What Causes An Asthma Cough
An asthma cough still remains a condition, which is not completely understood. Therefore, its causes are also unclear. However, it seems like an asthma cough develops mostly after the following instances:
- Exposure or breathing in cold air
- Regular exposure to allergens and pollutants
- Any upper respiratory tract infection, particularly sinusitis
- Regular intake of aspirin
- Consuming beta blockers for treating heart disease, heart failure, migraines, palpitations, high blood pressure, and other medical conditions
You need to be aware that beta blockers are also found in some eye drops that are used for treating certain eye problems like glaucoma. Regularly using these eye drops can also trigger an asthma cough.
In fact, allergies have been proven to have a clear connection with asthma. Many studies have shown that nearly 85% of all patients with asthma tend to have some form of nasal allergies. There seems to an immunological link associated with an asthma cough as well because of the fact that allergies are a resultant of our immune system causing an overreaction to an allergen that generally will not cause any reaction.
While anyone can get cough variant asthma at any time in their lives, it is usually more common in children who already have childhood asthma.Certain people, though, are at a higher risk for developing an asthma cough. Some of these risk factors that doctors assess and take into consideration before making a diagnosis of cough variant asthma include:
Allergic Asthma: Symptoms And Treatment
Ashley A. Sullivan, MSN FNPStudent, Samuel Merritt University, Oakland, CaRN, California Pacific Medical Center
Natalya M. Kushnir, MDDirector, Allergy and immunology Clinic of East BayBerkeley, CA
H. Henry Li, MD, PhDFAAAAI, FACAAIInstitute for Asthma and AllergyWheaton and Chevy Chase Maryland
Michael A. Kaliner, MD FAAAAIMedical Director, Institute for Asthma and AllergyChevy Chase and Wheaton, MarylandProfessor of Medicine, George Washington University School of MedicineWashington DC
Asthma Symptoms In Children
- Coughing, especially at night
- A wheezing or whistling sound when breathing, especially when exhaling
- Trouble breathing or fast breathing that causes the skin around the ribs or neck to pull in tightly
- Frequent colds that settle in the chest
This page was reviewed for accuracy 4/17/2018.
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Breathing And Causes Of Asthma
How much do asthmatics breathe?
All available medical research suggests that asthmatics are chronic hyperventilators. Let us review these studies since they explain the key cause of asthma. You can click on the graph to see all references and follow the links to read abstracts of all these 5 studies.
Surprising Signs Of Adult
This post is available in: Spanish
That persistent cough that keeps you up at night may stem from more than just a tickle in the back of your throat. It could be adult-onset asthma.
Many people experience a jolt of disbelief when they are diagnosed with asthma later in life, especially if they have never experienced symptoms before. Asthma? That condition that causes kids to wheeze?
It turns out adult-onset asthma is far more common than many people realize. Asthma is often considered a disease of children, so adults may be surprised when they are diagnosed with asthma, says pulmonologist Javier Pérez-Fernández, M.D., the critical care director at Baptist Hospital of Miami.
The number of people with asthma grows every year. Currently, more than 26 million Americans have asthma, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Of those cases, more than 20 million are among adults, with the greatest number of cases among ages 35 and 65.
Asthma is a chronic inflammation of the lung airways that can lead to coughing, chest tightness, shortness of breath or wheezing. Among adults who develop asthma later in life, the symptoms may initially be more subtle than in children, which can cause patients to overlook or ignore the condition. But its important to treat symptoms as soon as possible so they dont become severe, said Dr. Pérez-Fernández, who also serves as director of pulmonology for West Kendall Baptist Hospital.
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Know The Early Symptoms Of Asthma
Early warning signs are changes that happen just before or at the very beginning of an asthma attack. These signs may start before the well-known symptoms of asthma and are the earliest signs that your asthma is worsening.
In general, these signs are not severe enough to stop you from going about your daily activities. But by recognizing these signs, you can stop an asthma attack or prevent one from getting worse. Early warning signs of an asthma attack include:
- Frequent cough, especially at night
- Losing your breath easily or shortness of breath
- Feeling very tired or weak when exercising
If you have these warning signs, adjust your medication, as described in your asthma action plan.
How Common Is Chest Tightness In People With Asthma
In the emergency department survey of people with asthma, 91% reported feeling chest tightness.3 Chest pain was less common. It occurred in about 76% of people.
Asthma-related chest tightness often occurs during exercise or at night.2 If your history and physical exam suggest that you have asthma, your provider may ask you to do spirometry to confirm the diagnosis. Spirometry is an important lung function test to evaluate how much and how quickly you can exhale air. The test is usually done before and after taking a medication that opens the airways . Asthma is likely if medications are able to open the airways.
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What Are The Signs Of A Severe Asthma Attack
Asthma may lead to a medical emergency.
