As in the case of “classical” or “typical” asthma, it is not precisely known what causes the symptoms of cough asthma. However, the cough may begin after close contact with allergens or after walking in cold air. Coughing can also accompany upper respiratory tract diseases. For example, asthmatics very often suffer from sinusitis.
In addition, a cough that begins after taking beta-blockers may relate to cough asthma. Beta-blockers – medications that are used to treat high blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases, heart failure, migraine, heart palpitations, and other diseases. Eye drops can cause asthma symptoms, particularly coughing. Sensitivity to aspirin or similar medications may also exacerbate cough asthma.
How is cough asthma diagnosed?
Cough asthma is a type of asthma that is poorly diagnosed, as coughing may be the only symptom in this case, and therefore coughing may be a sign of, for example, bronchitis or postnasal leakage.
An examination includes studying your medical history, examining and listening to your lungs. But, most often, people with cough asthma have all the physical indicators of the body, an x-ray of the lungs, and the results of spirometry are normal. Spirometry is a test during which the maximum air volume is measured during a deep breath and the time it takes for all the air to come out of the lungs. For this test, a special device is used – a spirometer.
A methacholine loading test reveals asthma, but special equipment is required for this study. This test is used only if the symptoms and results of spirometry cannot confirm the presence of asthma. If asthma is present, then inhaling, methacholine will cause a spasm and constriction of the airways. During this test, you inhale an ever-increasing amount of methacholine via aerosol before and after spirometry. The test result is considered positive (i.e. asthma does exist) if the lung capacity drops to 20%. At the end of testing, it is imperative to take a bronchodilator (a drug that expands the airways) to neutralize the effect of methacholine.
Another way to diagnose cough asthma is treatment. The doctor may choose a standard set of medicines for asthma. If they help to cope with coughing, then you can make a diagnosis of cough asthma.
Cough asthma is a type of asthma in which the main symptom is a dry, sputum-free cough. (A cough without sputum does not relieve mucus that has accumulated in the respiratory tract.) People who suffer from coughing asthma usually do not have “classic” symptoms of asthma, such as wheezing or shortness of breath.
Cough asthma is sometimes called chronic cough, which can last from six to eight weeks. Coughing attacks can occur both day and night. If you have nighttime asthma, it may interfere with sleep. It happens that people with cough asthma complain that cough increases during exercise, – stress asthma. Coughing can also be aggravated by close contact with asthma or allergy-causing substances, such as dust or strong odors, or when walking in cold air.
Who has cough asthma?
Absolutely anyone can get cough asthma at any time, but still it is more common in children with childhood asthma. Cough asthma can lead to the development of “classic” asthma, including symptoms such as shortness of breath and wheezing.
How to cough asthma?
Cough asthma is treated as well as the usual form of asthma. The doctor may prescribe an inhaler with albuterol, ipratropium and / or inhaled steroids (anti-inflammatory drugs).
A noticeable improvement in the condition of the body will be noticeable in six to eight weeks.