Mostly by history. This is asthma which is primarily manifested by coughing and not measurable evidence of airway constriction. The response to low-dose inhaled steroid, bronchodilator, and/or leukotriene modifier supports the diagnosis. It is possible that this may be a prelude to persistent asthma later on in life.
Asthma. Cough is just a symptom of asthma. If your docotr hears wheezing and is recurrent problem, then you may have asthma for sure. Your docotr needs to do lung trests to establish diagnosis of asthma along with clinicla diagnosis. Some pts. Cough at night only & it becomes difficult 2diagnose as the docotr may not be able to listen for wheezing at this time unless u go 2 the er. All coughs is not asthma.
See below. Generally, if you have a persistent cough that has not resolved after possible antibiotic treatment for infections, meds for reflux, etc., but does resolve after talking a short acting bronchodilator like albuterol, then the action of the bronchodilator may have worked and thus cough variant asthma is possible.
Matter of degree/sx. Cva is what I would consider one of the mildest forms of asthma. In season one may cough intermittently without actually wheezing&be treated for a number of things before the tie in with asthma is realized. Often a simple steroid inhaler will stop the cough after a few days where abx & cough meds have no effect. Suspicion comes when you have kin with asthma.
Based on symptoms. All asthma is the same for all intents and purposes. Cough variant simply means that an individual does not seem to wheeze but coughs repeatedly, especially more at night and after exercise. They treatments are the same, however.
Difference... "cough-variant" asthma is diagnosed when the primary symptom of bronchospasm is cough as opposed to wheezing, the usual sign of bronchospasm. The bronchospasm is treated with bronchodilator and steroid inhalers and the cough is controlled with this therapy. The cough in " cough-variant" asthma responds to the usual treatment of asthma. Cough is the primary sign instead of wheezing.