Patient: When I have a sore throat / nose virusIt goes lower down into my respiratory system and I develop a terrible sea lion type cough with quite strong broncho spasm . At the clinic I’m treated with iv steroidNebuliser and a course of antibiotics.I take symbicort inhaler daily and I live a symtom free life and only get asthma symptoms with this sea lion / croup sounding virusNo doctor has ever expalined what is happening I am just given treatment.Is this an asthma attack ? Or is it something else ?
Doctor: Hello. Welcome to Ask The Doctor. We are here for your help.Your history is suggestive of Chronic Bronchitis or Bron chial Asthma. It is difficult to differentiate between the both based on the history as both of them have similar presentations. You should get a Chest X-ray, Pulmonary function test done. The treatment depends upon the frequency of attacks you have. If you have less than one attack a week with symptom-free night you just need to take Inhaler containing Salbutamol but in case you have more frequent attacks you should carry on with Symbicort inhaler. You should also take an anti-allergic like Levocetrizine and Montelukast.Bronchial Asthma or Bronchitis both have remitting and relapsing pattern so whenever you get any attach you should see your doctor and get a prescription of antibiotics and low dose oral steroids.This is not a Chronic viral infection. However, any infection be it be viral or bacterial can precipitate it.Bronchial Asthma or Bronchitis is an allergic response to any allergen which you are allergic to. It can’t be completely cured but can just be controlled.So you should take the medicines as discussed above and try to find out to which is the culprit allergen in your case and try to avoid it as far as possible. Most common allergens are smoke, dust, fumes.I hope the information helps you.If you have any further query, please ask me.Stay Healthy.