Features of the cough form of bronchial asthma, causes, symptoms, treatment

The cough form of bronchial asthma has one pronounced symptom – a prolonged dry cough. Often patients are treated for a long time for chronic bronchitis, which only worsens their health.  

This type of asthma is more common in childhood, but adults who are exposed to negative factors can also suffer from it. This pathology, in the absence of adequate treatment, often turns into the classic form of asthma, therefore it is important to establish a diagnosis in time, to know the methods of treatment and prevention.

Features of the course of cough asthma

Cough asthma has its own distinctive features. This type of disease develops gradually – the tissues of the bronchi change under the influence of various reasons. In the presence of a provoking factor, there is a lack of air and other symptoms. 

At this time, mast cells are activated, which release inflammatory mediators, and therefore bronchospasm begins. The walls of the bronchi become swollen and thickened. Chronic inflammation develops. But sputum is not formed, therefore, the cough variant of bronchial asthma is accompanied by a dry cough.

Other symptoms are almost invisible, which leads to difficulties in diagnosis and subsequent therapy.

The reasons for the development of the disease

Before starting treatment for asthma of a cough form, find out the factors that caused the disease in order to exclude them if possible. These reasons include:

  1. Polluted air or living in places with poor ecology. An attack of bronchial asthma is caused by the presence of mold, dust, high humidity in the room.
  2. Heredity. Experts have proven that the cough variant of bronchial asthma is inherited. If only one parent has such a pathology, then the risk that it will be passed on to the child is 25%. If both parents have cough asthma, then the probability of attacks in the child increases to 50%.
  3. Activities associated with hazardous production or constant contact with chemicals (for example, alkali, gas). 50% of the total number of patients were in contact with harmful impurities. This also includes waiters who inhale smoke from secondhand smoke, cleaners who are constantly in contact with many chemicals, and hairdressers who get small particles of hair into the bronchi. 
  4. Concomitant diseases (diabetes mellitus, immunodeficiency, infectious diseases of the lungs). 
  5. Bad habits (smoking).
  6. Stress, lack of sleep.
  7. A reaction to various medications (especially NSAIDs) or products that contain certain substances.


Signs of cough bronchial asthma in adults are interrelated with the severity of the pathological process. The main manifestation of this pathology is a cough without phlegm, which lasts 4-8 weeks and is accompanied by pain in the bronchi. In addition to the main symptom, additional ones may arise: 

  • increased cough at night, which interferes with sleep;
  • heaviness in the chest when breathing;
  • a sudden attack of suffocation after physical activity.

Cough asthma is difficult to diagnose, since these symptoms also occur with other pathologies of the respiratory system. But it can be distinguished from other diseases by the following features:

  1. Dyspnea. With asthma of any type and severity, it is the main symptom of a pathological process. In chronic bronchitis, this symptom occurs only with severe inflammation of the bronchopulmonary system.
  2. With asthma, the cough is dry. Bronchitis is characterized by a change from dry cough to wet cough with yellow sputum, sometimes with an admixture of pus. With a cough type of asthma, the discharge (if any) is scanty and transparent.
  3. An increase in temperature most often accompanies bronchitis; with asthma, a temperature reaction is not observed.  
  4. The condition of a person with chronic bronchitis is stable, and in the presence of asthma, coughing attacks of varying duration occur.
  5. The cause of bronchitis is general hypothermia of the body, a virus or bacteria. Cough asthma is triggered by various allergens.
  6. Cough with bronchitis occurs regardless of physical activity, and with asthma – even after a little exercise.


A feature of the diagnosis of cough asthma is that its presence cannot be established using a conventional x-ray and a clinical blood test.

To make the correct diagnosis, the pulmonologist must analyze all the patient’s complaints, collect anamnesis, find out the presence of asthma in the next of kin, conduct a number of additional examinations:

  1. Auscultation.
  2. Bronchoscopy. This is an endoscopic examination of the airways.
  3. Spirography. This method measures volumetric and velocity parameters of respiration.
  4. Load test. Asthma is diagnosed when inhalation of methacholine decreases lung performance by 20%.
  5. Taking anti-asthma drugs. If the attack stops, then the diagnosis is correct. This method is not recommended for children, as an allergic reaction may occur.

The specialist may also advise you to undergo tests such as ECG, MRI, or prescribe a biopsy to rule out diseases of the heart muscle, the presence of a neoplasm, etc.

