Thursday, 27 February 2014

Overview: Cough Variant Asthma

Cough Variant Asthma is a type of asthma where the person does not experience basic asthma symptoms such as wheezing or shortness of breath. The only symptom seen is chronic nonproductive cough.

Cough variant asthma is also sometimes called as chronic cough. Chronic cough is cough that lasts more than 6 – 8 weeks. This cough could occur any time in the day. It is a sleep disturbing factor if this cough occurs at night. This cough aggravates with any kind of exercise and is called as exercise induced asthma.

Click here to read more about Asthma Attack.

Causes of Cough Variant Asthma

One can really not know the exact cause of cough variant asthma. However the following could be possibilities.
  • Cough started when a person has been in cold climate for long. 
  • Cough started when a person has been exposed to any kind of allergens.
  • Chronic cough experienced when a person has started using beta-blockers. Beta-blockers are drugs that are used to treat heart failure, migraines, blood pressure & other conditions.

Diagnosing cough variant asthma can be really difficult. This happens because chronic cough is the only symptom and chronic cough could be a symptom of various other diseases like bronchitis or cough associated with post nasal drip.

People with cough variant asthma require to undergo following tests;
  • People with CVA undergo normal tests like spirometry and x-rays.
  • The last method to diagnose CVA is MIC (meth choline challenge test) this test is an important indicator of CVA. This test is performed when your symptoms & spirometry does not show asthma symptoms clearly. The test requires a special facility. The MIC test is given with the meth choline inhalation that irritates the airways in susceptible individuals and causes the onset of asthma symptoms. If the MIC test comes out to be positive in someone with a chronic cough, chances are they have CVA.

Treatment could be, inhaling corticosteroids and a bronchodilator. It takes weeks for symptoms to improve, or might take even months for the cough to stop entirely. Some people may be advised to use these inhalers continually, even after the cough has gone.

As a precautionary measure for asthma one can take drugs like Advair Diskus to prevent Asthma. In addition, people with cough variant asthma should take care to avoid things like exercise, cold air that lead to coughing.

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