Rescue inhalers can help you: otc inhalers
Seek medical help immediately for:
- Fast breathing with chest retractions
- Cyanosis which is tissue color changes on mucus membranes and fingertips or nail beds – the color appears grayish or whitish on darker skin tones and bluish on lighter skin tones
- Rapid movement of nostrils
- Ribs or stomach moving in and out deeply and rapidly
- Expanded chest that does not deflate when you exhale
- Infants with asthma who fail to respond to or recognize parents
Know The Symptoms Of An Asthma Attack
An asthma attack is the episode in which bands of muscle surrounding the airways are triggered to tighten. This tightening is called bronchospasm. During the attack, the lining of the airways becomes swollen or inflamed and the cells lining the airways produce more and thicker mucus than normal.
All of these factors — bronchospasm, inflammation, and mucus production — cause symptoms such as difficulty breathing, wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath, and difficulty performing normal daily activities. Other symptoms of an asthma attack include:
- Severe wheezing when breathing both in and out
- Coughing that won’t stop
- Feelings of anxiety or panic
- Pale, sweaty face
- Blue lips or fingernails
The severity of an asthma attack can escalate rapidly, so it’s important to treat these asthma symptoms immediately once you recognize them.
Without immediate treatment, such as with your asthma inhaler or bronchodilator, your breathing will become more labored. If you use a peak flow meter at this time, the reading will probably be less than 50%. Many asthma action plans suggest interventions starting at 80% of normal.
As your lungs continue to tighten, you will be unable to use the peak flow meter at all. Gradually, your lungs will tighten so there is not enough air movement to produce wheezing. You need to be transported to a hospital immediately. Unfortunately, some people interpret the disappearance of wheezing as a sign of improvement and fail to get prompt emergency care.
Signs You Actually Have Severe Asthma
Breathing is just one of those things you take for granted until it feels like every inhale or exhale is a struggle. Unfortunately, people with severe asthma have to deal with breathing issues way more often than anyone should, and it can be completely terrifying.
Asthma is a respiratory condition that affects the airways that extend from your nose and mouth to your lungs, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute . When youre exposed to triggers like animal fur, pollen, mold, exercise, and respiratory infections, these airways can narrow, restricting your airflow. This can then make the muscles surrounding your airways constrict, making it even harder to breathe, and cause your airways to produce more mucus than normal, further compounding the problem. All together, this can lead to asthma symptoms like shortness of breath, coughing, wheezing , and chest tightness or pain, according to the NHLBI.
Like most health conditions, asthma severity runs along a spectrum, Emily Pennington, M.D., a pulmonologist at the Cleveland Clinic, tells SELF. Some people have cases where they experience minor symptoms here and there . Others can have asthma that is basically an ever-present problem and might result in scary asthma attacks, which is when symptoms ramp up in severity and can even become life-threatening.
How Is Asthma Treated
Take your medicine exactly as your doctor tells you and stay away from things that can trigger an attack to control your asthma.
Everyone with asthma does not take the same medicine.
You can breathe in some medicines and take other medicines as a pill. Asthma medicines come in two typesquick-relief and long-term control. Quick-relief medicines control the symptoms of an asthma attack. If you need to use your quick-relief medicines more and more, visit your doctor to see if you need a different medicine. Long-term control medicines help you have fewer and milder attacks, but they dont help you while you are having an asthma attack.
Asthma medicines can have side effects, but most side effects are mild and soon go away. Ask your doctor about the side effects of your medicines.
Remember you can control your asthma. With your doctors help, make your own asthma action plan. Decide who should have a copy of your plan and where he or she should keep it. Take your long-term control medicine even when you dont have symptoms.
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What Should I Do If I Think I Have Asthma
If you suspect you might have asthma, you should see your doctor for a professional diagnosis. Dont ignore it if you do have asthma, the sooner you get it under control, the faster you can get back to living a full and active life. For more information on how Asthma Australia is helping people with asthma to breathe so they can live freely, visit About Us.
What Is Good Asthma Care
Your doctor or nurse will tailor your asthma treatment to your symptoms. Sometimes you may need to be on higher levels of medication than at others.
You should be offered:
- care at your GP surgery provided by doctors and nurses trained in asthma management
- full information about your condition and how to control it
- involvement in making decisions about your treatment
- regular checks to ensure your asthma is under control and your treatment is right for you
- a written personal asthma action plan agreed with your doctor or nurse
It is also important that your GP or pharmacist teaches you how to properly use your inhaler, as this is an important part of good asthma care.
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What Are The Symptoms Of An Asthma Cough
Cough variant asthma or an asthma cough is usually known to have no other symptom apart from a chronic dry and nonproductive cough. A nonproductive cough means that it does not produce any mucus. Lasting for more than 8 to 10 weeks in adults and more than 5 weeks in children, an asthma cough is not considered to be a serious condition on its own. However, a chronic cough is irritating and disrupts your daily life.
