What Is an Asthma Cough?
Asthma cough is one, and sometimes the only, symptom of asthma. Asthma is a chronic medical condition of the respiratory system. Asthma attacks are marked by the swelling of the lung’s air passages and increased mucous production, leading to difficulties in breathing, sometimes severe. The risks posed by the disease vary by the individual. For some, asthma is little more than a nuisance; for others, it can mean life-threatening medical emergencies.
Asthma is estimated to affect 25 million people in the United States. It can strike at any age; about seven million of those affected are children. There is currently no cure for asthma but its symptoms can be controlled with proper medical treatment and personal care.
Do I Have an Asthma Cough?
Asthma cough is one of asthma’s defining symptoms. It is often dry or unproductive, meaning that it doesn’t produce mucous from your chest cavity, a behavior known as expectoration. Asthma cough usually occurs in conjunction with the other major symptoms of asthma, as noted below. There is a version of asthma, however, called cough-variant asthma, for which persistent coughing is the only symptom.
If you’re wondering whether you have asthma, there are several common indicators. The more regular or severe the symptoms, the more serious your condition is likely to be:
- Coughing and coughing fits
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Tightness of the chest
- Wheezing sounds when breathing out
- Lack of sleep from constant coughing or breathing problems.
Asthma is sometimes worsened by specific behaviors or environments. Examples include:
- Allergy-induced asthma is triggered by contact with common allergens, such as pollen, mold, or pet dander.
- Exercise-induced asthma can be caused by any kind of sustained physical activity, especially in cold, dry wintertime air.
- Occupational asthma is linked to irritants in the workplace, including particulate matter and chemical fumes.
These symptoms are not unique to asthma. Diagnosing asthma typically involves medical testing and a physical exam in addition to documenting the presence of symptoms.
How Do I Treat Asthma Cough?
Asthma is controlled rather than cured. Developed in partnership with your physician, a successful asthma action plan will:
- reduce or eliminate major symptoms, including asthma cough
- strengthen lung function
- lessen the need for quick-relief medications
- let you undertake normal daily activities
- prevent serious asthma attacks and emergency-room visits.
Identifying and avoiding asthma triggers is critical in asthma treatment. Also important are the medications selected by your physician for both long-term control of your condition and quick relief when symptoms flare up.
Learn More About Asthma Cough from Baptist Health
Asthma is a serious medical condition that requires an equally serious effort at control. If you develop asthma-like symptoms, including a persistent dry cough, take the first step by seeing your Baptist Health medical network physician.
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