Medical Questions > Conditions and Diseases > Asthma Forum

Do I have asthma? been told that I have bronchitis.

I am wondering if I might have asthma. I quit smoking 6-8 months ago, and have been told that I have bronchitis and that it will go away. I live at 6000 ft elevation and during the winter we get snow. When I breathe in very cold winter air (when it's in the 20s), it hurts my lungs. I once had a severe reaction where my chest and throat closed when I went into a barn full of straw bales. And, more importantly, I have occasions where the upper part of my chest and throat gets a feeling of being breathless, kind of like if you were to smell ammonia, or if there is too much CO2 in your lungs. When this happens I get out of breath walking 25 yards or less, and I feel generally tired and dizzy. Other times I am fine.

I guess I'm worried about whether it's my heart or my lungs--either one could be serious though.

In the past, I have had pneumonia and bronchitis, and I am always kind of wheezy in my upper chest, just below the center of my collarbone and I have perpetual post nasal drip.
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replied April 2nd, 2011
Hello and thank you for posting your medical question on E health forum.

Asthma is due to a hypersensitiveness of the airway tract to variety of stimuli. People with asthma experience symptoms when the airways tighten, inflame, or fill with mucus. Common asthma symptoms include:

1. Coughing, especially at night ;
2. Wheezing ;
3. Shortness of breath ;
4. Chest tightness, pain, or pressure

Still, not every person with asthma has the same symptoms in the same way. You may not have all of these symptoms, or you may have different symptoms of asthma at different times

For proper diagnosis of asthma, lung function tests will be helpful.

If diagnosed, Asthma can be controlled by taking the regular medications including inhalers. Typically bronchodilators are prescribed for regular use and for acute episodes. When exacerbation occurs, a steroid inhaler can be prescribed by your doctor which will help stabilize the airways and prevent further worsening or future attacks. In addition medications can be prescribed to prevent the hypersensitiveness of the airway.

Over time, as the airway matures, patients usually grow out and episodes become less frequent.

You might consult your doctor for a physical examination and the necessary tests which might help to start the necessary treatment.

I hope this helps.

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