Lack of awareness of cough variant asthma?
Just wondered if other people have found a lack of awareness of CVA by other people? some people think asthma is just wheezing whereas my main symptom is coughing as I am unable to breathe out without doing so!
Hi elle i am also mainly a cough-er, i think you're right and mainly people don't realise it can be a major symptom of asthma. Most of my friends and family (and many of my colleagues) now know that if i'm coughing a lot it's cos i'm having an asthma flare-up. Many a time though i've had other people comment thinhs like ""that's a nasty cough - you don't smoke do you?"" when i explain no it's asthma the reactions vary, often confusion or shock - and usually the obvious comments ""do you have an inhaler? Have you taken your inhaler?"" *sigh* If only people realised the inhaler doesn't always work as well or as immediately as is portrayed on TV programmes *sigh again* LOL
Hi Im a cougher not a wheezer too but my friends, family & colleagues all know that coughing (& me being quiet) is a sign of an Attack. My colleagues & friends do start to worry everytime I start coughing now (because ive had sever attacks around them) & I get the have u taken your inhaler alot when im like that. They do know better than to believe me now when I say I'm fine now & do actually take notice of my symptoms.
Yep, I do find there's a lack of awareness that coughing is an asthma symptom. I bet we've all had occasions when someone gives you a dirty look and says ""ooo, I don't want to catch what you've got, it sounds awful"" reply ""You can't catch asthma!""
Jinglefairy-""that's a nasty cough - you don't smoke do you?"" Had that many times, and this ""do you have an inhaler? Have you taken your inhaler?
I was just diagnosed with CVA two months ago. For the two months prior to my diagnosis, my GP thought I had a nasty cold. It wasn't until after two rounds of antibiotics didn't work, and I ended up in the hospital, that it was found. There's no history of Asthma in my family and it came as a shock.
I have found that when I have a flare up there's a high pitchness to my cough. Does anyone else get this? It's a different sounding cough then if I swallow a liquid the wrong way.
Since this is my first post may I also say what a wonderful community there is here. I live in Canada, but I have found this discussion board and the Asthma UK website to be informative and helpful. Thank you all!
Hello fellow Canadian! Sad when there seems to be more discussion in UK than our own country lol. I've had CVA for about 10yrs now. My trigger is cold air, drastic change in outdoor temps or if I get a cold. Currently on week 10 of coughing after a cold which went away and the cough lingers....Inhalers don't seem to help much. Another time several yrs ago when it lasted this long, Tussionex prescription cough syrup was the only thing that worked. I'm still hoping it will go eventually.... Feeling your pain!
yes i am CVA and gold medal up for grabs for it - joking aside but wheezing does kick in occasionally on an bad attack more cough than singing lungs!!
i was diagnosed as asthma due to my cough, luckily for me an experienced dr noticed all the symptoms , i do get annoyed when people hear me cough and if i notice my voice change when i say, im getting poorly, they just think i have a cough and dont understand its my asthma flaring up and this annoys me that people just think asthmatics are wheezy people only x
Thank you for this!
I am also a cough variant asthmatic, and recognised by the lovely consultant I have.
I wish the paramedics/ambulance service recognised this, and i'm fed up of the ""oh well you're blatantly not having an asthma attack as your not wheezing""
Putme down as a cougher - I never wheeze. My voice can get rather husky and I get a cough and can't seem to clear the mucus in my throat. I've also had the ""starting a bad cold then eh?"" but I can't blame them for guessing wrong as up till early this year I would have assumed the same. In fact it's only recently that I've managed to get through to my husband that you don't need to wheeze to have Asthma! Unfortunately, one of my main triggers is when he stresses me out but I'm trying hard to learn to chill a bit and may try some Hypnotherapy to manage my breathing and make myself relax.
I've had that ""can't clear the mucus in my throat"" feeling too over the last few days. My Asthma is under control now, but that mucus thing keeps hanging around! Good to hear other CVA people have it too.
And as for husbands.. that's why I've decided to stay single and raise dogs!
I'm staying single and raising cats
can't seem to clear the mucus in my throat.
This is how I feel at the moment, like I need to do a really good cough but it just won't clear. If I take my inhaler, it 'releases' the phlegm and I have a right good chesty cough and it brings the phlegm up and clears for a bit.