Treatment methods

For the treatment of cough asthma, the pulmonologist prescribes complex therapy, which is selected individually for each patient, taking into account the age, the severity of the pathological process, and concomitant diseases.

Cough asthma requires the elimination of the provoking factor. Classic treatments include:

  1. The use of an inhaler with salbutamol . This substance is a bronchodilator , stimulates bronchial receptors, stopping spasms.
  2. Ipratropium bromide. Another substance with bronchodilator and blocking effect of smooth muscle receptors in the trachea and bronchi.
  3. Steroids that have anti-inflammatory effects. Most often they are presented in the form of inhalers. Inhaled steroids dilate the bronchi during an attack. The main drugs are beclomethasone . It has anti-inflammatory, anti-edematous and anti-asthma effects. During an attack, drugs with becotide , budesonide , fluticasone are also effective ,
  4. Expectorant drugs, the active ingredient of which is bromhexine hydrochloride. The funds are presented in tablet form or in the form of a syrup.
  5. Medicines to enhance immunity.

Also, a pulmonologist can prescribe physiotherapeutic treatment, which includes a course of electrophoresis and regular breathing exercises.

It is also recommended for asthmatics:

  • to refuse from bad habits;
  • walk more often;
  • eat properly;
  • regularly ventilate rooms and do wet cleaning;
  • exercise.

Timely started therapy inhibits the development of cough asthma and prevents its exacerbation. With all the instructions of the pulmonologist, the state of health improves in a few weeks.

Cough asthma in children

Cough bronchial asthma in children proceeds in the same way as in adults. But at the same time, the symptoms of a child depend on his age.  

Infant age

Bronchial asthma of a cough form at this age occurs as a complication of respiratory diseases.

Before the onset of an attack, the functioning of the respiratory system is disrupted – the nose clogs up, abundant mucus is released, the baby sneezes, scratches his nose and coughs badly. When listening, you can find a wheezing wheeze, the tonsils become inflamed.

Cough asthma also negatively affects the central nervous system of the child. He becomes moody, does not sleep well, is nervous, and has frequent bowel movements (diarrhea or constipation). The attack can go away in a matter of minutes or last several days. At the same time, even at a distance, you can hear a whistle when breathing. Symptoms disappear on their own, nothing bothers the child between attacks. 


It is also difficult to determine the signs of the disease at this age, since in 2-3 years all manifestations are most often hidden. Frequent sneezing, restless sleep, and coughing are considered one of the first signs.

At 4-5 years old, children do not pay attention to their feelings, quickly being distracted. Often, a deterioration in well-being occurs after active games, since movement can cause pressure in the chest.

If, after physical activity, the child begins to cough, then you should consult a pediatrician. Often, parents, especially long-term ill children, do not pay attention to irregular symptoms, which allows the development of the disease.


At this age, the child can explain his feelings, and the diagnosis is easier. Parents should pay attention to coughing fits during sleep or after exercise. Having understood this relationship, the child will tend to sedentary games.

With a coughing fit, the child bends the body, leans forward to reduce the discomfort.


Most often, by the age of 14, children know about the existing disease. It is important that the child understands when the next attack is approaching, and always has an inhaler with the right drug with him. Parents should monitor its presence and the remainder of the medication.

Signs of cough asthma at this age do not have any peculiarities. Physical activity causes an attack, but children suffering from this disease also need active games and sports. In this case, it is recommended to take the drug before exercising.

Bronchial asthma in childhood and adolescence often goes into remission. But it is necessary to monitor the presence of provoking factors throughout your life, since the attacks may return.


The main preventive measures that do not allow the formation of a cough variant of bronchial asthma:

  1. In the presence of a hereditary factor, treat colds in time.
  2. Minimize contact with various allergens. Eliminate orange or red foods, synthetic dyes, chocolate from the child’s diet.
  3. Carry out wet cleaning without the use of chemicals.
  4. Give up active and passive smoking.
  5. Change work if it is associated with harmful production factors.
  6. Spend enough time outdoors regularly.
  7. Periodically visit the salt caves (halochambers). They create a microclimate that eliminates asthma symptoms and provides an anti-inflammatory effect.

As you can see, these principles are quite simple and accessible to everyone.

event_note November 2, 2020

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