Asthma UK community forum
10,849 members17,250 posts

Cough variant asthma

Does anyone suffer with cough variant asthma, my son has been diagnosed with it. Can anyone tell me how long it takes to get under control or how they did get it under control, what inhaler work best for cough variant asthma does this cough ever go? Thankyou for taking the time to read my post any advice will be greatly appreciated.

16 Replies
oldestnewest

I had a persistent cough when I first got told I had asthma and was only given the brown (don't know it's actual name) inhaler. The cough stopped within a few days. But I don't know if me and your son have the same type of asthma

Reply

hi Jetstar21, thanks for you're reply it's sounds like you got classic asthma my son did have that then told he had grown out of it and a few years later diagnosed with cough variant asthma it's a nightmare. Asthma nurse told me its not asthma because peak flow normal and no wheezing 😠 you don't get a wheeze with CVA I know that much and lung function is normal waiting for referral now probably wait for ever. Thanks again for taking the time to reply 😊

Reply

Hello Frin9e, I have had CVA for about 3 years now (though I am an adult-onset case, diagnosed in my 40's). As with many cases of asthma, both CVA and classic asthma, many cases can be different. In my case the coughing improved after weeks of treatment, and generally got slightly better in the following months. But, I have an allergy to blue inhaler (normally known as ventolin), so I have to take maintenance medication - which is mainly steroids. Also my CVA is mostly caused by stomach-acid, so I am also able to take medication for this - and this has the most beneficial effect on my asthma in my case - so much so, if my acid is under control, I take almost no asthma medication. In your sons case, and in most asthma cases, it is most important to find out what triggers his CVA, my main trigger as I have said is stomach acid (sometimes referred to acid-reflux, GERD or GORD), there are other triggers - commonly strong perfumes, smoke, pollution, humidity, hot-weather/cold-weather, e-cig fumes, dust, pollen, other allergies that might make one sneeze/cough. If your boy does have something like hay fever, it is good to use antihistamines to relieve normal allergy symptoms, which can in-turn help the CVA. I know it is a lot to take in, but try and notice when his cough is better/worse, listen to the GP's/Asthma Nurses. Keep asking questions here if you are not sure what you have been told. Eventually you will start to understand his condition more. Regards, Mark

2 likes
Reply

Hi mark, thanks for reply my son is on antihistamine fexofenadine 120mg, nasal spray mometasone 50mg and montelukast 5mg, clenil 100 mcg twice a day and ventolin when needed. Been on meds about 6 - 8 wks with slight improvement waiting to see respiratory nurse. Own asthma nurse said he doesn't have asthma because no wheezing, I don't understand how she doesn't know about CVA and didn't bother reading his notes. So I don't know if more preventer inhaler will work or maybe a different inhaler a two in one, im afraid to just double it up but, im thinking want if that would stop this cough. I'm trying to research CVA. I know now why his cough gets worst late evening as it's linked to nocturnal asthma. Just wish someone would have explained this type of asthma to me I'm just left to carry on like I know how to treat it. I'm ok with classic asthma he had that type for years, my older son had that type too.

1 like
Reply

About the general doubt amongst medical professionals, this is fairly common I'm afraid. I was just lucky that both my GP and asthma nurse are fully on board with CVA being a reality. Chest aching - this can be normal with the excessive coughing - but keep an eye on it. Personally I now have a small hernia from coughing so much in the 'bad old days'. I forgot to mention another classic trigger for CVA (and classic asthma I understand) is stress. Is your boy at exams age? Equally, when asthma gets worse, so stress increases, a bit of a never ending circle - till you break the cycle that is. The other thing, you say he takes antihistamine - if it's for hay fever, then you will see a lot of people on here have had a worse year than normal for pollen, as well as the high humidity we've been having - my CVA first appeared in the May-Aug period. For the preventer inhaler - it really boils down to his CVA trigger - if the preventer works on that then great, if it's something like pollen, then you need to look at more hay fever relief/prevention things. Good luck with it!

2 likes
Reply

my son is 13 but stress as always played a part in his asthma as he was diagnosed with classic asthma at 1yrs old. Laughing as the same effect, but CV seem to effect everything. They thinking hay fever because it started in June last year and may this year, he's never had allergies before. my older son has always had allergies and like you said control them and you control asthma. This CVA seems to be very different to classic asthma all the meds hes on and such little difference its making its nuts. Thanks for replying.😊

Reply

No problem. Laughter is one of the more cruel parts of CVA, as is yawning...

Reply

i have cough variant asthma :/ everytime i have an attack, the medical people are like "oh its just anxiety" i finally found a CNP(certified nurse practitioner) who actually believes me :) although that doesnt help when you need medic/EMT help....