I see many folk have the cough - me too. It's the most prevalent thing I have. Any dust will make my airway irritated and slightly tight; as will laughing.
My Asthma Nurse asked me to half my Seretide 250/25, a few days later I felt different somehow. Then 7am one morning I was reading the news on my Chromebook computer in bed, having woke at 6am, when I took a deep breath and I was tight and frighteningly restricted. I reached for the Ventolin and took two puffs. A few minutes later I was okay again.
My Nurse then put me back on the 250/25 and I am back to feeling very good, with a need for the blue if the cough turns up - have you noticed the asthma cough feels different from any other cough?
I was classed as mild, so thought I could easily tolerate a low dose preventer, I was wrong. I normally blow a PF around 600. Not bad at 75 years, eh!
I suppose there's no normal with this danged asthma thing!
I find that my ""Asthma cough"" is a higher pitch then other coughs I might have. (There's a sentence I never thought I would write..and I've done it twice! )
I have cough variant asthma too. What annoys me most is when i'm coughing and peak flows are low but medical staff and paramedics assume it can't be an asthma attack as i'm not wheezing!
It then takes ages to get help. I used to have direct admission to the ward, which was great and got round that problem. But this has now stopped for all asthma patients due to budget cuts. So have to go through ER.
I also have CVA and it's caused huge problems both in my local hospital and in the a and e of my specialist hospital as the docs there all seem to believe that if you have no wheeze your fine! I've been discharged a couple of times only to be readmitted by my consultant days later. Thankfully we have a day unit here that you can be seen at almost instantly and they will admit through there. It's so useful and they have rescued me quite a few times from having to venture to the dreaded a and e!
This has been a problem for many years although it ia getting better. I only cough or crackle when I breathe out and havbe done for years. Many times I gwt asked do you have an infection. I am like no I have asthma. Sometimes I wish the cough variant would be given a new name as I personally find it never follows wheeze asthma. As you say you couigh on your breath out!
Such a relief to find I'm not the only one who's asthma manifests itself as coughing. I was only diagnosed with asthma a few years ago and was given no advice or help by the GP, and didn't even have an asthma review for the first 2 years. When I finally did have an asthma review I was told I was borderline asthmatic, when in fact I just happened to have my asthma very much under control.
Now I'm finding when I do get an asthma review I get asked about wheeziness, but never about coughing. As I don't get wheezy, the nurse seems confused and not sure how to proceed. Thankfully she could see my peak-flow was low and therefore changed my medication, but I do wonder what would have happened if peak-flow wasn't available to back me up.
Thank you Elle for starting this thread, I now realise I have cough variant asthma and next time I see the asthma nurse and she asks me about wheezing I know to tell her I cough instead.
More on cough variant asthma.
Does anyone else find there peak flow does not reflect how much they are coughing?
I have learnt recently that the white phelgm is airway inflammation.
Meaning when I cough lots I need to increase my preventer for 5 days. Or more depending on cough.
When. My cough vanishes I know my asthma is under control and I smile lots!
My asthma is now monitored on how much I am coughing and requiring reliever to relieve cough.
It might be worth keeping a personal record of cough amount if you are cough variant to show doctor.
Cough variant does follow asthma but in its own unique way! Basically cough cough cough choke etc.
I'm glad you said that i can be feeling really grotty cough cough cough ad nauseum (not quite literally) but my PF stays pretty good - i can do the one big blow to get a PF reading but then spend the next 10 minutes coughing before i can puff again to do best of 3!!
I didn’t know ‘white phlegm’ is a sign of inflammation. Thank you for that information. My son was always told he had ‘mild asthma’ by our GP. (He had only seen our GP). He has never wheezed. He has always coughed in the shower (still does), however he had a severe asthma attack last September whilst in work. (He was 17 then). 2 collapsed lungs, 2 minutes without breathing, peri cardiac arrest, 7 paramedics and a week in intensive care later and he’s been diagnosed with severe, allergic asthma. Before the attack he had a lot of white phlegm. That was his only sign. No wheezing and I had never heard of CVA at that time.
