Medical Progress

Understanding Asthma – Symptoms

What Are the Symptoms of Asthma?

Asthma symptoms include episodes of:

  • Tightness or pressure in the chest.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Wheezing (a high-pitched whistling sound that occurs when exhaling).
  • Coughing, especially at night.

Early warning signs of the onset of an asthma attack include:

  • Signs of a cold.
  • Frequent cough, especially at night.
  • The need to use your rescue inhaler.
  • Losing your breath easily (exercise-induced bronchospasm).
  • A decrease in lung function, as measured by a spirometer or peak flow meter.


Call Your Doctor About Asthma If:

  • You or another person is experiencing an asthma attack for the first time. Asthma can quickly become serious if not treated promptly and properly.
  • Your rescue inhaler (usually albuterol) does not work to relieve your symptoms within 20 minutes.
  • You or the person with asthma cannot talk in complete sentences. Other things to look for: flaring nostrils; the skin between the ribs is sucked in with each breath; the lips or the skin under the nails appear grayish or bluish. These are all signs of extreme oxygen deprivation. Get immediate emergency treatment.

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