Does Recurrent Croup Lead To Asthma?

Question

Asked by webmama

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?

Answer

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.