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What are the common symptoms of an asthma attack?

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An asthma attack is a sudden worsening of symptoms. With an asthma attack, your airways tighten, swell up, or fill with mucus. Common symptoms include:

  • Coughing, especially at night
  • Wheezing (a high-pitched whistling sound when breathing out)
  • Shortness of breath or trouble breathing
  • Chest tightness, pain, or pressure

From: What Is Asthma? WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:  American Lung Association: "Asthma."  Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America: "Asthma Overview." 

Centers for Disease Control.  Murray, J. and Nadel, J. Third edition, W.B. Saunders Company, 2000.  Rose, B.D. (ed). Wellesley, Mass., 2005.

Textbook of Respiratory Medicine,UpToDate,

Reviewed by Nayana Ambardekar on April 14, 2018

SOURCES:  American Lung Association: "Asthma."  Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America: "Asthma Overview." 

Centers for Disease Control.  Murray, J. and Nadel, J. Third edition, W.B. Saunders Company, 2000.  Rose, B.D. (ed). Wellesley, Mass., 2005.

Textbook of Respiratory Medicine,UpToDate,

Reviewed by Nayana Ambardekar on April 14, 2018

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Are asthma attack symptoms the same for everyone?

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

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