tiny coughing person on woman's shoulder

That Pesky Symptom Is Back

I wasn’t sure if it was the dog days of winter, it has so been cold here. Not Winnipeg cold, but definitely cold.  I had the sneaky suspicion that my generally well-controlled asthma, was, in fact, a little less controlled these days.

The asthma cough makes a comeback

I was settling in for the night when that familiar cough seemed to make a reappearance. I thought perhaps it was, just a tickle in my throat from the dry air but in fact, it was a cough that seemed to hang on. A sip of water for my dry throat did not seem to improve things and then I knew. I was going to need to get out of bed and it was rescue inhaler time. After a recent cleanup, my usually handy inhaler had been put into its proper place in the medication basket and was no longer on my nightstand table. Ugh… I was cozy and warm and I did not want to get out of bed, plus I was getting an elbow in my right asking me to stop coughing and if I was okay.

There was no escaping it; the familiar bronchospasm was back! I had been noticing a trend recently, that I would have these coughing episodes with exposure to even the tiniest trigger or things that I didn't even notice were a trigger. My biggest concern was that this may be a sign that my asthma control was slipping.

Tracking my symptoms

I decided that it was tracking time,  I needed to come back to keeping track of when these symptoms were happening and if there were any trigger exposures happening. Over the course of a few weeks, the triggers seemed to be slightly cold air and then some strange smells in the environment. Since these findings are not particularly scientific, I decided to continue the monitoring and be more proactive on having rescue medications handy and ensuring that I always have a scarf or my mask handy to warm up air on these colder days.

Even with this extra monitoring, the return of this bronchospasm was still bothering me. I wondered what the correlation to inflammation is and if this may be at all connected to a loss of inflammation control. As a recap, inflammation in asthma causes airway lining to swell and produce mucus. It can make airlines more sensitive. Bingo! Pesky inflammation could be to blame.

I generally have more concerns with inflammation and keeping it under control. If my inflammation was freaking out, in my circumstances, it was likely that eosinophils may be to blame. I have arranged for a follow-up, my respirologist and part of this process will include taking a look at my nitric oxide and eosinophils. I should hopefully know shortly if inflammation is to blame. I also have the pleasure of having very twitchy airways so this may just be cold air after all.

Stay tuned for an update coming soon.

By providing your email address, you are agreeing to our privacy policy. We never sell or share your email address.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Asthma.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Join the conversation

or create an account to comment.