Sometimes, to understand whether or not your cough is happening due to asthma, doctors may assess if you have any of these related symptoms:
- Trouble exercising
- Wheezing and chest tightness
Keep in mind that it is necessary to treat an asthma cough properly and in time because if it is left untreated and ignored, then it may progress into regular asthma. If you notice the following symptoms, your asthma cough might well be developing into classic asthma:
- Tightness feeling in the chest
- Difficulty in breathing followed by shortness of breath
- Asthma attacks when you feel that the air is not able to reach your lungs due to the narrowing of the airways
When To See The Doctor For Chest Pain
When in doubt, call your doctor about any chest pain you have, especially if it comes on suddenly or is not relieved by anti-inflammatory medications or other self-care steps, such as changing your diet.
- A sudden feeling of pressure, squeezing, tightness, or crushing under your breastbone
- Chest pain that spreads to your jaw, left arm, or back
- Sudden, sharp chest pain with shortness of breath, especially after a long period of inactivity
- Nausea, dizziness, rapid heart rate or rapid breathing, confusion, ashen color, or excessive sweating
- Very low blood pressure or very low heart rate
- Fever, chills, or coughing up yellow-green mucus
- Problems swallowing
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What Is An Asthma Attack
An asthma attack may include coughing, chest tightness, wheezing, and trouble breathing. The attack happens in your bodys airways, which are the paths that carry air to your lungs. As the air moves through your lungs, the airways become smaller, like the branches of a tree are smaller than the tree trunk. During an asthma attack, the sides of the airways in your lungs swell and the airways shrink. Less air gets in and out of your lungs, and mucous that your body makes clogs up the airways.
You can control your asthma by knowing the warning signs of an asthma attack, staying away from things that cause an attack, and following your doctors advice. When you control your asthma:
- you wont have symptoms such as wheezing or coughing,
- youll sleep better,
- you wont miss work or school,
- you can take part in all physical activities, and
- you wont have to go to the hospital.
How Do Healthcare Providers Diagnose Asthma
Your healthcare provider will review your medical history, including information about your parents and siblings. Your provider will also ask you about your symptoms. Your provider will need to know any history of allergies, eczema and other lung diseases.
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What Are Common Asthma Attack Triggers
An asthma attack happens when someone comes in contact with substances that irritate them. Healthcare providers call these substances triggers. Knowing what triggers your asthma makes it easier to avoid asthma attacks.
For some people, a trigger can bring on an attack right away. Sometimes, an attack may start hours or days later.
Triggers can be different for each person. But some common triggers include:
- Air pollution: Many things outside can cause an asthma attack. Air pollution includes factory emissions, car exhaust, wildfire smoke and more.
- Dust mites: You cant see these bugs, but they are in many homes. If you have a dust mite allergy, they can cause an asthma attack.
- Exercise: For some people, exercising can cause an attack.
- Mold: Damp places can spawn mold. It can cause problems for people with asthma. You dont even have to be allergic to mold to have an attack.
- Pests: Cockroaches, mice and other household pests can cause asthma attacks.
- Pets: Your pets can cause asthma attacks. If youre allergic to pet dander , breathing in the dander can irritate your airways.
- Tobacco smoke: If you or someone in your home smokes, you have a higher risk of developing asthma. The best solution is to quit smoking.
- Strong chemicals or smells.
With asthma, you may not have all of these symptoms. You may have different signs at different times. And symptoms can change between asthma attacks.
Allergies And Bronchial Asthma
How do asthma and asthma attacks develop?
Low CO2 values in the bronchi cause chronic constriction of airways . In addition to this direct effect, chronic hyperventilation makes immune reactions abnormal. The immune system becomes too sensitive in relation to intruders from outside , but weakens the responses to various pathogens, like viruses and bacteria.
The immune system becomes hypersensitive and seemingly innocent events like breathing cold air or inhaling dust particles can trigger an inflammatory response in asthmatics, excessive production of mucus, a sense of anxiety or panic, more hyperventilation, and further constrictions of airways.
Similar effects take place during physical exercise causing sports induced asthma.
As a result, mucus makes air passages narrower creating a feeling of suffocation and causing asthma attacks. During an attack, an asthmatic may try to clear the mucus by coughing it out, but that further reduces CO2 concentrations in the lungs and makes air passages narrower. The smart solution to these problems is to do the opposite. How?
This YouTube video provides an overview of problems related to asthma.
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How Does Stress Affect The Chest Organs
Stress causes a wide range of effects of the body, from stimulating the central nervous system to increasing the secretion of hormones like adrenaline and cortisol. While adrenaline is responsible for a short term effects, it is cortisol that lasts for long periods. Cortisol accounts for most of the dire medical implications associated with prolonged stress.
With regards to the chest, the stress response may initiate one or more of the following :
- Increased heart rate.
Read more on cardiac and non-cardiac chest pain.