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Does Asthma Cause Productive Cough

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Could your persistent cough be asthma?

You might make more mucus than normal when you have COPD. Your airways and air sacs can also stop working the right way. Thatâs because they get hurt or inflamed.

Smoking cigarettes is the most common cause. But it can happen because of air pollution, asthma, or your genes. You may hear COPD called emphysema or chronic bronchitis.

Other than a âsmokerâs cough,â there are other signs to watch for:

  • Itâs easy to run out of breath.
  • Doing something active makes you winded.
  • Your lungs whistle or squeak.
  • Your symptoms get worse with time.

Treatment can help ease your symptoms. But thereâs no cure for COPD. If you smoke, quit. You may also need to take medicine to help you breathe. Lifestyle changes might help, as well. Talk with your doctor if you think you may have COPD.

How Is Each Condition Diagnosed

Doctors can use a spirometry test to diagnose asthma.

Doctors can diagnose asthma by taking a health history and asking about a persons symptoms, such as when they become worse or better.

Doctors can then conduct breathing tests to see if someone is likely to have asthma.

Several different tests exist, but a common one is known as spirometry.

Spirometry involves a person blowing into a sensor that measures how fast and hard they are exhaling their breath.

How forcefully a person can exhale is usually reduced if they have asthma.

A doctor may consider asthma over bronchitis if someone has had a cough that goes away but keeps returning.

An exception is when a person has chronic bronchitis, often because they smoke. Asthma is also often unresponsive to cough medications.

A doctor will diagnose bronchitis by:

  • taking a medical history
  • listening to the lungs
  • considering symptoms

A doctor may also order a chest X-ray to ensure symptoms are not related to pneumonia. They may consider a further round of testing for asthma if the symptoms do not improve in 1 or 2 weeks.

What Are The Symptoms Of Asthma

Asthma also has other symptoms in common with colds and allergies, but signs that set asthma apart include:

  • A worsening cough at night, or when you are laughing or physically active.
  • Difficulty breathing.
  • Wheezing.
  • Children with asthma may experience skin tightening around their ribs as they breathe rapidly.
  • Children may also experience colds much more frequently than expected or may find that it takes much longer to recover.

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How Is Cough Evaluated

Your medical history is the first step in figuring out if your cough is related to asthma.3 Questions your health care provider may ask include:

  • Are you a current, former, or never smoker?
  • Are you taking an ACE inhibitor?
  • Are you exposed to irritating chemicals at work or at home?
  • What situations make your cough worse?

Signs that cough is asthma-related are that it is worse in the cold, while exercising, or at night. If your provider suspects that you have asthma, you may be asked to do spirometry. 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.

If it does not seem like asthma is the cause of your cough, your provider may recommend doing a chest x-ray. The chest x-ray could be used to identify injuries or stretching of the airways, abnormal masses or nodules in the lungs, pneumonia, or tuberculosis.3

Pathophysiological Diagnosis In General Clinical Settings

Why may a productive cough appear as a dry cough ...

In general clinics without specialist facilities, pathophysiological diagnosis of disorders based on specialized studies is usually not possible. In these cases, evaluation should focus on identifying common disorders and providing specific and effective treatment, using available laboratory tests to aid in the diagnosis . As shown in , post-infectious cough is not considered in chronic cough.

Figure 2.1

Pathophysiological diagnosis of common disorder associated with prolonged and chronic cough. GERD, gastro-esophageal reflux disease.

In patients with prolonged non-productive coughs, important disorders in the differential diagnosis include cough-variant asthma, atopic cough, GERD and post-infectious cough. Among these disorders, cough reflex sensitivity is normal only in cough-variant asthma. Cough reflex sensitivity testing can be more readily performed than spirometry. A normal cough reflex sensitivity test is strongly suggestive of cough-variant asthma.

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Asthmatic Chest Congestion Symptoms

Chest congestion can be an uncomfortable and especially persistent effect of asthma. You may cough up phlegm or you can feel like you need to do so, but can’t . Your breathing might be loud, with the sound of noisy mucus that seems to be coming from your nose, throat, and/or chest.

Chest congestion can also cause a number of bothersome issues including:

  • Trouble sleeping
  • Wheezing
  • Chest tightness

When you have asthma, you may also have nasal congestion or postnasal drip along with chest congestion.

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:

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Southern Cross Medical Library

The purpose of the Southern Cross Medical Library is to provide information of a general nature to help you better understand certain medical conditions. Always seek specific medical advice for treatment appropriate to you. This information is not intended to relate specifically to insurance or healthcare services provided by Southern Cross. For more articles go to the Medical Library index page.

Can You Have Asthma And Bronchitis At The Same Time

Common Causes of Chronic Coughing

People with asthma can also have acute bronchitis. They may notice their asthma symptoms become worse as a consequence. They may experience:

  • shortness of breath
  • wheezing
  • pain and discomfort when breathing

Sometimes, people with severe bronchitis and asthma may have to go to the hospital because mucus has clogged the airways into their lungs so much.

