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Asthma

Can Asthma Symptoms Begin During Adulthood?

11/23/2009

Question:

I have had 4 colds and got a really bad cough all four times. My family doctor gave me an antibiotic all four times as well because I am on immunosuppressant for my RA. Each time I see him because of the cough he listens to my lungs and tells me that he can hear wheezing. He has asked if I was on any inhalers and I told him that I was not. But I do take Prednisone every day.

Last time my cough got really bad and I got really sick so when I called him he told me to go to the ER. There they said that my lungs sounded clear. I had a pulmonary function test done twice because I have pulmonary hypertension but very mild. No treatment required for it just keeping an eye on it.The results were above average lung function.

The reason why he wanted me to go to the ER is because he said that I was asthmatic. I never was told that before. So I don`t think that I have it. I do also get a very bad cough if I go for my walk and it is cold out. Almost as soon as I come in the door I cough really badly for about 30 minutes. Can someone have asthma and have periods where there is no wheezing and normal lung sounds?

Answer:

The answer to your question is yes.  It may be necessary for you to get a special test called a "methacholine challenge" which measures airway hyperresponsiveness of the airways which is a central feature of asthma. 

It is also possible you have cold induced or exercise induced bronchospasm and would benefit form some intermittent or controller therapy.  I would recommend seeing an asthma specialist (allergist or pulmonologist) for further evaluation.

For more information:

Go to the Asthma health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Jonathan   Bernstein, MD Jonathan Bernstein, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati