In ordinary life, a cough is a physiological reaction that protects the body from the ingress of pathogenic microflora and foreign substances. However, it is asthmatic cough that does not perform this function; it is a symptom of a very serious illness.
Many patients, not knowing how to treat this pathology, try to approach the problem as if they had a common cold. However, other treatment regimens are required to treat asthma-related cough.
Cough as a symptom of asthma
Asthmatic cough is an alarming signal for the development of a severe form of pathology. Most often it manifests itself in bronchial asthma, allergic reactions or bronchitis (obstructive or asthmatic).
Also, a similar symptom appears with all sorts of pathologies of the cardiovascular system. That is why a cough is not enough for a doctor to diagnose bronchial asthma and initiate appropriate treatment.
Other symptoms are required, such as choking or shortness of breath.
What is the cause of asthmatic type cough
Many patients with bronchial asthma do not understand which cough is caused by their underlying disease, and which is associated with infectious processes in the bronchi. It is important to understand what mechanisms cause this particular pathology.
A cough develops in asthma due to damage to the mucous membrane and muscle tissue of the respiratory tract. Most often, this process is triggered by an allergic reaction.
As a result of exposure to an irritant (allergen), an appropriate reaction of the body develops. First of all, there is an active release of histamine. And he already triggers a whole complex of pathological reactions that cause a sharp deterioration in the condition.
When histamine is released, the following reactions occur:
- Increases vascular permeability and, as a result, fluid accumulation and tissue edema. In bronchial asthma, all these processes can be observed in the bronchi.
- The airway lumen decreases due to an increase in the thickness of the bronchial tissues. The patient’s breathing becomes difficult, the flow of air into the lungs worsens.
- Muscle spasm. This causes additional narrowing of the lumen in the bronchi.
In addition, an inflammatory process begins to develop in the bronchi, due to which the receptors are irritated. And since the problem with oxygen supply has not been resolved, the situation is getting worse.
Another factor that worsens the condition is the production of thick phlegm that clogs the bronchi. The stronger the allergic reaction, the worse the general health of the patient.
Cough variant of bronchial asthma
In the case of an atypical course of bronchial asthma, the development of a cough form is possible. In this case, the patient does not have any other symptoms besides cough.
This is the rarest type of pathology. Most often it occurs in childhood, but there are registered cases in adult patients. The main danger of this form is the difficulty of diagnosis.
Signs of pathology differ depending on the severity of asthma development. Most often, the patient complains of prolonged unproductive coughing fits.
After this, pain in the bronchi may be felt. Sputum discharge is absent or insignificant. This condition can last for several months.
Such attacks are especially difficult for children. Attacks occur at night, during the day there are no symptoms. The most striking symptoms are observed in children attending preschool educational institutions.
Characteristic features of asthma cough
It is important to clearly understand which cough that develops in bronchial asthma is allergic, and which one appeared as a result of any infection entering the body. Treatment is prescribed depending on its origin.
In bronchial asthma, under the influence of an irritant, a pathological narrowing of the bronchial lumen occurs. A cough is an unconditioned reflex associated with difficulty breathing.
The muscle contraction causes an intense flow of air through the airways, thus clearing them. The provoking factors can be: dust, pollen, pet hair, mold and much more.
It is useless to treat such a pathology with asthma with conventional drugs.
Analyzing what cough is characteristic of asthma, it is important to pay attention to the fact that coughing is almost always absent, there is no sputum. With it, there is no increase in body temperature.
In addition to the main symptom, which is a dry cough, asthma is characterized by a number of accompanying recurrent symptoms:
- a feeling of heaviness in the chest;
- in the supine position, the main symptoms increase significantly;
- shortness of breath without asthma attacks;
- in the evening, the symptoms increase;
- sore throat and discomfort;
- nasal congestion;
- arrhythmia is possible.
Most often, the problem in most cases occurs several times a year, during the period when the allergen appears.
The difference between asthma and other diseases by the nature of the cough
Even an experienced pulmonologist is not always able to distinguish an asthma cough from ordinary bronchitis. A whole complex of signs of asthmatic cough is evaluated, on the basis of which a diagnosis is made and treatment is prescribed.
