A sore throat, stuffy nose, fever, cough or other symptoms and signs caused due to a flu (influenza) virus, cold or respiratory infection can create nuisance for any individual. But in persons who suffer from asthma, even a minor cold may cause symptoms of wheezing or tightness in chest. Flu infection and common cold is the common cause of flare-ups of asthma, particularly in children.
Although it is a known fact that the risk of getting an attack of asthma is increased by flu and colds, the reason of this link is not well understood. According to latest research, when asthma patients gets flu or cold, the levels of a protein that is inflammatory in nature are raised in the cells lining the airways. This may trigger a series of inflammatory reactions, leading to narrowing of airways and resulting in a cold induced asthma attack.
Signs and Symptoms of an Asthma Attack
Same symptoms are not present in every person having asthma. Symptoms may also differ from one episode to another, ranging from mild to severe.
Asthma is not associated with symptoms of fever, muscle aches, chills or sore throat. Some of the common symptoms of asthma are:
Despite your efforts to be healthy, it is inevitable to get an occasional infection of flu or cold, particularly in children. Some of the tips to manage colds and asthma include:
Unfortunately, no guaranteed method exists to prevent flu or cold. But you can take some simple steps to decrease your risk of getting the infection.
Flu and cold viruses are often spread by touching an infected surface such as a door knob and then touching your face. This transfers the virus to your eyes or nose. When you wash your hands repeatedly with warm water and mild soap, you reduce the risk of getting infected. Also, try and not touch your eyes and nose too frequently. Washing hands is the best method to prevent the spread of infection; however, you can also use antiviral hand foams, especially when you are not at home and are not able to wash your hands.
To boost your immunity and prevent an attack of cold induced asthma, eat a healthy and balanced diet, which has plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits, do regular exercise and ensure that you get enough sleep.
Speak to your physician about whether you require a flu vaccine each year before the flu season starts. The flu vaccine is designed to protect you from the specific flu viruses, though it does not provide protection from all of the flu viruses. However, not every person suffering from asthma requires a flu vaccine. Your physician may suggest a flu vaccine if:
If your physician recommends a flu vaccine, then you should get it between September and November, before flu viruses are active.