How can a simple cold turn into chest tightness and a cough?


Community Answers
  • John Bottrell, RRT moderator
    1 year ago

    Immune cells release chemicals to kill and trap viruses, although they may also stimulate the asthma response. These chemicals irritate airways. This irritation causes airway inflammation to trap germs. It causes goblet cells to increase sputum production. Germs are balled up in sputum and brought up to your upper airway to be swallowed. This can trigger a cough. Inflamed airways cause smooth muscle lining airways to squeeze these airways. This, along with irritation of nerves lining airways, may be what causes the feeling of chest tightness.

  • Leon Lebowitz, RRT moderator
    1 year ago

    This is a question we’ve heard from our community members over several months. It can certainly be a challenge when an exacerbation hits you, seemingly out of nowhere!! Often times it is related to the triggers that are specific to your own individualized asthma condition. This article from our website may shed a little more light on this for you: https://asthma.net/triggers/viral-infections

  • Lyn Harper, RRT moderator
    1 year ago

    Since asthma is associated with inflamed lower airways, whenever a virus is introduced it can worsen symptoms of asthma. The airways of a person with asthma are already sensitive to triggers, so excessive coughing, sneezing, post nasal drip and so forth can all worsen asthma symptoms.

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