Respiratory Infections and Asthma

Everyone experiences a respiratory infection at some point in their life. Children, pregnant women, the elderly, and people with pre-existing health conditions are more susceptible to the viruses and bacteria that cause these infections. Having asthma also makes you vulnerable to getting respiratory infections. 

The Relationship

Respiratory infections can worsen your asthma symptoms 1, make your asthma harder to manage or trigger an asthma attack. The viruses and bacteria that cause respiratory infections also cause inflammation and damage to your nasal cavity, airways, and lungs. As a result, you experience symptoms like shortness of breath, coughing, and wheezing. If you have pre-existing asthma, this damage can further complicate your condition. In most mild or moderate cases, a single respiratory infection may not do much damage to your airways or lungs. However, repeated infections will. And, they make your airways more responsive and sensitive to different asthma triggers. 

The good thing about most respiratory infections is that they are temporary; they get better over time. Also, many of these infections follow seasonal patterns. Being aware of these patterns helps you remain proactive and take preventative measures. Consult with your healthcare provider about ways to manage your asthma during infection seasons. You may experience relief by:

  • Using your prescribed asthma therapy
  • Taking anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Using pain relievers to treat your pain or fever
  • Using a nasal decongestant