Symptoms of Asthma: What You Need To Know

Not all people experience the same symptoms of asthma in the same way. A person may have different symptoms of asthma at different times, and not all symptoms of asthma may manifest. The symptoms of asthma may also vary at a given time; mild today and severe the next day. Some may experience long periods with no symptoms of asthma at all, while others may experience symptoms of asthma on a daily basis.

Recognizing early warning signs of symptoms of asthma can tell you the beginning of an asthma attack, or give you clear warning signs that your asthma is worsening. Increased night time coughing can be an early warning sign, as well as episodic wheezing or coughing when doing physical activities. One may also experience tiredness from doing activities that he or she normally does quite easily and effortlessly in the past. There are also significant decreases in Peak Expiratory Flow Rate (PEFR). They may also experience restless sleep or wake up feeling tired. Worsening allergy symptoms like runny nose, coughing, sneezing, nasal congestion, dark circles under the eyes, or itchy and inflamed skin may also manifest. Recognizing these early symptoms of asthma can prevent more severe symptoms of asthma from ever occurring.

When a patient is diagnosed with asthma, classic symptoms of asthma like chest tightness, chest pain or chest pressure may be experienced, as well chronic coughing (coughing that will not go away no matter what time of day), shortness of breath, wheezing that you can actually hear, and more trouble falling asleep at night.

Knowing the symptoms of asthma is important, but knowing what triggers symptoms of asthma is just as equally important.

Symptom triggers are non-allergic triggers that can cause ‘twitchy’ airways. Some of the most common symptom triggers are allergies, cold air, exercise, stress, intense emotions, chemical fumes or strong perfumes, smoke, and even the common cold.

Inflammatory triggers, or triggers which cause inflammation of the lungs’ airways, are house dust mites (in pillows, bed sheets, upholstered furniture etc.), animals with fur or hair, cockroaches, moulds, pollens, viral infections, certain air pollutants, changes in weather, strong emotional expressions (like laughing or crying hard), and even menstrual cycles.

Asthma can be intrinsic, which means there is no identifiable or determined cause for the attack, and it can also be extrinsic, which means asthma that is caused by an asthma trigger. An asthma attack can be brief or can last for several days. It may be mild or it can be life-threatening. But asthma is more of a manageable condition rather than a life-threatening one, with the right medication and constant monitoring of symptoms.

Asthma affects as many as 12% of children in the country. Symptoms of asthma can manifest in children as young as 5 years old.  They can develop some symptoms of asthma which they can eventually grow out of, with the right and effective treatment. This is why it is important that we recognize early symptoms of asthma, so that doctors can diagnose early. An early diagnosis of symptoms of asthma can spell the difference between long term control and quick relief medications. Early diagnosis simply means early treatment and better control of asthma attacks. Asthma does not mean the end of the world for you. You just need to learn to control the symptoms of asthma and you can still make live a perfectly normal and active life.

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