Cough-Variant Asthma – What You Need to Know

Cough-variant asthma (CVA) is a kind of asthma wherein the key sign is non-mucus secreting, dry cough also known as non-productive cough. Individuals having cough-variant asthma mostly do not experience any other typical asthma symptoms like succinctness or difficulty while breathing.

CVA is also dubbed as chronic cough to explicate a cough which has endured for over 6-8 weeks time. Asthma-related coughing could develop at any time. Night time asthma could vastly interfere with sound slumber.

Individuals having cough-variant asthma mostly observe that they would cough more frequently while exercising, known as exercise-induced asthma. Coughing could intensify following exposure to asthma triggering factors or allergy-eliciting substance types like dust or pungent smells or in the presence of chilly climatic conditions.

Cough-Variant Asthma – Who is at risk?

Any person could develop CVA at any instant; however it prevalently affects young children having childhood asthma. Cough-variant asthma might be contributory to several classic asthma symptoms developing like wheezing and briefness in breathing.

Cough-Variant Asthma Causes
Cough-variant asthma

Similar to usual asthma, the precise reason for CVA occurring is unclear. But, CVA could occur following exposure to allergens or being out in nippy weather. Cough could additionally follow infection of the upper respiratory tract, for instance, prevalently sinusitis occurring alongside asthma.

Moreover, a cough which would arise subsequent to intake of beta-blockers being commenced is possibly indicative of CVA. Beta-blockers are medications taken for treating hypertension, cardiovascular ailment, migraine, palpitation, cardiac failure and several other health problems. Beta-blockers are also present in eye drops medications for treating glaucoma and other conditions which could activate asthma symptoms, inclusive of coughing. Being asthmatic or sensitiveness to aspirin is also a reason for coughing with asthma.

Cough-Variant Asthma: Diagnosis & Tests

Diagnosis of cough-variant asthma could be tricky as coughing might be the sole symptom and coughing on its own might seem to be linked to post-nasal drip or bronchitis.

A detailed analysis of medical history, examining and listening to breathing would be done. But, individuals having CVA mostly show no abnormal reports of physical examinations, spirometry and X-rays of the chest. Spirometry would involve measurement of the amount of air exhalable following firstly doing a deep inhalation and the pace at which lung emptying occurs. The asthma test employs a measurement tool known as spirometer.

A methacholine challenge test would suggest presence of asthma; however a specialized facility might be necessary. The test might be conducted in case spirometry test and symptoms fail to apparently indicate asthma. Following inhalation, methacholine would cause spasms and narrowing of the air ways in case of asthma presence. In this test, increased methacholine spray inhalation is done pre and post-spirometry procedure. The test is deemed affirmative or asthma presence in case lung functioning drops by a minimum of twenty percent. Bronchodilators or air way opener medications are used at the conclusion of the test for annulling methacholine effects.

Another approach would involve giving the patient benchmark asthma treatments and in case the patient is responding then CVA diagnosis could be confirmed.

Cough-Variant Asthma Treatment

Cough-Variant Asthma treatment would follow on the same lines as treatment for classical asthma. Asthma inhalers having ipratropium, albuterol and optionally use of inhalable steroids (inflammation-combating agents) could be the course of treatment. One could expect a steady allaying of asthma symptoms by 6-8 weeks.

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