Question: My 3+ year old girl had mild bronchitis when she was about 5 months old. Recently, she keeps coughing and sneezing. The General Practitioner (GP) told me that she’s wheezing. Now she is fine after medication. May I know if she will encounter the same thing in future? How can she fully recover from it? What can I do to avoid such episodes in the future?
Answer: Your 3 year old probably had an Acute Viral Bronchiolitis when he was 5 months old. Risk of recurrent wheezing episodes depends on what the cause of the recent episode is. If it is due to infection e.g. Viral Bronchitis, which can cause cough, sneeze and wheeze, she may get another episode in future related to a new infection. If the recent episode is related to allergy i.e. due to an acute exacerbation of bronchial asthma triggered by a viral respiratory tract infection, then the chance of her having recurrent wheezing is much higher. Recovery from each episode of infectious bronchitis is usually complete, and prevention of most respiratory tract infections includes i.e. good nutrition, enough sleep, keeping good health habits e.g. frequent hand washing and wearing of face masks when in close contact with someone who is sick. For Bronchial Asthma, depending on severity, prevention of future attacks may require use of controller medications and also management of triggers if any.
Dr Jenny Tang
Paediatrician, Sub-specialty in Respiratory, Sleep & Allergy Medicine
SBCC Baby & Child Clinic, Asthma, Lung, Sleep & Allergy Centre
6 Napier Road
#07-05 Gleneagles Medical Centre
Tel: 6475 0820/ 6397 6966 (Hotline)