Asthma Center

Asthma Symptoms

Symptoms of asthma
People struggle with asthma in different ways, but the feeling of breathlessness remains central to the disease. The types of asthma symptoms you experience, how often they occur, and the severity of symptoms may vary over time. Sometimes asthma symptoms may just annoy. Other times, symptoms may be troublesome enough to limit your daily routine. Severe symptoms can threaten your life. It's vital to treat symptoms when you first notice them so they don't become severe.  Common asthma symptoms include:

  • chest pain
  • chest tightness
  • coughing (especially worse at night or early in the morning)
  • difficulty sleeping
  • trouble breathing, shortness of breath
  • wheezing

Sometimes symptoms are mild and go away on their own. At other times, symptoms continue to get worse. When symptoms get more intense and/or additional symptoms appear.  These moments are termed "asthma attacks", "flare-ups" or "exacerbations". An asthma attack occurs when your lungs aren't getting enough air to breathe and can have serious consequences.

When to seek help
It's important to diagnosed and treat symptoms of asthma when you first notice them. This will help prevent the symptoms from worsening and causing a severe asthma attack. Severe asthma attacks may require emergency care, and they can cause death. To learn more about how to diagnose asthma, check out the next section on diagnosing asthma.

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