I'd love to ask you some questions since I feel like I'm kind of a
beginner in this whole thing...like at what point do I take him to a
pulmonologist vs. the regular ped? When and how does he get officially diagnosed
with asthma? What about allergy testing--when is it recommended? I never feel
confident in deciding whether or not to neb...how do you decide? Stuff like
So here's answer #1 -- Take your child to the pulmonologist as soon as you suspect your child is asthmatic. Assuming you have insurance coverage and a pediatic pulmo nearby, GO. Many pediatricians -- even the fantastic ones -- miss the subtleties of peds. asthma. Go to a PP or an Asthma/Allergy specialist as soon as you every think you should.
Answer #2 -- Children often keep the "Reactive Airways" diagnosis until age 5. Asthma is a type of RAD, but doctors seem to be skittish about making the hard diagnosis. I'm not sure why. My PP diagnosed B with asthma at age 2, but other specialists still insist on referring to his condition as "Reactive Airways," even when I correct them. I mean, JEEZ, I think my pediatric pulmonologist may have been qualified to make the diagnosis.
Answer #3 -- With the allergy testing...our PP sent all three of my kids out for blood panels at their first appointments with her. Now that B is 5, he's going to an allergist for more in-depth testing. So it may be another "age 5" thing.
Answer #4 -- As far as nebbing, always call your doctor first...but we prefer to err on the side of caution. When in doubt, neb. At first sign of a cold, neb. Think you hear a wheeze? NEB.
See a pattern?
Bottom line...get a pediatric pulmonologist on your team. It all falls into place from there.
Hope this helps, Miss D!