Infections and Asthma

When you have asthma, any upper respiratory infection -- like a cold or the flu -- can affect your lungs, causing inflammation and airway narrowing. It is important to take measures to stay healthy and be aware of any asthma symptoms, even mild, so that you avoid a more serious asthma attack.

What Are the Symptoms of Infection?

Call your doctor if you experience any of the warning symptoms of an infection that can trigger asthma (listed below). Also call your doctor if you have any other symptoms of an asthma attack that cause concern.

  • Increased shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, or wheezing
  • Coughing up increased amounts of mucus
  • Abnormally colored mucus
  • Fever (temperature over 101°F) or chills
  • Increased fatigue or weakness
  • Sore throat, scratchy throat, or pain when swallowing
  • Sinus pressure or drainage, nasal congestion, or headaches

How Can I Prevent Infections That Trigger Asthma?

What Do I Do If I Have an Infection?

If you have asthma and are showing signs of an infection, call your doctor immediately for advice on preventing asthma symptoms.

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Luqman Seidu, MD on May 31, 2015

Sources

SOURCES: 
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: "Indoor Environmental Asthma Triggers." 
American Lung Association: "Controlling Asthma Triggers."

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