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Asthma in Teens and Adults - Symptoms

Symptoms of asthma can be mild or severe. You may have no symptoms, severe symptoms every day, or something in between. How often you have symptoms can also change. Symptoms of asthma may include:

  • Wheezing, which is a whistling noise of varying loudness that occurs when the airways of the lungs narrow.
  • Coughing. This is the only symptom for some people.
  • Chest tightness.
  • Shortness of breath, which is rapid, shallow breathing, or difficulty breathing.
  • Sleep disturbance because of coughing or having a hard time breathing.
  • Tiring quickly during exercise.

An asthma attack occurs when your symptoms suddenly increase. Factors that can lead to an asthma attack or make it worse include:

Nighttime asthma

Many people have symptoms that become worse at night (nocturnal asthma), such as a cough and shortness of breath.

In general, waking at night because of shortness of breath or a cough is a sign of poorly controlled asthma.

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: February 22, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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