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Terrible Cough

I was diagnosed with asthma in February of this year. In April the brown inhaler wasn't working too great so I was put on a higher dose of flutiform. My symptoms have hugely reduced since then, however recently I've developed a cold that won't go away. It's turned into a rattley cough and although I don't feel very unwell otherwise, I'm not sure if it's the start or a chest infection or an asthma flare up. should I go to the doctor anyway?

7 Replies

Hi Carriejen,

If you have had a cold, it's much easier to get a chest infection if you have asthma, as mucus gets stuck in pockets in the inflamed lungs and becomes infected.

So in answer to your question you may have both an asthma flare up and an infection, particularly if you have been coughing for more than 2 weeks. I would definitely make a doctors appointment as you may need both some stronger asthma meds for a little while and some antibiotics.

Hope you feel better soon


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I've had the cold for a fortnight and the cough for a week, I'll maybe make an appointment this week :) thank you


Sounds like you got something else likely a virus which for asthmatics often turns into bronchitis. If your asthma did not involve a lot of coughing up till now it is likely not the asthma itself causing the cough. Either way because you are new to this and are not familiar with the symptoms of asthma and bronchitis you should go in to see doctor or nurse and try to ask questions about it and become more knowledgeable.

That said it's hard to know it could be anything, get it checked out if it is not getting drastically better after 2 weeks.

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I totally sympathise as I kept having horrible coughing fits for 3 weeks after a flare up. You must keep going the doctor and push for more help.

My coughing fits are finally becoming less severe since my doctor changed my antihistamines for hay fever (I was on cetirizine and I'm now on fexofenadine) and put me on tiotropium, as well as my normal preventer inhaler. I've been on montekulast for a month but was still struggling until these new drugs. I had seen the asthma nurse who told me to bear with it and another nurse practitioner who also said to be patient, but when you're waking up coughing several times a night and cough to the point of vomiting, it is not on, so I asked to see a doctor. It had been really getting me down to be honest but I'm so glad I'm finally on the mend; I hope you get better support than I did at first.

At the end of the day, it's not worth ignoring these things when you're asthmatic. My asthma had been very low-level and manageable over the last 13 years but the last 6 months have been tough and have taught me to ask for help more.

Good luck and I hope you feel better soon.

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Hi Carriejen

I asked the team at Asthma UK about your query. Suzanne says, It may be that the cold has caused your asthma to flare up. Try 2 puffs of blue reliever inhaler every 4 hours as well as continuing with the flutiform. If you're not already using a spacer things may improve if you does use one for the blue inhaler and the flutiform.

If you have a written asthma action plan you are likely to be on the amber section so to follow that advice. The cough is usually the last thing to settle after a cold. However if it persists and you are worried after trying these things to see a doctor.

There's some information here about what to do if your asthma is getting worse bit.ly/2uUdlxt and also a video on using an inhaler with a small volume spacer.

Hope that helps,



Sorry I'm not sure I get this response completely. That's a lot of ventolin you are recommending, rather she should up her preventers or change LABAs. If she is having some kind of cough-variant asthma (where you asthma symptom is cough instead of wheeze or bronchospasm) then would not 2 puffs of the ventolin silence the cough pretty quickly (15 minutes)? Doesn't sound like that is happening. Several of us are saying more likely the cold led to mucus in the chest and has in turn led to some lung issue like bronchitis or infection. Those things are not asthma in of themselves but they do tend to aggravate your regular asthma which is why you up your preventers while treating the underlying problem (or let it clear up on its own).

This is all pretty standard stuff doctor should address in fact I just went through the virus leading to bronchitis episode last month (first time in over a decade, but many times when I was young).

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Thank you very much. I just moved house and managed to dig out my spacer last night and already today I feel a little less rattley! I might see how I get on and by tomorrow I'll phone for a doctor if I feel I need it. Thank you so much for your help!


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