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When You Have A Dry Asthma Cough How Do You Know If It Changes Into A Dry Covid

Heres what Dr John Blakey says:

Cough can be a normal symptom in asthma and other allergic disease like allergic rhinitis . For a person to distinguish their cough from a COVID-19-type cough, they should consider a number of things:

  • Are there other symptoms ?
  • Is there breathlessness?
  • Has there been previous contact with a COVID-19 case or recently returned traveller?
  • Is the cough more persistent than normal?
  • Is there unusual sputum production with the new cough?
  • Are there worsening/unusual nasal symptoms or change in sense of smell?
  • If you experience any of these symptoms, make a telehealth appointment and/or seek medical assistance and avoid any outings to public places.

    If youre having trouble convincing others your cough is from your asthma or your sneeze is from your allergies, you can direct people to this blog.

    Which Is The Most Common Cause Of Chronic Cough

    The following causes, alone or in combination, are responsible for the majority of cases of chronic cough: Postnasal drip. Asthma. Gastroesophageal reflux disease . Infections. Blood pressure drugs. Chronic bronchitis.

    If allergies, asthma and the conditions listed above have been ruled out by your allergist, then your chronic cough may be due to other reasons like: 1 Bronchiectasis 2 Infection 3 Blood pressure medications 4 Cystic fibrosis 5 Laryngopharyngeal reflux 6 Sarcoidosis 7 Lung cancer

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    What Causes Asthma Cough: Its Symptoms Diagnosis & Treatment

    Having a cough can be a big nuisance. Not only are you hacking away the entire day, but it often leaves you feeling tired and out of breath. Constantly coughing in the office can also become a cause of embarrassment when it refuses to let up. In fact, statistics show that a cough is one of the most common reasons or complaints for which people seek medical attention. Asthma cough, also known as cough variant asthma, is a form of asthma that only presents with a cough. Due to the fact that most people associate asthma with breathing trouble, asthma cough tends to go undiagnosed many a times.

    What Are The Symptoms Of A Cold

    A Cough Cause Of The Predicament

    When youve got a mild cold, the only symptoms might be a runny nose, mild sore throat and cough, and general fatigue. If your cold is more serious, you may also have body aches, and all over pains, a fever, trouble sleeping, and your cough and sore throat may be worse.

    While some of these symptoms are the same as other conditions, you wouldnt usually experience aches and pains, or a sore throat with allergies.

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    How Pneumonia Occurs

    Pneumonia, acute bronchitis, bronchiectasis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease , and cystic fibrosis are among the other possible causes of a productive cough. GERD can also sometimes cause a chesty cough if there is severe inflammatory damage to the esophagus.

    If you have a productive cough, your doctor will want to know what the secretion looks like and how long you’ve had it. Do your best to take note of this information.

    Is It Asthma Or Copd

    If you have a chronic cough or wheeze and are often short of breath, it could be asthma. Or it could be COPD. Or both. Here’s how to find out what’s causing your symptoms.

    Asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, share many symptoms and even certain treatments, but understanding the differences between the two conditions is the key to taking control of the health of your lungs.

    COPD is an umbrella term for a group of lung diseases including chronic bronchitis and emphysema diseases that block airflow as you exhale and make it progressively harder to breathe.

    Asthma is also chronic, marked by an inflammation and narrowing of the airways. Both conditions could cause trouble breathing. So what’s the answer?

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    Productive Cough Vs Dry Coughs

    What Is a Productive Cough?

    A productive cough is a cough that results in mucus, phlegm or blood being expelled from the lungs or upper airway.

    In many cases, a productive cough develops during a common ailment such as flu, cold, sinus or respiratory infection. Whenever mucus or phlegm drains down the throat or develops in the lungs, it blocks air passage and must be removed. The body then forces you to cough, producing the foreign body and clearing the airway.

    What Is a Dry Cough?

    A nonproductive or dry cough is the result of an inflamed or irritated throat or upper airway. The body reacts by trying to clear the airway with a cough, but since there is nothing in the airway, this is often counterproductive, causing further irritation.

    A dry cough may develop as part of common disease processes such as cold, flu or sinus infection. Other common causes are:

    • External irritants: fumes, smoke, smog, allergies
    • Internal irritants: mucus, stomach acid
    • Chronic conditions: asthma, COPD or other causes like medications or lung disease.

    Can Allergies Cause A Cough

    Dry Cough vs. Rattling Cough

    Yes, and you can blame it on your immune system. When your body mistakes a substance like pollen or mold as a harmful invader, it sets off an intense response to try and flush it out, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology . During this process, your cells release histamine and other chemicals, which triggers an allergic reaction. Cue the cold-like symptoms, including a sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, sneezing, and coughing.

