing easier. However sometimes a visit to the ER is needed.


Asthma is a disease associated with chronic inflammation of the air passages in your lungs.  It becomes a problem occasionally when a person is exposed to his or her asthma triggers, and these triggers irritate the already inflammed air passages.  Asthma episodes are always reversible.


While coup and asthma are two unrelated respiratory ailments, recurring respiratory infections can be an early sign of asthma (but not always).  The best way to determine if your child has an underlying condition like asthma is to discuss this with your doctor. 

Linda Cooper, Community Member
12/ 2/10 2:27pm

Reading your question has brought back many fearful nights with my son who  by the way is a strong, handsome 28 year old today.  He was in the hospital every fall with croup up until the age of 6 years.  Unfortunately, yes, he then became asthmatic. The specialist who took care of him and occasionly seems him today confirmed in his case one would be connected to the other.


My son has not let anything stand in his way to become an accomplished athelete - baseball, basketball and a tournament golfer.


Good luck to you. Smile

Caroline, Community Member
12/ 8/10 10:14am

My Grandson is now 15 years old.  He had 3 bouts of croup before age 6 and the doctor told us that having 2+ bouts before school age has been a sign of future asthma.  He did become asthmatic.  He played all kinds of sports - we gave him breathing treatments before the games and always carried an albuterol inhaler in case of an emergency.  He was diagnosed with "exercise-induced asthma".  That was in Houston where the heat is high as well as the humidity.  We have since moved to Colorado where the humidity is low and the heat not as intense.  He still plays sports, even soccer, and has had only two episodes that I (his Grandmother) know of.  My daughter (his Mother) claims that the move cured his asthma.  I do not think this although I think the heat and humidity in Houston triggered it more often.  He does not take the breathing treatments or use an inhaler in Colorado.  Asthma does not mean that a child is restricted from anything - there are amazing new treatments to subdue it.  I remember the doctor preferred not to call it "asthma" because of the stigma but rather to refer to it as "airways disease".  Good luck and your child never needs to be restricted or stigmatized from having asthma.   


cmr2811, Community Member
1/ 6/11 11:23pm

My daughter had this for the first time around 8 months, they said she may grow out of it about 3 or 4 the latest 5 years old. She had it till about 11 years old. Now she is 18 and healthy. No signs of asthma.


Where I lived it had mold that we did not know about, I personally think it had something to do with it. She stopped getting croup the year we moved out. So take a look around for any mildew or mold. I know it starts with a virus, but maybe a certain kind of mildew or mold can bring it on more.

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By webmama, Community Member— Last Modified: 01/06/11, First Published: 10/31/09