There are a number of main differences between asthma cough and other types of cough:
- Shortness of breath. This is one of the main symptoms of AD. With bronchitis, shortness of breath occurs only if complications develop.
- Type of cough. With bronchial asthma, there is a dry cough. With bronchitis, it is possible to alternate dry and cough with phlegm.
- Bronchitis is characterized by a periodic increase in body temperature; this symptom is not typical for BA.
- Sputum with bronchitis is purulent-mucous, yellow-green in color. In asthma, a slight discharge of clear exudate can be observed.
- With bronchitis, the disease is predictably stable. Asthma is characterized by the presence of attacks.
- Asthma cough is most commonly associated with allergies. It occurs when an allergen enters the body. The root cause of bronchitis is most often hypothermia or infection.
Despite a significant number of characteristic signs, the correct diagnosis can only be made by a doctor after an appropriate examination.
Asthma cough in a child
Most often, asthma manifests itself precisely in childhood. At the same time, it is much more difficult to correctly diagnose a cough in bronchial asthma in children than in an adult.
Naturally, every mother, hearing a cough in a child, begins to worry, wondering what is the nature of the pathology that has arisen: allergic or infectious.
Most often, bronchial asthma manifests itself in children after three years. But there are cases of the disease in early infancy.
This is due to the small volume of the lungs, as well as the childishly narrow lumens of the bronchi. Due to the resulting edema and the accumulation of sputum, their patency deteriorates.
The main signs of asthma in a child include:
- under the age of 6 months, there may be problems with the gastrointestinal tract;
- irritability, poor appetite, and sleep;
- worsening at night;
If the child is often tormented by coughing, this is an alarming signal. You should contact a specialist for further examination.
There are a number of characteristic signs that can be used to diagnose the disease.
The most striking feature is the patient’s breathing – short inhalation and difficult exhalation. In this case, exhalation is accompanied by a lifting of the chest.
When coughing, there is a slight secretion of clear sputum. To exclude infection and detect AD, it is required:
- donate sputum for research;
- undergo allergy tests;
- to investigate the function of external respiration.
Correct diagnosis is essential for effective treatment of the disease.
Treatment of coughing attacks in bronchial asthma follows the same algorithm as for the underlying disease.
There are several methods:
- Symptomatic. Includes bronchodilators and antitussive drugs. It is aimed primarily at suppressing the symptoms of the disease. It is often used to relieve seizures to relieve bronchospasm. Prescription of drugs in this case depends on the individual characteristics of the organism and the nature of the cough in asthma. It is used only in the exacerbation stage. If the drug did not cause the expected relief of the condition, then addiction has developed and a replacement is necessary.
- Basic therapy. The purpose of this treatment is to eliminate the cause of the pathology. So, if it is caused by an allergic reaction, antihistamines are recommended. If the cause is the development of an infection, then antibiotics are used.
- Ethnoscience. It is not recommended to use folk remedies for asthma cough. Consultation of a specialist is required. However, there are certain tinctures and decoctions of herbs that alleviate the condition, and also contribute to easier sputum discharge. Using traditional methods, you can also strengthen the immune system.
- Breathing exercises. With its help, you can relieve bronchospasm and make breathing easier. However, with the progression of the disease, this method may be ineffective.
- Prevention. An important step, aimed at preventing rather than treating the disease. A number of rules can also help reduce the frequency of symptoms.
It is important to remember that taking medications for coughs caused by bronchial asthma is allowed only after consulting your doctor. Self-administration of drugs, changing dosages and canceling treatment are unacceptable.
Like any other pathology, cough in bronchial asthma should not be treated, but prevented.
Therefore, it is important to carry out a number of activities related to the prevention of this disease.
- daily walks in the fresh air;
- exclusion of contact with allergens;
- adherence to a diet.
To exclude factors provoking the disease, you should:
- carry out daily wet cleaning in the house;
- remove all flowers and pets;
- replace pillows, blankets and other things made from natural materials with hypoallergenic ones;
- carefully choose household chemicals;
- exclude from the diet foods that can cause allergies;
- during the flowering period, minimize outdoor activity.
Compliance with these measures will significantly reduce the risk of exacerbation of the disease.