I am really pleased to have found this forum. I was diagnosed with asthma this year - a lovely 40th birthday present! - but I never wheeze. I have to say that my GP surgery have been amazing at looking after me but it is reassuring to know that it's not unusual and that others have the same symptoms as me. I always feel like there is phlegm that I can't clear (can't believe I'm typing this as my first post on this forum!) and on Saturday I had a really nasty coughing attack but my peak flow hardly went down at all - I was beginning to doubt it was asthma but it was only after 6 puffs on my inhaler that the cough went away!! I look forward to finding out more via this forum.
Pretty much a year since I first went to the doctors coughing the specialist at the hospital says i've got cough variant asthma.. and the inhaler she's given me seems to be helping. Happy days! Its been a long road... 'you might have post nasal drip', 'you may have acid reflux', 'your peak flow is normal', 'your spirometry results are normal', 'your chest xray is normal'... Yes, but the persistent darn cough which gets dry and worsens in cold air and after cold drinks, isn't!!!!!!
Fingers crossed the relief lasts, it's been soooo frustrating keep going back to the doctors and being palmed off! :o( :o)
Well I'm amazed to find this thread...and amazed that I was fobbed off for ages by respiratory consultant. He was sure I had ""silent acid reflux"", not based on any tests or indications (I'm slim and eat the kind of diet which doesn't aggravate reflux) , just based on the fact that I had a haitus hernia over 20 years ago ! My hiatus hernia was cured after having antibiotics for H Pylori 20 years ago but that didn't stop the respiratory doc saying that I had reflux cough and trying to give me PPI's (no way would I take them...I NEED my stomach acid!)...and that DESPITE an abnormal chest x-ray which showed hyperinflated lungfields and insterstitial shadowing !!! It wasn't until I found an old CT angiogram from five years ago which showed that I had a ""mosiac pattern which was typical of air trapping and small airways disease"" that the respiratory consultant dropped his stupid acid reflux thing. He's never used the words ""cough variant asthma"", he's just said I have ""a kind of asthma"" which is ""small airways disease"". Always worse in the cold, worse just recently with the pollen, worse with cold drinks, worse with stress. I'm now prescribed Qvar 100, two puffs twice a day...it's helping !
my bosses thought it was just a cough until it got so bad i was coughing gasping for breath coughing gasping etc think they realise now if im coughing its cuz of my asthma
Yay! I was hoping to find a cough variant asthma thread, now I no longer feel like a freak of nature. It took about 3 years to get my CVA diagnosed but I have still never met anyone else who has got it. I get so fed up with knowing that when I get up Im going to have a honking coughing fit within about the first 10 minutes and all the other triggers too. There are just so many things that seem to set me off, cold or damp weather so the winter is always an extra pain, as is coming into a warm building from the cold or damp weather, then there’s running a few feet for the bus, perfumes, exhaust fumes, smoke, dust, blah blah blah.
I must say I do feel pretty fed up with it all at times. Still I have learnt not to expect it to go away completely and have tried to do as many things as I can to keep the coughing fits down to a minimum, in particular remembering to adjust my preventative inhalers to how I am at the time.
I have a couple of dietary tips Iv found helpful. First is cutting out hot spices like chillies, I love a curry and do still have one sometimes, but I used to cook with chillies a lot and having cut them out of what I can I have found my throat is a bit less sensitive.
The other thing I have cut out is milk and cream. Again, I do occasionally have it in tea and some things are just begging for a big dollop of cream on top, however, I have found that not coating my throat in milk every morning has made a huge difference to the nasty phelmy goings on in the back of it. Some mornings I would walk to work coughing, but that hasn’t happened since using a milk substitute on my cereal. It took me a while to find one I liked as I cant stomach soya milk, but then I discovered rice milk (Rice Dream is in most supermarkets) and now I really enjoy it and don’t miss the milk at all.
Anyway, thanks for opening up this thread, its good to know Im not alone with having this weird coughing asthma, although obviously Id much rather none of us had it!
Yesterday I went to my surgery urgently as had a bad chest. The doc was just saying after listening to my chest that it was only a little wheezy. Fortunately the nurse handed me nebs and replied to doc ""did you see her peak flow, it's only a just above 50%"". I'd never seen the doc before, so think I shall avoid in the future. Seen the nurse lots of times before and she knows that I'm a good cougher, she's also said another time ""ew, your chest sounds really awful"", when I've had a good wheeze.
