Cough-variant asthma differs from other types of this respiratory disorder. It's characterized by a dry, nonproductive cough that lasts more than four weeks in children and more than eight weeks in adults. Learn more about coughing asthma symptoms and treatments to understand this type of asthma and how you can live comfortably with this condition.
What Is Coughing Asthma?
Asthma is a chronic lung disease that causes your windpipe to swell up and narrow, which makes it difficult to breathe. It also typically results in shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing and a feeling of constriction in your chest. When you have asthma, you may find it difficult to exert yourself because it feels as though you can't get enough air into your body when your heart rate is elevated.
This respiratory disorder is one of the more common types of lung disease, and it affects children and adults. It can range in severity from mild to life-threatening and may impact your life in a variety of ways. There are four categories of asthma that rank the condition's severity, but there are also multiple types of this disease — including coughing asthma.
Cough-variant asthma is a type of this respiratory disease that primarily causes a dry cough, meaning it doesn't cause you to expel mucus when you do cough. Typically, when people have this type of asthma, they don't experience the other common symptoms of the disorder like shortness of breath or wheezing. The cough can happen at any time of the day or night, possibly interrupting sleep in the nighttime hours. If you're exposed to an allergen or cold air, your coughing could begin to increase, too. Like the other types of the condition, coughing asthma can worsen when you exert yourself.
You may be wondering how this respiratory disease can be classified as asthma even when it doesn't present many of the same symptoms as "classic" asthma, but it still causes a narrowing and swelling of your airway, both of which make it difficult to breathe. Although these effects may be less severe with cough-variant asthma than they are with other forms of the condition, many people who have coughing asthma go on to develop classic asthma. Anyone can get coughing asthma, and while it's more common in children, it also affects adults.