1 like
Reply

hi ZoeyLynn, I took my son to out of hours last year and an ENT doctor heard him cough and seen him first asked was he asthmatic I said yes but was told he had grown out of it a few years ago so he listen to his chest and said it was clear and that it was coming for somewhere else I said thats his asthma cough, i knew the sound but no wheezing no asthma off you go didn't bother to find out what it was he'd been coughing 12 weeks and was on his hands and knees couldn't take a breath without coughing was vomiting on times to after coughing so much. Said it sounds like croup but that sounds to me is asthma that's how he sounds they didn't want to know 😠 finally this year after 4GP visits they diagnosed CVA but it's taking so long to get the help he needs to get it under control so rite now if he runs up stairs hes out of puff. Thankyou for replying.

Reply

thats the trouble with the medical people :( theyre too stuck in their ways :( when you do find a doc that believes you, have them make a letter saying that you have this condition :) because of its less believed nature, it generally takes longer to get under control :(

Reply

right I see thankyou for letting me know that. Do you get chest pain with it? He complains about chest pain late at night it comes for a about 10 minute or so then goes some time it comes back. I don't know if it the asthma or if hes just aching because of the months of continues coughing, I don't want to take him to a&e because last year they ask me why I took him there like I was wasting their time I felt really stupid. I noticed they did more for a child with constipation than they did for asthma.

Reply

its actually pretty common to get chest pain with that :/ i would go to a different ER if i were there, but thats just me

Reply

aww ok so more than likely the CVA causing chest pain, I will take him if he get it tonight. I'm going to write all is symptoms down to ask respiratory nurse I'm going to ring surgery tomorrow to try and chase them up. Thankyou so much for taking the time to reply.😊

1 like
Reply

good luck to you :) and it no problem :)

1 like
Reply

Hi there,

I was diagnosed with CVA about a month ago (November 2016).

For the last two years, I had been getting mysterious breathless episodes and sudden feelings of being at 50% strength at anytime of the day.

Like some of you, the episode last year (February 2015) was diagnosed as a Anxiety/Panic attack and the medics thought I had an anxiety disorder.

I noticed a few things before, like a strange dizziness. Still that would make it look like anxiety.

I also had a general tachycardia for nearly these whole 2years- heart rate 100 bpmand over.

Anyway, in August 2016- one Sunday evening I start to sneeze, it seemed like a terrible cold or flu. 5 days later, I had a strange sore throat but suddenly could not breath while in office- I felt I was choking. I saw a doctor who said it was likely Pharyngitis since the back of my throat was red. He gave an antibiotic for that. The sore throat kept going. I waited for it to go, it didn't.

About wo weeks later, on a Sunday I felt very weak and went to doctor- an Xray was done and there was some Edema. (Lung Fluid).

I scheduled a doctor appointment. While driving there, I suddenly could not breath! My whole body got numb! I got to ER, my heart was racing 130bmp, the nurse thought I would faint but my Oxygen saturation was actually 90% +.

I was given a diuretic that night and Bisoprolol to reduce the tachycardia.

3 days later, my breathing got worse. I went for a CT Scan but could harldy breath. Guess what? The Bisorpolol effect.

I called Cardiologist and he told me to stop it immediately. I started breathing better.

That was the first clue but we didnt get it.

The CT scan showed two nodules in right lung but pulmonologist I saw said they were vessels (probably inflammation).

All tests including a Lung Function test kept coming back normal.

The pulmonologist wanted me to see a Psychiatrist. Thinking it was and Anxiety Disorder.

Well, weeks later, the cough I had persisted. We first thought it was Bronchitis but it kept on going.

Late November 2016, finally the Pulmonogist says... Cough Variant Asthma. ALL four Doctors I had been seeing concurred! TWO YEARS later.

I am weak, still coughing but on Pulmicort (5weeks now) but for the next three months, Ventolin when needed, I added on Montelukast 2weeks now, and Loratidine (three weeks now).

CVA is not nice- it can drain, leave chest muscles weak. Hardly any wheeze, sometimes a thick sputum if you can cough it out but generally a clear chest that fools doctors and nurses.

Whoever is going through it I pray will be fine. Sometimes I think only God keeps us alive before right diagnosis are made.

I had an on an off cough and I also had a stuffy nose. Those should never be ignored, even if they seem like the odd symptoms in the puzzle.

I noticed office parking place and office air-conditioning were a probable trigger, plus wood smoke from neighborhood and two trips in two years through a dusty forest road (probably with pollen) in the country side which which coincided with breathlessness later on.

Reply

It is so difficult having cva. I have been coughing since a little girl now 63. I was always told allergies, but then last year my coughing became more consistent and at times uncontrollable. I went to a pulmonary specialist and with all the breathing tests it was determined as cough variant asthma. I am on inhalers getting some relief but now looking at food triggers. Upon the suggestion from a friend who has asthma with a slight cough I started chewing mint flavored gum. I also drink a lot of water. It helps me a lot ..I guess with the flow of saliva and the chewing has cut back on the dripping sensation of the allergies. Still fighting it and hope to conquer it. Pray a lot!

Reply

You may also like...