Asthma and Other Conditions
Some other conditions are linked with asthma, so if you have asthma the chances of you also having one of these conditions increases. These include allergies and gastric reflux.
Sometimes, acid reflux and similar conditions are called 'Gastro-Oesophageal Reflux Disease (GORD). People with asthma are twice as likely to have GORD as those people who do not have asthma, and people who have severe asthma are most likely to also have GORD. We know that studies have shown a relationship between asthma and GORD, but the exact relationship remains unclear.
People with GORD have an increased cough and reflex sensitivity. Often there is the backward flow of stomach acids into the oesophagus, and when this acid enters the lower part of the oesophagus, it can produce a burning sensation, commonly referred to as heartburn.
Sometimes cough is a symptom of GORD but it is important to bear in mind that cough is also an important symptom of uncontrolled asthma.
A recent review of research has shown that treating GORD in someone who also has asthma has no significant benefit on asthma symptoms or lung function. However we are aware for some people, treating one seems to help the other.
If you have both asthma and GORD, it is important that you consistently take any asthma medications your doctor has prescribed to you, as well as controlling your exposure to asthma triggers as much as possible. Many of the symptoms of GORD can be treated and/or prevented by taking a few simple steps. Your doctor or nurse will be able to advise you about what to do.