The term “cardiac asthma” refers to wheezing associated with heart failure. It is not true asthma. Depending on how severe your symptoms are, this wheezing can be a medical emergency. As a result of heart failure, fluid can build up in the lungs (pulmonary edema) and in your airways.
This causes signs and symptoms — such as shortness of breath, coughing and wheezing — that may mimic asthma. True asthma is a chronic condition caused by inflammation of the airways, which can lead to breathing difficulties. The distinction is important because treatments for asthma and heart failure are very different.
Treatments for heart failure, including medications, can help improve your symptoms for both the heart failure and the cardiac asthma.
Overusing treatments for true asthma, such as rescue inhalers, may actually worsen your symptoms and could cause dangerous heart rhythms.
Source: The Daily Star, July 04, 2009