Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Asthma Health Center

Select An Article
Font Size

Inside the Asthma Guide: A Doctor's Tour


Symptoms & Types

Worried that you might have asthma symptoms? Surprisingly, sometimes a chronic cough is the only symptom of asthma, called cough-variant asthma. Learn more about asthma symptoms, such as wheezing, chest tightness, and shortness of breath, so you can talk openly with your doctor to see if you need asthma tests to confirm the diagnosis. Many people with allergies also have asthma or develop asthma in adulthood. If you have asthma and allergies, keeping your nose and sinuses clear by avoiding smoke, taking a non-sedating antihistamine every day during allergy season, and, in some cases, getting allergy shots may also help to control your asthma. Some people only get asthma symptoms during exercise, called exercise-induced asthma. Many people with asthma also suffer from sinusitis or from heartburn, common asthma triggers. No matter what you feel, if you learn all about asthma attacks and unusual asthma symptoms, you can try to recognize these signs early on and administer treatment when it's most effective.

Diagnosis & Tests

Before you take any asthma medication, you want to be certain that the diagnosis of asthma is correct. If you haven't had one already, an asthma test can help confirm that you have asthma. You may also want to confirm that the asthma treatments prescribed are actually making a measurable difference. That's why pulmonary function tests (lung function) are so important—so if you are diagnosed with asthma, you can take the proper steps to self-manage your asthma every day.

Treatment & Self-Care

If you're unsure about using the asthma treatments your doctor prescribed, you should learn more about them – how they work, how to tell if they are effective, what side-effects you may experience, and what other treatments are available. Although some asthma medications are pills, the mainstay medications are "asthma puffers" or asthma inhalers – either anti-inflammatory drugs or bronchodilators (airway openers). Many people don't use their inhalers correctly, so they don't get optimal relief from chest tightness or coughing. Make sure you're using your asthma inhalers correctly. And know when to turn to an asthma nebulizer (breathing machine) to treat an asthma attack.

Next Article:

When Is Your Asthma Worse?

When Is Your Asthma Worse?

Take the WebMD Asthma assessment to get Personalized Action Plan

Start Now

Today on WebMD

Lung and bronchial tube graphic
5 common triggers.
group jogging in park
Should you avoid fitness activities?
asthma inhaler
Learn about your options.
man feeling faint
What’s the difference?
Madison Wisconsin Capitol
woman wearing cpap mask
red wine pouring into glass
Woman holding inhaler
Man outdoors coughing
Lung and bronchial tube graphic
10 Worst Asthma Cities