When you have asthma, any infection – a cold, virus, flu – can affect the lungs, causing inflammation and bronchoconstriction (airway narrowing). It is important to take measures to stay healthy and be aware of any lung symptoms, even mild, so that you avoid an asthma attack.

What symptoms suggest I have an infection?

Call your doctor if you experience any of the warning signs of an infection (listed below). Also call your doctor if you have any other symptoms that cause concern.

  • Increased shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, or wheezing
  • Increased need for your reliever medication (rescue inhaler)
  • Coughing up increased amounts of mucus
  • Yellow- or green-colored mucus
  • Fever (temperature over 101°F) or chills
  • Increased fatigue or weakness
  • Sore throat, scratchy throat, or pain when swallowing
  • Sinus drainage, nasal congestion, headaches, or tenderness along upper cheekbones

How can I prevent an infection?

  • Good hygiene can decrease viral infections. Prevent the spread of infection by making sure you and your family members wash their hands regularly
  • Check with your doctor about receiving a flu shot every year.
  • Sinus infections can trigger asthma. Be aware of your sinus symptoms, and report them immediately to prevent asthma episodes.

What do I do if I have an infection?

If you are showing signs of an infection, call your doctor immediately for advice.


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This information is provided by the Cleveland Clinic and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or health care provider. Please consult your health care provider for advice about a specific medical condition. This document was last reviewed on: 4/27/2017…#11326