Everything You Know About The Cough-variant Asthma| Ashcroft Pharmacy

With over 5.4 million people currently suffering from Asthma in the UK, there’s a need for you to understand everything about this long-term lung health condition. Asthma is a lung illness that occurs when your airways narrow and swell, producing extra mucus. This health condition often results in different issues, including cough, shortness of breath, and difficulty breathing. The best asthma treatment is to use suitable rescue inhalers, such as Ventolin Inhaler.


Today, asthma is available in different variants; the common ones are:


  •     Exercise-induced asthma
  •     Cough-variant asthma (CVA)
  •     Occupational asthma
  •     Nighttime asthma
  •     Thunderstorm asthma


While it’s important to get familiar with all these asthma variants, this article will only focus on one of them – cough-variant asthma.

What exactly is cough-variant asthma?

Asthma is a lung illness that can affect both children and adults. While the exact origin is still unknown, experts reveal that this lung disease can be triggered by different factors, such as genetics and environment.


The effect of asthma is different for many people. Some people only experience minor irritation while others struggle with a significant health condition that could lead to a serious asthma attack.


Today, cough-variant asthma is a very common type of asthma that causes chronic cough. One interesting thing about CVA is that it doesn’t show the standard symptoms of asthma.


Instead, this asthma type only causes dry cough, which could last more than 6-8 weeks. This cough, which could occur during the day or night, doesn’t come with other common symptoms such as wheezing or breathing difficulties.

Symptoms of Cough Variant Asthma

As earlier mentioned, cough-variant asthma or CVA only exhibits one symptom and that is “chronic cough”. For now, this persistent coughing doesn’t have any other known causes.


A person suffering from cough-variant asthma will most certainly not experience the following asthma symptoms:


  •       wheezing during exhaling
  •       breathing difficulty
  •       cough up mucus or phlegm
  •       any of the symptoms listed above causing difficulty falling asleep
  •       chest constriction
  •       Lung fluid is present


While CVA only shows chronic coughing as its symptom, it’s important to have good CVA management in place. That’s so because this asthma variant often causes highly inflamed airways. A good cough-variant asthma is also important to prevent this lung illness from developing into other serious asthma conditions.

What are the causes of CVA?

As earlier mentioned, there’s still no known cause of CVA. This is also true for other conventional chronic asthma. However, people often explain that the cause may be due to allergens, such as pollen. Some others also argue that the episodes of coughing may be due to respiratory illness.


Furthermore, some researchers reveal that taking beta-blockers could result in cough-variant asthma for some patients. Beta-blockers are effective migraine medications that also work for other ailments, such as heart failure, hypertension, abnormal heart rhythms, and heart disease.


That said, below are a few triggers that could result in CVA:


  •       Exposure to irritants or allergens
  •       using certain hypertension and migraine medications, such as beta-blockers
  •       Exercise
  •       Upper respiratory infection, such as sinusitis
  •       Weather changes


Furthermore, CVA can always lead to nasal allergies. This occurs when the immune system overreacts to something, which isn’t normally supposed to react to. This is to let you know that both CVA and the immune system have a lot of things in common.


CVA doesn’t show any symptoms of conventional chronic asthma conditions. While that’s the truth, it’s worth noting that certain conventional chronic asthma medications can so work for cough-variant asthma treatment.

Understanding how the diagnosis of CVA works

Since there’s only one visible symptom, it can be pretty difficult to diagnose cough-variant asthma. In most cases, pulmonary examinations, which work for identifying conventional asthma, are also effective for identifying CVA.


One common exam often used by doctors to identify CVA is the methacholine challenge test. Speaking of this test; it occurs when a patient performs spirometry while inhaling methacholine (aerosol mist). After that, the doctor will observe the patient’s airways as they widen and narrow. CVA is only identified if the doctor notices a reduction in lung function by at least 20%.

Frequently, a specialized setting is important for conducting methacholine challenge tests. When a confirmed diagnosis is unavailable, a medical healthcare provider may take advantage of asthma treatment when CVA is suspected. If the chronic cough is well managed by asthma treatment, then CVA is identified.

Cough Variant Asthma treatment options

Doctors often rely on conventional chronic asthma medications to treat CVA. A few reliable treatment approaches include:


  •       Inhaled corticosteroids (inhalers)
  •       Bronchodilators
  •       Nebulizers
  •       Oral medications

Tricks and tips for managing Cough Variant Asthma

If you have CVA, the good news is that you can always manage it in different ways to avoid asthma attacks. Below are a few reliable tips you can follow:


  •       Maintain a regular chronic asthma medication schedule
  •       Focus on lifestyle adjustments and avoid allergens
  •       Exercise regularly and avoid smoking.