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Can allergies cause bronchitis?

I am wondering if anyone has any knowledge base on this issue. Last week, my son (2.5) started up with allergy symptoms for the first time ever -- runny nose, water eyes, itchy eyes, and some swelling in his eyes. We'd been giving him Benadryl for the symptoms.

On Saturday morning, he woke up with breathing difficulty. I took him to the ER. He was given a breathing treatment and I was told he had bronchospasms (basically an asthma attack for someone who does not have asthma). They gave us an inhalor and sent us home with instructions to see our pediatrician on Monday.

So on Monday morning, I took him back to the doctor. Then he was diagnosed with bronchitis. We were given antibiotics for him and sent home again. He'd been on the antibiotics for two days when he suddenly had MAJOR swelling in his eyes. The pharmacist told us to stop taking the medication and to see the doctor in case it was related to this antibiotic he had never taken.

We went to the doctor AGAIN today, and she said it was not from the medicine and said it is just plain allergies. Because he is struggling with the allergies so much, I am starting to wonder about the series of symptoms. I am wondering if the allergies could have caused the bronchitis and asthma symptoms? And part of me is wondering if it is bronchitis at all -- or is it just allergies and asthma? What I've read has shown that colds cause bronchitis, but I can't find anything about allergies causing it...

I'm just trying to figure out what is going on with him. As a person with asthma, the thought of him having breathing problems really scares me and I just want to know what I am dealing with. I don't feel like the doctors really know and we don't have an appointment for allergy testing until May 3rd...



Asked by MomX3ThatsMe at 7:41 PM on Apr. 20, 2011 in Kids' Health

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Answers (4)
  • Allergies run in my family and my son and I both have asthma. If a person easily gets bronchitis, then you have to be careful and not let the drainage from the allergies get into the lungs. I make certain to always give (and take) medicine that dries up the drainage instead of loosen it. Benadryl actually dries up instead of loosens, but if his allergies were bad enough the allergies could drain into the chest anyway. The drainage irritates the lungs and could end up with breathing problems and eventually bronchitis. When he takes a nap maybe you can prop him up a little. This helps some. Also a cool or warm mist helps too. We keep air purifiers in the house too. They help a lot. Once they determine his allergies, they will give you lots of instructions.

    Answer by suzhawkfan at 8:12 PM on Apr. 20, 2011

  • I am sure it can. I have allergies and asthma. The allergies aggravate the asthma symptoms. Also, if I get a cold it can easily turn into bronchitis.

    Answer by tyfry7496 at 10:41 PM on Apr. 20, 2011

  • I was just reading an article in Ladies Home Journal about allergies! It said that seasonal allergies can cause a plethora of worse things - including bronchitis, pneumonia, sinus infections, and various other upper resperitory issues. A good allergy med should do him wonders - talk to the doc about that!

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:10 AM on Apr. 21, 2011

  • No, acute bronchitis is usually caused by a virus. Having allergies might exacerbate the condition but it is not the cause.

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:39 PM on Apr. 22, 2011

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