    Allergy coughs are typically caused by swelling or irritation of the airways, the AAAI says. And, if you develop post-nasal dripwhen the mucus hanging out in your sinuses trickles down the back of your throatthat can also cause a cough, Dr. Bassett says.

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    How To Tell If A Cough Is From A Cold Allergies Or Asthma

    Colds are very common. Most of us can expect to experience colds three or four times a year, and school-age children can get even more. Allergies are also very common, with 50 million people in America alone having them and around 8% of us experiencing seasonal allergies like hay fever. While asthma isnt as common, it is something that many people are living with.

    All three of these conditions list a cough as a primary symptom. This cough may be dry or chesty. It may be your first symptom or something that develops later on. It might come and go, or it could be a constant. Coughs range from mild, and completely manageable, to more severe. But, most coughs are easy to treat, as long as you understand the root cause. So, how do you know whether your cough is being caused by a cold, allergies, or asthma?

    Often, the best way to figure out the root cause of your cough is to take a look at your other symptoms, which may be different.

    Why Asthma Makes You Cough

    When is a cough more than just an annoying tickle in your throat? If you have a cough that won’t go away, you may have asthma. A chronic cough is one of the symptoms of asthma. For some people, a cough may be their only asthma symptom. Asthma medications can relieve your nagging cough and keep you feeling good.

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    Disorders Related To Cva

    Atopic cough as proposed by Fujimura et al. presents with bronchodilator-resistant dry cough associated with an atopic constitution. It is characterized by eosinophilic tracheobronchitis and cough hypersensitivity. However, there is absence of AHR and variable airflow obstruction. AC usually responds to ICS treatment. These features are shared by NAEB . However, AC lacks BAL eosinophilia . Unlike CVA and NAEB , AC rarely progresses to CA with wheezing . Histamine H1 antagonists are effective in AC , but their efficacy in NAEB is unknown. The involvement of airway remodeling and accelerated decline of lung funciton, which has been shown in CVA and NAEB , is unknown for AC. NAEB thus significantly overlaps with AC, but might also include milder cases of CVA with very modest AHR. The clinical and pathological features of eosinophilic airway disorders including CA are summarized in Table . The confusion, or lack of consensus, in these related entities may be affecting the etiology of chronic cough reported from various countries .

    Does Having Phlegm Mean My Asthma Is Getting Worse

    How Do I Know I Have Asthma Cough and How Do I Treat It?

    Coughing up more phlegm than usual could be a sign that your airways are inflamed. This means your airways get narrower and this can cause other asthma symptoms, like:

    • coughing
    • wheezing
    • breathlessness.

    If you have more asthma symptoms than usual, your reliever inhaler will help open up your airways. But remember, if youre using your reliever inhaler more than three times a week, you need to see your doctor.

    Taking your daily preventer inhaler as prescribed should help reduce the inflammation thats causing your asthma symptoms. Find out more about how preventer inhalers help asthma.

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    Identifying Your Asthma Triggers

  • 1Learn about common triggers. Coughing can be triggered by a variety of substances like allergens and irritants . Other common asthma triggers include:XTrustworthy SourceNational Heart, Lung, and Blood InstituteResearch and education center within the National Institutes of HealthGo to source
  • Medications: these may include aspirin, other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and nonselective beta-blockers
  • Chemicals used to preserve foods: usually the sulfites found in a number of foods and drinks
  • Upper respiratory infections: such as colds and other viral infections of the lungsXExpert Source
  • What Does The Colour Of My Phlegm Mean

    The colour of your phlegm can change when youre ill.

    If you feel unwell and youre worried because your phlegms a different colour or thickness than usual, speak to your doctor. They might look at or test a sample of your phlegm to find out more.

    Everyones phlegm looks different and it isnt a completely accurate guide to whats going on in your body. But here’s a general guide to what different colours of phlegm mean:

    White phlegm

    A bit of white or clear phlegm every now and then is completely normal.

    However, if youre producing lots ofwhite or clear phlegm, it could be a sign that your airways are inflamed and your asthma symptoms might be getting worse.

    Its worth remembering that your airways include the nose and sinuses, as well as your throat. It may be that the mucus youre coughing up has moved from your nose or sinuses to the back of your throat or chest. If you get symptoms in your nose and sinuses such as mucus, sneezing or an itchy or blocked nose speak to your GP or pharmacist about how you can treat this. Treating your nose and sinuses can improve your asthma symptoms too.

    Your preventer inhaler is the number one way to deal with this, as long as youre taking it as prescribed by your doctor or nurse.

    If youve been taking your preventer but nothings improving, see your doctor or asthma nurse. They might need to change your medication or help you manage your triggers or allergies, like hay fever.

    Yellow or green phlegm

    Streaked red phlegm

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