Does asthma make you cough? It is not usually a common symptom, but a cough can occur if asthma is not adequately managed.
Asthma cough symptoms usually include a dry, irritating cough that is persistent or keeps coming back. However, you can also experience an asthma productive cough, which produces thick, clear mucus. This type of cough is generally a symptom of uncontrolled asthma.
What triggers coughing when you have asthma?
It is important to know what triggers asthma coughing and flare-ups in order to avoid the occurrence of an asthma attack. Asthma triggers include:
- Outdoor allergens (pollen)
- Indoor allergens (dust, pet hair)
- Certain drugs
- Environmental irritants (pollution, smoke)
- A cold or flu
- Weather conditions (cold, humidity, changing seasons)
- Exercise (however, asthma should not prevent you from engaging in physical activity)
If your asthma is flaring up more than twice a week, it could be a sign that your asthma is uncontrolled, and you could seek the help of a specialist.
Why is coughing worse at night if you have asthma?
Many asthma symptoms, and in particular coughing, can worsen during the nighttime hours. The exact reason why symptoms are exacerbated during nighttime is unknown. Still, certain studies theorise that a reclining position, colder temperatures, or hormonal changes during sleep could contribute to an asthma cough at night .
That said, worsening asthma symptoms during the night are usually an indication that your asthma is not adequately managed or controlled. Uncontrolled asthma can result in other health problems and complications. Therefore it’s best to consult your GP or an asthma specialist if you are experiencing an increase in your asthma symptoms at night.
Shortness of breath
Finding it hard to breathe, or getting easily breathless, is another common symptom of asthma. Those with asthma may find it gets worse during physical activity and can find it challenging to take a long, deep breath in or out.
Some people with asthma encounter a high-pitched whistling noise when they breathe. It is caused by the narrowing of the airways, making it more difficult for air to get out and producing a wheezing sound.
Coughing up phlegm or mucus as a symptom could be an indication that your airways are inflamed due to uncontrolled or worsening asthma.