Asthma symptoms range from minor to severe and vary from person to person.
You may have infrequent asthma attacks, which means that you have symptoms
only at certain times, such as during exercise or you may have ongoing
symptoms that you affect you on a daily basis.
Signs and symptoms of asthma may include:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest tightness or pain
- Trouble sleeping caused by shortness of breath, coughing or wheezing
- A whistling or wheezing sound when exhaling (wheezing is a common sign
of asthma in children)
- Coughing or wheezing attacks that are worsened by a respiratory virus,
such as a cold or the flu
Many things can trigger or worsen asthma symptoms. Your doctor will help
you find out which things (called triggers) may cause your asthma to flare
up if you come in contact with them.
Asthma Triggers: For some people, asthma symptoms flare up in certain situations
Exercise-induced asthma, which may be worse when the air is cold and dry
Occupational asthma, triggered by workplace irritants such as chemical fumes, gases, tobacco
smoke or dust
Allergy-induced asthma, triggered by particular allergens, such as pet dander, cockroaches, dust
mites, pollen and sulfites or preservatives in processed food
Emotional anxiety and stress may increase asthma symptoms and trigger an attack
Not all people who have asthma have these symptoms. Likewise, having these
symptoms doesn’t always mean that you have asthma. The best way
to determine if you have asthma is to see your physician for the proper testing.
Allergy-induced asthma may produce problems year round, because it’s triggered by substances
found in the everyday living environment. Other people only deal with
the symptoms at certain times of the year, especially if they have the
outdoor allergies, meaning that triggers are commonly found outdoors,
rather than indoors. And still, others have allergy/asthma symptoms year-round
but find they get much worse in the summertime when summer pollens are
in the air
Know your triggers: It is important to recognize what triggers your asthma and minimize your
exposure to allergens (substances to which you are allergic). Allergen
exposure can temporarily increase the inflammation of the airways in a
person with asthma, making them more susceptible to an asthma attack.