About 30 million Americans have asthma. Asthma is a chronic disease involving the airways in the lungs. Asthma often causes wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and coughing. Many people with asthma also have a family history of allergies. Asthma cannot be cured, but it can be controlled with medications.
Asthma symptoms may persist regularly or come and go with the season or asthma triggers. In the spring and fall, asthma symptoms may get worse, especially in patients with a history of allergies.
Common asthma symptoms
Common asthma symptoms include:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest tightness, pain, or pressure
Not every person with asthma has the all symptoms, or has the same symptoms in the same way. They may have different symptoms at different times. The asthma symptoms may also vary from one asthma attack to the next.
Early warning signs of asthma
Early warning signs are changes that happen just before or at the very beginning of an asthma attack. These signs may start before the common symptoms of asthma and are the earliest signs that your asthma is worsening. By recognizing these early signs, you can stop an asthma attack or prevent asthma from getting worse. Early warning signs of asthma include:
- Frequent cough,especially at night
- Shortness of breath
- Fatiguewhen exercising
- Wheezing or coughing after exercise
- Easily upset, grouchy, or moody
- Signs of a cold or allergies(sneezing,runny nose,nasal congestion, cough, sore throat, and headche)
- Trouble sleeping
- Changes in lungfunction as measured on a peak flow meter
Symptoms of asthma attack
During an asthma attack, the lining of the airways becomes swollen or inflamed and the cells lining the airways produce more and thicker mucus than normal.
Asthma attack can cause symptoms such as difficulty breathing, wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath. Other symptoms of an asthma attack include:
- Severe wheezing when breathing
- Coughing that won’t stop
- Very rapid breathing
- Chest pain or pressure
- Tightened neck and chest muscles, called retractions
- Difficulty talking
- Feelings of anxiety or panic
- Pale, sweaty face
- Blue lips or fingernails
An asthma attack can worse rapidly, so it’s important to treat these asthma symptoms immediately.
Unusual Asthma Symptoms
Not everyone with asthma has the usual symptoms of cough, wheezing, and shortness of breath. Sometimes individuals have unusual asthma symptoms that may not appear to be related to asthma. Unusual asthma symptoms may include:
- Rapid breathing
- Inability to exercise properly
- Difficulty sleeping
- Chronic cough without wheezing
Asthma symptoms can be similar with other conditions such as cold, allergy, bronchitis, and even heart failure. Be aware that asthma may not always have the same symptoms in every person.Posted on May 18, 2023