Asthma: Limit asthma attacks caused by colds or flu

Asthma, colds and flu: How to keep your sneeze from turning into a wheeze.


If you have asthma, even a mild cold can lead to wheezing and tightness in your chest. Colds and the flu are among the most common causes of asthma flare-ups, especially in young children.

Regular asthma medications may fail to relieve asthma symptoms associated with a cold or the flu. Also, asthma symptoms caused by a respiratory infection may last for several days to weeks.

There's no sure way to keep yourself or your child from getting a cold or the flu. But taking steps to avoid getting sick — and taking the right steps when you do — can help.

Preventing colds and the flu

Take these steps to help avoid getting sick:

What to do when you do get a cold or the flu

Despite your best intentions to stay healthy, an occasional cold or case of the flu is inevitable — especially in children. These steps may help:

Work with your doctor to develop a plan of action to prevent getting a cold or the flu, and know what to do at the first signs you or your child may be getting sick. Prompt treatment can help ease symptoms and prevent a mild asthma flare-up from progressing to a severe asthma attack.


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