Asthma Signs & Symptoms
For some people, asthma is a minor hindrance in their lives. For others, it requires hospitalizations for severe asthma attacks. Understandably so, the signs and symptoms of the disease range across a broad spectrum. Asthma is caused by constricting and swelling of the airways (bronchospasms), making it difficult to breathe, and producing superfluous mucus. There is no cure for asthma, but its symptoms can be managed and improved.
Many asthma patients experience different asthma symptoms each time they suffer a flare-up (known as an asthma attack). Some patients experience differing amounts of symptoms with each attack. The may be mild during one asthma attack and severe during the next. For this reason, many asthma patients may not realize that they are experiencing an asthma attack each time, and they may not recognize that their condition is worsening.
Some people with asthma might have extended symptom-free periods, interrupted by periodic asthma episodes, while others have some symptoms every day. In addition, some people with asthma might only have symptoms during exercise, or when they are exposed to allergens or viral respiratory tract infections.
(see also: The 2012 Asthma Diet)
The following are signs and symptoms of asthma:
-Shortness of breath
-Tightness in chest cavity
-Whistling sound during exhalation
-Difficulty sleeping because of breathing issues
-Frequent coughing, especially during the nighttime
-Weakness while exercising
-Breathing more difficult after exercising
The condition in which asthma patients experience worsening asthma symptoms when in the presence of debris, chemical fumes, dust and gases.
The condition in which asthma patients suffer worsened symptoms as a result of exposure to cockroaches, pollen or pet dander.
The condition in which asthma patients experience a flare-up in their asthma symptoms when they are exposed to cold and/or dry air.
If you experience any of the following symptoms, your condition is probably worsening:
-Symptoms becoming more frequent and severe
-Chest pain or pressure worsening
-Breathing becoming progressively more difficult
-Needing quick-relief inhaler relief more often
-Symptoms that won’t subside after using an inhaler
-Symptoms that won’t subside after using bronchodilator medications
-Coughing that lasts day and night
See your doctor right away if you experience any of the above symptoms. Do not take more medications to treat them without consulting your doctor first. Overusing asthma medications can make asthma worse.
If you experience any of the following symptoms, seek emergency help immediately:
-Worsened chest pain or pressure
-Severe wheezing (during inhalation and exhalation)
-Inability to catch your breath
-Tight chest muscles
-Very rapid breathing
-Trouble talking or inability to talk
-Blue lips or fingernails
-Inability to fully exhale
-Tight neck muscles
It is important to see your doctor regularly so that they can monitor your condition closely and determine if your asthma treatment regimen should be altered. With these timely appointments, your doctor can see if your condition is deteriorating. Just because you may not be experiencing symptoms you recognize does not necessarily mean that your asthma conditioning has “disappeared” or improved. Being seen by a doctor greatly improves your chances of avoiding long-term damage and never experiencing fatal asthma attacks.