Asthma symptoms vary from person to person and can range from mild to severe. Recurrent asthma attacks are one of the disease’s defining characteristics of:
- Shortness of breath: Individuals with asthma may feel a sensation of breathlessness or have difficulty getting enough air into their lungs. This symptom can range from mild to severe, and during severe asthma attacks, it can be life-threatening.
- Coughing: Persistent coughing, especially at night or early in the morning, is a common symptom of asthma. The cough may be dry or produce mucus.
- Wheezing: Wheezing is a high-pitched whistling sound that occurs when breathing, especially during exhalation. It is caused by narrowed airways and is a typical symptom of asthma.
- Chest tightness: Individuals with asthma may experience a feeling of tightness or pressure in the chest, which can be uncomfortable and distressing.
- Increased mucus production: Asthma can lead to increased production of mucus in the airways, which can contribute to coughing and a feeling of congestion.
These symptoms may worsen or improve over time and can be triggered or aggravated by various factors, including:
- Exposure to allergens (e.g., pollen, pet dander, dust mites, mold)
- Respiratory infections (e.g., colds, flu)
- Physical activity or exercise
- Cold air or changes in weather
- Irritants (e.g., smoke, strong odors, air pollution)
- Emotional stress or anxiety
It’s important to note that not all individuals with asthma will experience all of these symptoms, and some people may have atypical presentations of asthma. For instance, some individuals may have cough-variant asthma, where the primary symptom is a chronic cough without wheezing or shortness of breath.
Asthma symptoms can be triggered by various factors, so understanding and avoiding triggers, following an asthma action plan, and regularly taking prescribed medications are essential for effectively managing the condition. If you or someone you know is experiencing asthma symptoms, it’s important to seek medical evaluation and guidance from a healthcare professional. Proper management can help control symptoms and improve overall quality of life for individuals with asthma.