Signs, Symptoms, and Complications - Asthma - Signs, Symptoms, and Complications

How often signs and symptoms of asthma occur may depend on how severe, or intense, the asthma is, and whether you are exposed to allergens. Some people have symptoms every day, while others have symptoms only a few days of the year. For some people, asthma may cause discomfort but does not interfere with daily activities. If you have more severe asthma, however, your asthma may limit what you are able to do.

When asthma is well controlled, it may not cause symptoms. When symptoms worsen, it is called an asthma attack, exacerbation, or flare-up. Over time, uncontrolled asthma can damage the lungs.

Signs and symptoms
- Asthma - Signs, Symptoms, and Complications

Signs and symptoms of asthma may include:

  • Chest tightness
  • Coughing, especially at night or early morning
  • Shortness of breath
  • Wheezing, which causes a whistling sound when you exhale

Asthma attacks are episodes that occur when symptoms get much worse. Asthma attacks can happen suddenly and may be life-threatening. People who have severe asthma experience asthma attacks more often.

While other conditions can cause the same symptoms as asthma, the pattern of symptoms in people who have asthma usually has some of the following characteristics:

  • They come and go over time, or within the same day.
  • They start or get worse with viral infections, such as a cold.
  • They are triggered by exercise, allergies, cold air, or hyperventilation from laughing or crying.
  • They are worse at night or in the morning.

Look for
- Asthma - Signs, Symptoms, and Complications

  • Diagnosis will explain the tests used to detect signs of asthma and help rule out other conditions with similar symptoms.
  • Treatment will discuss treatment-related complications or side effects.