I still don't believe it sometimes when doctors are only looking for a wheeze, uurrgh. When I get bad I usually wheeze, but not always.
my cough is a high pitch too, the sound is annoying... Almost ever morning i have this cough, my chest vibrates and at the end of my cough there's a squeaking/high pitch sound. It's been almost 3 months I had this type of cough... I've beginning to think if this could be asthma or not...
Might end up in the silling room as unhappy flatmate 3 doors down was unhappy with the noise
I'm pleased I found this page, I'm new to Asthma and I cough lots..... And the mucus I cough up is driving me crazy! The consultant is trying me on symbicort (400/12) 2 puffs morning and night and hopes to start me on the symbicort smart regime when I see him next. I still need blue ventalin inhaler sometimes about 3 times a day but other days not at all.
If anything I think my coughing is worse and the odd time I have woke up in the night with it. Does anyone else feel worn out by their coughing? I always thought, as lots of people do that Asthma is a wheeze I now know that this is clearly not true.
The old men docs in Japan don't seem to recognize CVA, unless they work at a respiratory clinic!
I was CVA for years, but it morphed into classic asthma recently...now I seem to wheeze all the time.
I agree that asthma cough sounds and feels different to a cold cough etc.
It took 20 years of back and forward to GPs before I was diagnosed with Asthma and another 5 before it was decided it was CVA I was first diagnosed 30ish years ago.
Although my cough is sort of under control it does play up on waking each morning or if I have a nap in the day.
I also have post nasal drip so cough is productive. I have learned to take my Ventolin on waking if my chest feels the least bit tight and find that help when the cough kicks in and loosens quicker.
Yes cold and damp make it worse and also when I get a common cold/cough it plays it up so I just up my preventer (was becodisks but they have been withdrawn now)
Not sure how Fixotide will fare as only been taking for 4 days so far.
Stress plays it up so does my GERD which plays the asthma up, kind of a catch 22 situation.
I am still on the green side of the grass so things must be OK
yep I cough as well, mostly at night .
Had a nurse at the med center who said no whezing no asthma,
then at uni when coughing lots, 2 lectuers and several sudents sounds like asthma, where is your inhaler?
Glad I am not alone as a coughinger
I've had CVA for about 3-4 years now. I was at my asthma review this morning and the asthma nurse who has asthma herself really doesn't seem very clued up on CVA. She questioned that I even had asthma at my last review (I've obviously just like a wee hurl in an ambulance in the past!). I complained about her after the last review but I got her again for this one. She has contradicted what the Doc say previously and changed my meds. She actually said to me ""I'm not sure how to treat you"". What a joke! Yes, I don't get much of a wheeze but I do get a wheeze when it gets bad. I always have a very tight chest in the morning and I really struggle through most nights. Mornings seems to be my worst time. The Doc is see is a respiratory specialist but the asthma reviews are carried out by the nurse. I feel I am starting to get things under control and then once I see the asthma nurse I take 2 steps back cos she changes my medication. I will stick to what the docs say from now on and I think I will avoid the reviews at my surgery until the nurse has been given some proper advice and training about CVA.
It has been interesting reading your comments. I was diagnosed with asthma 30+ years ago and have always had a cough. I don't wheeze but the cough can be triggered by change of temperature, laughing, catching my breath and particularly sensistivity to air-conditioning and even the fridge / freezer areas in supermarkets - any one else weird like this? Apparently after 30 years of daily coughing the muscles of my abdomen have weakened and I now have a large ""spare tyre"" in this area, so everyone please be aware of this possible problem.
Really glad I've come across this forum and site, as i thought my CVA was an umbrella diagnosis the docs used when they didn't know what you had !!
Had my cough for 18+ months now, with two exacerbation episodes, both caused by head colds.
Currently going through one, been off work for 12 weeks now .
Cough is dry, non-productive, and can leave me breathless when I'm bad with it .
Peak flow readings are down by 25%+.
Have had chest x-rays and bronchoscopy with nothing untoward found.
Was due my Metachlorine test at the start of this bout, but cancelled it due to my symptoms.
Saw the respiratory team last week, who'd already given me the CVA diagnosis, they said it was an exacerbation of my CVA, and they want me to have the Metachlorine test with me as I am.
It's hard enough to do a peak flow reading without coughing, at least the test is in the hospital !!
