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Asthma - Symptoms

Some of the common asthma symptoms include:

  • Coughing, especially at night
  • Wheezing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest tightness, pain or pressure

However, not every person with asthma has the same symptoms. Your asthma symptoms may also vary from one asthma attack to the next, being mild during one and severe during another.

In some cases, people suffering from asthma may go for extended periods without having any symptoms, interrupted by periodic worsening of their symptoms called asthma attacks. Others might have asthma symptoms every day. In addition, some people may only have asthma while exercising.

Mild asthma attacks are generally more common. Usually, the airways open up within a few minutes to a few hours. Severe attacks are less common, but last longer and require immediate medical help. It is important to recognise and treat even mild asthma symptoms to help you prevent severe episodes and keep asthma under better control.

Know the early symptoms of asthma

Early warning signs are changes that happen just before or at the very beginning of an asthma attack. Though not severe or dangerous, by recognising these signs, you can stop an asthma attack or prevent one from getting worse. Early warning signs of asthma include:

  • Frequent cough, especially at night
  • Losing your breath easily or shortness of breath
  • Feeling very tired or weak when exercising
  • Wheezing or coughing after exercise
  • Feeling tired, easily upset, grouchy, or moody
  • Decreases or changes in lung function as measured on a peak flow meter
  • Signs of a cold or allergies (sneezing, runny nose, cough, nasal congestion, sore throat, and headache)
  • Trouble sleeping

Want to understand the severity of your asthma? Take the asthma evaluation test: Test Now

FAQs

How do I know if I've got asthma?

The classic asthma symptoms include wheezing, coughing, tightness in your chest, and feeling short of breath. But other conditions — like allergies, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), sleep apnea, and post nasal drip — can trigger symptoms similar to asthma. Hence, it is important to get a diagnosis if you have asthma signs and symptoms.

Can you suddenly develop asthma?

Although many people first develop asthma during childhood, asthma symptoms can occur at any time in life. However, with the proper management of asthma symptoms, people with asthma can lead normal, active lives. It is best to get treated in the early stages to avoid severe asthma symptoms.

What are the symptoms of asthma in adults?

Unlike children who often experience intermittent asthma attack symptoms in response to allergy triggers or respiratory infections, adults with newly diagnosed asthma generally have persistent asthma symptoms. Adults may experience asthma symptoms like:
  • Coughing, especially at night, during exercise or when laughing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Chest tightness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Wheezing

What drink is good for asthma?

There is some evidence that certain drinks may help lessen asthma symptoms. These include:
  • Caffeinated drinks - Caffeine may have beneficial effects on asthma symptoms. Consuming small amounts of caffeine can improve lung function.
  • Drinks with vitamin D - Cow milk or plant-based milk contain vitamin D, which might help prevent signs of asthma asthma in some cases.
  • Water - Dehydration may make a person likely to experience asthma signs and symptoms. Those who exercise regularly may need to drink more water.

What Causes an Asthma Attack?

Asthma attack symptoms can be triggered by exposure to an allergen, such as tree, grass or pollen, dust mites, cockroaches or animal dander. Other common triggers are irritants in the air, such as smoke or chemical fumes, and strong odors, such as perfume.

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