Student helping her asmathic friend

How Exactly Does Flu Affect Asthma? Ashcroft Pharmacy

Flu is a common viral infection that affects different parts of the body, such as the lungs, throat, and nose. This viral infection is deadly, especially when contracted by people in high-risk groups. These high-risk groups include pregnant women, adults (50 years and older), and people with different health conditions, such as lung disease, heart disease, diabetes, asthma, and many more.


Regardless of the condition of your asthma, you need to understand that the flu has a lot of effects on it. Matter of fact, people currently suffering from asthma are at a higher risk of having serious flu complications. Swollen airways, sensitive airways, and inflammation of the lungs and airways are a few of the effects of the flu on asthma sufferers. That’s not all; the flu can also trigger other asthma complications and attacks.


Read on to discover everything you should know about the relationship between asthma and the flu, as well as how to avoid complications.

Health risks

Asthma is a common and long-term lung disease that causes the airways to narrow after getting inflamed. When this happens, the sufferer finds it difficult to breathe. This lung disease is often caused by a strong immune response to certain chemicals present in the lungs.


For now, there’s no clear connection between having the flu and developing asthma. One clear thing is that viral infection can cause serious complications in asthma patients. Also, having respiratory infections and wheezing during childhood can make people develop asthma or experience serious asthma conditions.


One thing is to have asthma symptoms, another thing is to have the flu. When a patient experiences a combination of these two health conditions, serious health complications are certainly going to surface.


It’s pretty simple; having asthma means a patient has sensitive, inflamed, and swollen airways. These effects result in the production of excessive mucus, which causes breathing difficulties and other asthma symptoms. When an asthma patient gets the flu, this viral infection will further worsen the inflammation, resulting in the production of more and more mucus. Even if an asthma patient is recovering fast, the flu can delay the recovery process and cause an increased risk of bronchitis and frequent hospitalization.

Here’s what to do when you start experiencing the flu or cold

How to Tell the Difference Between Flu, COVID-19, Cold and Allergies in  Kids | Children's Healthcare of Atlanta

Now, the question is; what exactly will happen when an asthma patient starts experiencing a cold or the flu?


As a youngster, it’s almost impossible to avoid a cold or the flu. Below are a few effective steps to consider when you start experiencing the flu:


  1. Visit your doctor as soon as you notice your asthma symptoms are getting worse after getting the flu. You can also consider using antiviral medicine as soon as you can to help you recover quickly from the flu.


  1. In this case, you need to understand that your asthma action plan still counts a lot. Consider adjusting your asthma medication based on the action plan as soon as you start experiencing cough, tightness of the chest, breathing difficulties, or wheezing. If you don’t have an asthma action plan yet, this is certainly the best time to get one.


  1. You need a lot of rest. In addition, you also need to drink plenty of fluids during this period. Nonprescription medicines, which you can easily get over the counter, can also help you get better with the flu. However, ensure your doctor is okay with the drugs before you start using them.


  •     Keeping track of your airflow is a good way to ensure the flu isn’t making your asthma symptoms worse. In this case, you can use a peak flow meter to better understand the performance of your lungs. Take the measurement every day and adjust your asthma medicine once you start experiencing a drop in your readings.
  •     Anytime you start experiencing severe symptoms, such as sore throat and breathing difficulties, the best thing is to visit your doctor immediately. You should also do the same thing when you start experiencing various pneumonia symptoms.

Wrapping up with these fun facts:

Asthma is a very common lung disease in the United Kingdom. This medical condition is even very common among most children hospitalized with the flu. A 2011 study, which was published in the journal Pediatrics, revealed that roughly 32% of hospitalized children with seasonal flu (6 years period) also suffer from asthma. Furthermore, a 2009 study revealed that children with asthma make up about 44% of pediatric hospitalisations for Influenza a virus subtype H1N1.