Asthma or acid reflux?

ORLANDO, Fla. – If your child has asthma, you're probably familiar with the coughing, wheezing, chest pain and shortness of breath. 

The American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology has created a guideline that helps doctors understand which treatments belong with different age groups, and how parents can set up new therapies if the old ones aren't working. 

But some doctors are realizing that children's asthma symptoms may be something else entirely.

"Reflux is the great masquerader of our time, and it affects millions and millions of children," said Dr. Jamie Koufman, of the Mt. Sinai Medical System.  

Koufman said the junk food given to kids at night can make acid reflux look like asthma or allergies.  

"If your child always has respiratory symptoms, be it ear symptoms, nose symptoms, cough symptoms, breathing symptoms, allergy symptoms, sinus symptoms, asthma and they're not getting better, and it goes on and on and on, think respiratory reflux," Koufman said.

Acid reflux symptoms do not always include heartburn. Chronic dry cough or difficulty swallowing are other symptoms. 

Talk to your doctor if you have any concerns.