Almost everyone has heard of asthma, but did you know that there are different types of asthma? The most common type of asthma is bronchial asthma, which causes narrowing of the airways and trouble breathing. However, about 50% of asthma attacks are actually caused by viral asthma.
Viral asthma is when asthma symptoms are experienced due to an active infection of the respiratory tract. Viral asthma is not caused by just one virus. Instead, any virus that affects the respiratory system can cause a viral asthma attack, but respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and rhinovirus (RV) are both common culprits.
Who Gets Viral Asthma?
Anyone with active respiratory infection can have symptoms of viral asthma. However, there are certain groups that are more susceptible than others. People with well-controlled bronchial asthma can also be affected by viral asthma. People who had asthma as a child or children born prematurely are also particularly vulnerable.
Viral Asthma Symptoms
In general, the symptoms of viral asthma are the same as bronchial asthma. You can expect:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest tightness
However, unlike a bronchial asthma attack, viral asthma symptoms will only occur during an active virus infection and will accompany the symptoms of whatever virus is causing the attack. It’s important to review your symptoms with a qualified physician to determine which symptoms are caused by viral asthma if any. In between viral illnesses, most patients with viral asthma have minimal symptoms.
Viral Asthma Treatment
Treatment of viral asthma is mainly focused on controlling acute symptoms and resolving the underlying virus. Bronchodilators and inhaled corticosteroids are common pharmaceutical choices for treating symptoms. Treating the underlying virus symptoms, such as congestion, fever, or cough, also helps. There is no cure for viral asthma.
Viral Asthma Care in Tampa Bay
If you’ve experienced viral asthma symptoms during a respiratory infection, you need to act now. To control your current symptoms and provide helpful lifestyle tips to prevent future attacks, trust the professionals at Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Associates of Tampa Bay. To schedule an appointment, call us at (813) 971-9743 or contact us online today.