When a cough has been persistent for more than three weeks, it may be chronic. Chronic means a lasting condition or disease that develops over a long period of time. Before thinking a cough may be a sign of asthma, ask yourself these questions. Are you coughing up any phlegm? Are you running a temperature? Are you losing weight? Are you coughing up blood or drenched in sweat? If you can answer "yes" to any of these questions, see a doctor right away. These all are signs of possible bacterial or viral infections.
Coughing CAN Indicate Asthma
The sensory nerves found in the lining of respiratory passageways (the tubes we breathe through) cause coughing as a reflex when they are stimulated. When someone coughs, air is rapidly inhaled and the larynx (your voice box) closes for a moment. Muscles in the chest and abdominal areas increase pressure which then drives the air out of the lungs and through the re-opened larynx. This blast of air, which leaves the body at high speeds, clears the airway of any debris (dust, etc.) Coughing mostly occurs when one has tight airways, like when someone has asthma. Asthma can cause coughing and can be an early indicator in children. It can also be a sign that the asthma medication isn't working. Asthma caused coughing generally bothers adults at night and interrupts sleep. Asthma can be caused by certain allergens, pollutants in the air, temperature, etc. Most of the time, those who develop this condition are considered pre-disposed to do so (i.e. grew up in a house where cigarettes were smoked, weak immune system).
Becoming overly exhausted can cause one to experience asthma like symptoms. Those who are predisposed should also try to remain in an area of consistent temperature (cold aggravates the condition). Also, smokers have an increased risk of developing asthma because of the irritation and damage smoking causes. Allergies are also a key factor; pet dander, pollens and medicinal allergies are all culprits.
First things first: try and steer clear those triggers mentioned above. You may have specific triggers and notice those over time, but the general ones can easily be avoided. Asthma cannot be cured but if well treated, symptoms are usually very minimal and easy to control. It is VITAL that asthma sufferers stop smoking if they already do as this severely worsens the problem and may lead to additional chronic illness. (Not to mention how deadly cigarette smoking is already!) If severe asthma attacks go untreated they CAN be fatal, though very rarely. Asthma medications come in two forms: prevents (to reduce asthma symptoms over time) and relievers (medicines that act quickly if one is experiencing an attack). Several of these prescription drugs can be harmful in the long run, so other options should be looked at. Some natural products work very nicely in alleviating the product for a long period of time so you don't have to mess with asthma in the future. Others with severe asthma may need the aid of an inhaler is attacks threaten to be severe or fatal in nature.