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Signs and Symptoms of Asthma

Asthma is a very common respiratory illness that is the result of an inflammation of the bronchial tubes.  The incidences of asthma are rising rapidly in America, probably due to pollution and other environmental triggers.  Asthma is the leading, chronic serious illness in children under age ten.  We have put together a list of common signs and symptoms of asthma below.

Also, we have information on diagnosis, helpful books and valuable resources for patients.

The Most Common Signs and Symptoms of Asthma are as follows:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Choking
  • Wheezing
  • Coughing
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Inability to exhale
  • Bronchial spasms
  • Inflammation of the bronchial tubes
  • Loss of sleep due to wheezing and coughing

There are several different types of asthma.  Exercise-induced asthma occurs when you are exercising and is made worse by cold weather.  It can also be triggered by physical activity such as dancing or bouts of laughing.  Occupational asthma is the result of exposure to toxins and chemicals in the workplace, such as gasoline fumes, solvents, plastics, etc.  Allergic asthma occurs when you have been exposed to an allergen such as dust, pollen and per dander.

For some people, asthma can be triggered by anxiety or stress.

If you experience a severe asthma attack, get emergency medical help at once.  Emergency medical measures, which include medication to open up the air passages, may be necessary to arrest severe asthma attacks that may be life-threatening.

Diagnosis of Asthma

A diagnosis of asthma is made by a health care professional doing a physical examination and by discussing the signs and symptoms of asthma you are experiencing.  Some asthma tests include a peak flow meter, which measures how hard you can exhale. Another test is a spirometry, which also measures how hard you can breathe out, based on the constriction of the bronchial tubes.  Also, you may be given a bronchodilator such as albuterol.  If your signs and symptoms of asthma are improved after using a bronchodilator, it is very likely that you have asthma.

Books For People With Signs and Symptoms of Asthma

The Asthma Sourcebook 3rd Edition (Sourcebooks)
Francis V. Adams
Asthma-Free Naturally: Everything You Need to Know to Take Control of Your Asthma – Featuring the Buteyko Breathing Method Suitable for Adults and Children
Patrick McKeown

The Allergy and Asthma Cure: A Complete 8-Step Nutritional Program
Fred Pescatore
Life and Breath: The Breakthrough Guide to the Latest Strategies for Fighting Asthma and Other Respiratory Problems — At Any Age
Neil Schachtera

Asthma Resources

General Patient Resources

  • American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology

Your Trusted Resource. Patients and healthcare professionals alike depend on authoritative, expert resources to make informed decisions regarding allergies, asthma and more.

  • Centers For Disease Control and Prevention

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) topic homepage for asthma provided by the National Center of Environmental Health (NCEH).

  • Medicine Net .com

Read about asthma symptoms, medication, inhalers, management and triggers that cause an attack. Get the facts about asthma in children, asthma types and exercise-induced asthma.

  • About . com

Welcome to the Asthma Discussion forum, a place for people with asthma and / or parents of kids with asthma. Discuss your experiences with asthma and how to manage it.

  • E Health Forum

Welcome to the Asthma Forum – a health community featuring member and doctor discussions ranging from a specific symptom to related conditions, treatment options, medication, side effects, diet, and emotional issues surrounding medical conditions.

Medical Resources

  • Mayo Clinic

Comprehensive overview covers symptoms, treatment of this chronic lung condition.

  • Medline Plus

A service of the US National Library of Medicine.

  • Web MD

Overview of symptoms, causes, treatment and finding help.