Understanding Cough Variant Asthma
People with CVA do not generally have other common symptoms of asthma, such as wheezing, shortness of breath and chest tightness.
CVA is especially common in young children, and it often progresses into full-blown asthma down the line.
The cough lasts for more than 6-8 weeks, can occur any time of day (night coughing that wakes you is typically CVA), and worsens during exercise.
Unlike with regular asthma, people with CVA usually have normal pulmonary function tests, such as spirometry.
A methacholine challenge measures microscopic changes in the airways that are typical of cough variant asthma. With this test, the person inhales increasing amounts of an aerosol mist called methacholine while performing spirometry. While that is going on, the doctor watches for the airways to spasm and narrow. If lung function drops by 20% or more, then a diagnosis of asthma will be made.
an inhaled steroid for daily or twice daily control, plus a short-acting bronchodilator as a rescue inhaler when symptoms do crop up. It can take a week or two for the cough to be relieved when therapy first starts.
Just as with regular asthma, people with cough variant asthma should take care to avoid things they notice cause their coughing to start up. Common triggers of cough variant asthma are cold air, allergens, and exercise.