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Asthma- only symptom I ever noticed was a chronic cough.

My son is 7 and diagnosed with asthma 2 years ago. His only symptom I ever noticed was a chronic cough. They started him on advair and he has been fine, no coughing up until this winter. Last month he had a cold and it didn't seem like a big deal. next thing I know he is in the hospital with pneumonia, scary! Now here we are a month and a half later and he has a cold, nose congestion and cough. He is always on advair as a controller. My question is this, when he gets a cold, we give him advair, qvar and then albuterol. We have been giving him this for the past 6 days since the cold started and he is still coughing. Would these inhalers make the coughing go away if this was a viral illness or do they only work on the asthma cough? I had him to the doctor and they did a lung xray which was clear but yet this cough is still here. Should the inhalers be taking it away or is it just part of a cold that has to run its course?? thanks.
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replied February 3rd, 2012
Hello and welcome to e health forum.

In reactive airway diseases like asthma, the cough is due to reduced diameter of the airway which restricts the air flow.

In conditions, like viral infections induced colds and coughs, inflammation of the respiratory tract and production of mucus, causes irritation of the airway, and hence results in cough.

In young kids, with asthma, superimposed viral infections (especially during winters), worsen the symptoms, and can complicate recovery.

Inhalers contain different type of medications. Bronchodilators (Albuterol) help to improve the breathing, and not necessarily to reduce cough. Steroids (Fluticasone in Advair) reduces the inflammation and hence reduces the hyperreactivity of the airway.

Hence the inhalers your son is being prescribed, are to control his symptoms and not just to reduce cough.

The recovery in such conditions will take a still longer time, which is needed for healing of the respiratory mucosa affected. In the mean time, Inhalers, anti inflammatory medications, and other supportive measures will need to be continued to help control the symptoms.

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