Skip to content

Asthma Health Center

Understanding Asthma -- Symptoms

Font Size
A
A
A

What Are the Symptoms of Asthma?

Asthma symptoms include episodes of:

  • Tightness or pressure in the chest
  • Shortness of breath
  • Wheezing (a high-pitched whistling sound that occurs when exhaling)
  • Coughing, especially at night

Early warning signs of the onset of an asthma attack include:

Understanding Asthma

Find out more about asthma:

Basics

Symptoms

Diagnosis and Treatment

Prevention

  • Signs of a cold
  • Frequent cough, especially at night
  • The need to use a rescue inhaler
  • Losing your breath easily (exercise-induced bronchospasm)
  • A decrease in lung function, as measured by a spirometer or peak flow meter

 

Call Your Doctor About Asthma If:

  • You or another person is experiencing an asthma attack for the first time. Asthma can quickly become serious if not treated promptly and properly.
  • Your rescue inhaler (usually albuterol) does not work to relieve symptoms within 20 minutes.
  • You or the person with asthma cannot talk in complete sentences. Other things to look for: flaring nostrils; the skin between the ribs is sucked in with each breath; the lips or the skin under the nails appear grayish or bluish. These are all signs of extreme oxygen deprivation. Get immediate emergency treatment.

 

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Luqman Seidu, MD on March 24, 2014

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?
 
Los Angeles skyline in smog
Slideshow
man in a field with allergies
Slideshow
 
Woman holding inhaler
VIDEO
Slideshow Allergy Myths and Facts
Slideshow
 

Pollen counts, treatment tips, and more.

It's nothing to sneeze at.

Loading ...

Sending your email...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

Thanks!

Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

Man outdoors coughing
Article
Lung and bronchial tube graphic
Article
 
10 Worst Asthma Cities
Slideshow
runner
Article