Issues Magazine

Articles about asthma

Sneezing Leads To Wheezing: Microbes Important in Asthma

By Christiana Willenborg & Sacha Stelzer-Braid

Asthma symptoms can worsen for a range of environmental and occupational reasons. At least half of all asthma exacerbations are caused by respiratory viruses, but there are microbiological causes too.

Asthma is a chronic inflammatory condition of the airways. It is often difficult to diagnose as the symptoms (wheeze, difficulty breathing) are common to other illnesses such as respiratory tract infections and obesity. “Viral-induced wheeze” and cough are common in young children with respiratory infections, but is not necessarily caused by asthma.