What I've found is that the inhalers and steroids don't seem to make much difference for me, and even commencing Montelukast doesn't seem to have helped that much.
Is it a case of my body will sort things out in time by itself, or keep taking the prescribed meds ????
Getting to the stage, some days, of my joking with my GP that he should prescribe me a 'below-neck-amputation'might actually help !! lol
I hope you get your cough sorted out. My respiratory consultant hasn't said mine is CVA but that it's small airways disease/a type of asthma - anyway, before he diagnosed that (from CT scan) he was sure I had ""silent acid reflux"" which I totally diagreed with since I have no risk factors for that BUT it was only when I responded to the steroid inhaler (Qvar) that he let drop the ""silent acid reflux"" diagnosis ! He wanted to put me on proton pump inhibitors which supress stomach acid - I NEED my stomach acid and I think that anyway, even if silent acid relfux is a problem for some people that supressing the acid is NOT the soution, surely dealing with the reflux is the solution ?
Hope you find something which helps your cough very soon !
My 4yr old daughter is a cougher, she's never wheezy and that high pitched cough sound described above is exactly how she gets during an attack. We are always dismissed from OOHs docs because ""her chest is clear
Update - Had my respiratory function tests on Thursday, bit no metachlorine test !! ??
No fun doing them !!!!!!
However, the lass doing them said I've some broncho-constriction, with a degree of inflammatory response !!
It responded a little to the ventolin inhaler they gave me, but I was told to stop this particular inhale last year !!
So now awaiting what the respiratory team want to do about these results.
At least it's nice to know there's something happening in my lungs !
Hi Folks, Newbie here ! I am thrilled to have found this page. I was diagnosed with asthma when I was in my early 40s. I use Seretide twice daily and ventolin when I need it. I have never had an asthma attack and was beginning to doubt that I had asthma at all.
I have a persistent cough especially at night, other symptoms include the husky voice, NEVER being able to clear my throat, regular sinus infections..........
I reckon I must have CVA, everything fits the bill.
The night time coughing drives me and the rest of my family mad. My pharmacist is reluctant to give me dry cough medicine as he thinks I should take an expectorant. But that doesn't stop the cough
How do the rest of you cope with the coughing at night ?
Cough is also one of my main symptoms.
A husky voice, never being able to clear one's throat, regular sinus infections, and coughing can all be indications of post nasal drip - post nasal drip can aggravate asthma or be a problem in its own right. There are effective treatments for it and it would be a shame to suffer when a solution was at hand. Have you considered going back to your GP or seeing an ENT to discuss?
Also if your cough is due to asthma, then standard cough medicine won't help much. On the other hand, a puff or two of your reliever (typically ventolin, aka salbutamol, in a blue inhaler) might well help to make the cough go away. If your reliever does not help that is another reason to talk to your doctor. You may be coughing for another reason.
One of the reasons cough variant asthma confuses doctors so much is that there are so many different reasons for a cough!
I will try using my ventolin to relieve the night coughing and see how that goes. I am due a trip to my GP after Christmas so I will have a chat with him and perhaps get an appointment for an ENT specialist. Managed to sleep right through last night but that was more to do with the 2 larges glasses of wine I had
Thanks for your help and Happy Christmas !
So glad I've discovered this site and this thread. I've now known about cough-variant asthma now for ... ohhh ... 20 minutes ... But I've been coughing for ... Ohhh .. Most of my life on and off. For years when I visited my doctor for the hacking dry cough 3 or 4 times a year, I was told I had a URT and it would clear up. Chest was clear so go away and don't darken the door of this busy doctor again! And I seemed to spend most of my 20's hacking my guts up. Then I had children in my thirties and the cough returned big time. I was at the doctors - exhausted, in tears with tiredness, sleeping on the sofa for two weeks so as not to disturb husband and kids. Still I was told, chest is clear, rest, hot drinks and it'll clear up. Then one day I was out with baby in pram and a coughing fit started that at first had me hoping people wouldn't stare and then progressed to me wishing somebody would help me because I couldn't draw breath without an overriding need to hack and hack and hack ...
