Dry Cough At Night.- Inhaler Relieves It. Is It Asthma?

Question

Asked by JennyRN

Dry Cough At Night.- Inhaler Relieves It. Is It Asthma?

I am 24 y/o with no history of allergies, asthma, or lung diseases. Occasional smoker. Recently, I have developed a hacking cough which worsens at night. Waking me up 2-3 times out of a deep sleep. During the day it gets better. My physician prescribed an inhaler and a cough suppressant but with not much relief. The inhaler works for a short time and does allow me to go back to sleep but it comes back again. Is this asthma..? Is it caused by allergies? Or a virus? Help? this has been going on for a week now.

-thanks

Answer

Hi JennyRN, Kathi M. provided very good recommendations in addressing your question.

I see many patients with similar experiences and questions. When they mention (and I always ask) they smoke, even occasionally, I list smoking cessation as one of the top goals of managing their asthma. Any level of smoking intensifies the inflammatory process in the lung and may reduce lung function at a more rapid rate. Asthma is much more difficult to treat when there is active or passive tobacco inhalation. Total smoking cessation is essential. Establishing a smoke free home and car is important.

If you suspect quitting may be difficult ask your doctor about available smoking cessation programs or medications that may help you. To Your Health, J. Thompson, MD

Answered by James Thompson, MD