Asthma - Symptoms

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Typical asthma symptoms and signs

The symptoms of asthma vary from person to person and in any individual from time to time. It is important to remember that many of these symptoms can be subtle and similar to those seen in other conditions. All of the symptoms mentioned below can be present in other respiratory, and sometimes, in heart conditions. This potential confusion makes identifying the settings in which the symptoms occur and diagnostic testing very important in recognizing this disorder.

The following are the four major recognized asthma symptoms:

  • Shortness of breath, especially with exertion or at night
  • Wheezing is a whistling or hissing sound when breathing out
  • Coughing may be chronic, is usually worse at night and early morning, and may occur after exercise or when exposed to cold, dry air
  • Chest tightness may occur with or without the above symptoms

Asthma is classified according to the frequency and severity of symptoms, or "attacks," and the results of pulmonary (lung) function tests.

  • 30% of affected patients have mild, intermittent (less than two episodes a week) symptoms of asthma with normal breathing tests
  • 30% have mild, persistent (two or mores episodes a week) symptoms of asthma with normal or abnormal breathing tests
  • 40% have moderate or severe, persistent (daily or continuous) symptoms of asthma with abnormal breathing tests
Return to Asthma

See what others are saying

Comment from: Survivor, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: February 08

At age 20 I was diagnosed with bronchitis. At that time I had been a smoker for at least 1 year. My doctor admonished me that if I didn't quit, the bronchitis could turn into asthma. I had not quit and by the time I was 31, I had an asthma attack. After that, I quit cold turkey. Today, I still suffer asthma symptoms although I haven't smoked for at least 16 years. Symptoms include: shortness of breath after energetic activity and even climbing stairs, wheezing, fatigue and tightness of the chest with the changes in weather. I also suffer with allergies which sometimes trigger asthma symptoms. One of the main triggers is now cigeratte smoke!Medications I have used to treat these symptoms include Advair, Singular, albuteral inhaler. I even used Prima Tene Mist inhaler, but it did not work as well as the Albuterol. Life is not over because of this condition as long as I use treatments properly.

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Comment from: Tiger, 35-44 Female (Caregiver) Published: June 17

Coughing so bad and can't breath if there is no inhale medication.

Was this comment helpful?Yes

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