I went back to the doctors and this time saw a visiting locum. He said I probably had bronchitis and should have some long term inhaler use AND steroid tablets for a week AND antibiotics just for good measure. Well I took it all and the cough cleared up. Two months later is was back again. I was told to not stop taking the steroid inhaler (which I had done once I felt better). So that's where I've been for the last 10 years now. An asthma review every year, repeat prescription for inhalers and left to get on with it. When I get a flare up, it's diagnosed as bronchitis (or even whooping cough!) for which I get steroid tablets and my choice of antibiotics.
But do you know the BESTEST BEST piece of advice I've ever had - less than a year ago? A chance conversation with my step daughter. She suffers with the 'normal' asthma and last time she had a flare up after many years with no problems, she went to he doctor and the first thing he said to her: ""show me how you're taking your inhalers"". Apparently she'd been doing it all wrong. Breathing in too hard and the drug was just hitting the back of her throat. Sounds too obvious and I'm sure a lot of you aren't making that stupid mistake. I was you see, the doctor had shown me how to take the inhaler but he hadn't told me how NOT to take it. What a difference .. Within 24 hours my nagging cough was gone. And even better .... I have bought my own spacer now. I can't recommend it enough.
Having found this thread today, I will have words with my doctor. I was there last week and commented that. ""I'm the only bloody asthmatic I know that coughs"". To which there was no reply. I was having all sorts of horrible dark thoughts during this winters flare up seeing as my mum died of COPD at 58 (although she was a smoker all her life). Now I know I just need to manage the cva and get on with my life. Hope this helps someone.
I too am a cougher and had spyrometry and flow tests but respiratory nurses confused by normal results! I point out that I cough every time I breathe out on the flow test.
I also spent winter worrying about possible COPD as my Grandad died of Chronic Bronchitis and Emphysema.
I do find Ventolin inhaler helps!
Hi all. I too suffer from cva. Not totally diagnosed by doctor. But had cough for fifteen years and had various coloured puffers none which actually help!! I agree with so many things you all say. I try to avoid milk and milk products as result is hours of coughing! I drink lemon tea instead and find that does help. I use a spacer to take steroid as doctor also told me puffer straight in mouth may be aggravating my throat and it has helped. He also gave me allergy tablets as he said some of my cough may be a reflex to allergy. Again it has helped. But I too am so fed up of trying to explain I am asthmatic but I don't wheeze. I didn't realise the husky throat was related. Ironic twice recently it has been mentioned by a work college at last I can say it's a symptom of cva!!! I find that a cough sweet when you are bad helps or even chewing gum as it seems to change the mucus from sticky to normal. Also if my throat gets sore I use Covina cough medicine it seems to numb my throat and stops the urge to cough. I hate mornings. Teeth cleaning is a nightmare. Does anyone else find the paste and action seems to bring on a fit. Exercise seems to help but only gentle exercise. I am fed up of the lack of control on my bladder. How unfeminine. Any other useful tips very welcome
YES, THAT HOW MY WIFE AND THE DOCTORS SEE IT THAT WAY! I AM A COUGH-ER
FOR ALMOST 4 MONTHS NOW! FOR MEDITATION, I'M TAKING ADVAIR 500/50 AND MY ALBUTEROL, THAT HELP ME A LOT! I'M GLAD THERE SOMEONE OUT THERE THAT KNOW WHAT COUGH VARIANT ASTHMA IS, BECAUSE, NOBODY UNDERSTAND WHAT I'M GOING THRU, NOT EVEN THE DOCTORS AT THE EMERGENCY! BE BLESSED EVERYONE! REV. GARY
This forum is a revelation to me! I've had bother for years. Every time I get a cold I am left with a nasty cough that goes on for weeks. A few years ago I had pneumonia which lasted for a couple of months and since then I live in dread of it happening again. I have been coughing for about eight weeks now as a result of a cold and when I went to my GP yesterday he said my chest was clear but took a bit of time asking questions about my cough. I came away with a prescription for a Ventolin inhaler and a spacer to go with it. On occasions in the past I had been given a Brycanil inhaler but I suspect I wasn't using it correctly. I have scrolled though these posts and can relate to most of them. I feel quite excited to think that in time I may be free of or at least able to manage this condition which has plagued me for years.
Hi I have asthma , and yesterday when just sat watching tv.. not drinking or eating anything.. I had a coughing fit choking on thin air .... My partner had to slap my back a few times as I couldn't breath inwards ...has this happen to any one else ?
wow - this me too - so relieved to find its not just me
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