Having cough is different from asthma despite the fact that people who suffer from asthma are prone to cough a lot. If someone is taking a lot of cough suppressants regularly, it may not be merely common cold. Persistent cough is one of the major symptoms of asthma. Although asthma is usually believed to be accompanied with wheezing (choked breathing sound), many patients do not wheeze at all and can still be affected with asthma. Asthma and cough go together, i.e. all asthmatics suffer from cough.
It would be a good approach to get a basic idea about what cough and asthma are, before going into the relation between them. While cough is a natural reaction of your body to remove harmful particles from your lungs, such as viruses, bacteria, or secretions; asthma is a condition in which your lungs and the airways around it get constricted, making it difficult to breathe. It is often but not always accompanied by a wheezing sound. Persistent cough is one of the major symptoms of asthma as since the airways are constricted, the natural process of the respiratory system is hampered.
Cough due to asthma can be the type that does not produce mucous. People who suffer from this type of asthma do not show any other asthma symptoms such as shortness of breath or wheezing. Any cough that lasts more than 6 to 8 weeks is also termed cough-variant asthma or chronic cough. People who suffer from this type of asthma generally notice their symptoms aggravate at night.
Asthma is often mistaken for recurrent cough. When this happens, the symptoms are not taken as seriously as they should be. Often it is treated as merely a severe form of cough and the required treatment is not given on time. You should be particularly careful of the cough symptoms if there is a family history of asthma. Get the patient diagnosed for asthma and be prepared to answer questions regarding the medications you are taking, any allergies you suffer from, and the like.
This is called medical history. The patient will be diagnosed on the basis of medical history. Physical examination would also be conducted by the doctor to evaluate your condition. There are some specialised tests too for diagnosing asthma. It would be in the interest of the asthma patient you care about to realise the difference between cough and asthma, so that you can initiate prompt treatment in case of a trigger.
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