Cystic Fibrosis and Asthma

Cystic fibrosis (CF) is another condition co-occurs with asthma in some people. CF is a genetic disease that happens as the result of a gene mutation 1. If you have CF, you inherited copies of a mutated gene from your parents. Your risk for having CF is higher if you have a close family member with the disease, like a brother or sister. Many known genetic mutations cause CF. And these mutations have different effects on your bodily systems and organs, such as your lungs, kidneys, and digestive system. However, almost all cases of CF involve the lungs. 

Similarities between Cystic fibrosis and Asthma

CF and asthma are both conditions that affect your lungs. Airway inflammation is one of the hallmark signs and symptoms of lung involvement in CF. CF is similar to asthma 2 in that airway inflammation happens because of a trigger. However, unlike asthma, which can have many different triggers, CF has specific triggers: mold and fungi. Exposure to these triggers causes one or more of these respiratory symptoms:

  • Mucus production
  • Airway obstruction caused by mucus
  • Wheezing
  • Muscle contractions
  • Lung infections 
  • Irritation or swelling of the mucus membranes in your nose, causing runny nose, stuffiness, and stuffiness

CF is a chronic disease, which means that it does not go away. However, some treatments help with symptom management and improving your quality of living. Consult with your healthcare provider about your options for managing and treating your CF symptoms. Treatment options for managing CF often include:

  • Briefly using a steroid medication to help with airway inflammation.
  • Using bronchodilators to open up the airways.