Common colds are a common trigger of asthma flare-ups, particularly in children.And these viral infections are thought to be involved in around 4 out of 5 bad asthma attacks in kids.
If asthma symptoms flare up when you get a cold or the flu, your lungs might not respond as quickly to reliever medications and you might take longer than normal to get better.
If you know from experience that you or your child gets asthma symptoms whenever a cold strikes, talk to your doctor about what to do. Your doctor might recommend that you change the dose or use medication differently at the first sign of a cold.
Together with your doctor, develop a personal written asthma action plan that includes these instructions. A written asthma action plan helps you recognize worsening asthma and tells you what to do in response. Acting quickly can help prevent a mild flare-up from developing into a severe attack.
What to do if you get sick
Follow your written asthma action plan.
If you don’t have an asthma action plan, contact your doctor to ask what you should do.
Get lots of rest and take care of yourself.
Stay home – try to avoid infecting others
Seek medical help straight away if your symptoms are severe or rapidly getting worse.
Antibiotics are not recommended for treating viral respiratory infections like the common cold.
Tips for preventing colds and flu
Wash your hands regularly
Keep your hands away from your eyes, nose and mouth – this is where the germs get in
Avoid contact with anyone who’s sick
Cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing
Ask your doctor if you should get vaccination for influenza and/or pneumonia
Many people think of influenza as ‘the flu’ and use this term for common illnesses like head colds, but influenza is much more serious.
Symptoms can include fever, headache, muscular aches, sore throat and dry cough. The symptoms often begin suddenly and develop quickly – some people describe it like ‘being hit by a truck’.
If you think you might have influenza, call your doctor as soon as possible.
For further information
Speak to your GP or pharmacist