Do Your Symptoms (or Your Child's) Suggest Asthma?

  • Many people search the Web for information about asthma symptoms. Asthma is a common condition, but people don't always get diagnosed right away, because they may not realize they are having symptoms of asthma.


    In children, especially very young kids, it may be hard to even identify which symptoms are happening. Also, because asthma so often occurs hand in hand with allergies, you might not realize at first that how you are feeling goes beyond simple nasal allergies.


    When you have asthma, your respiratory system, that is your lungs and airways, are inflamed. This inflammation of the airways causes your airways to narrow, mucus to increase, and breathing to be more difficult. The result is asthma symptoms.

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    Some of the earliest asthma symptoms that might occur include:

    • Feeling tired
    • Itchy throat
    • Runny nose
    • Headache
    • Chest tightness
    • Change in the color, amount, or thickness of mucus

    As you can see, some of these symptoms also occur with nasal allergies. The key is to watch for a worsening--or intensifying--of the symptoms.


    Any of these symptoms may be annoying and may keep you from feeling your best, but when asthma goes untreated, they can quickly worsen into what is known as an asthma attack. Symptoms of an asthma attack include:

    • Wheezing
    • Coughing
    • Shortness of breath
    • Chest tightness

    If you start to notice any of those symptoms, it's important to take action quickly. If you're already being treated for asthma, then you will probably need to use your quick-relief inhaler. If you haven't been diagnosed yet, then contact your doctor without delay.


    When the symptoms noted above are not treated effectively, they may progress into a life-threatening condition. If you start to have trouble focusing or talking, or you can't catch your breath, these are danger signs. If you notice your skin taking on a bluish hue, that is also a danger sign. You MUST seek emergency treatment quickly! Do not delay... quick action is essential to your health or the health of your child.


    Tracking your asthma symptoms over time will help you better manage your asthma, so that you can keep it under control. Try keeping a symptom diary for a few weeks, noting how you are feeling at different times during the day and night, and noting what you were doing before or around the time symptoms develop.


    Over time, you should start to notice patterns that help you figure out what your asthma triggers might be. And that will help you avoid those triggers. When you do a better job of avoiding your triggers, then you'll start to have far fewer asthma symptoms.

Published On: March 24, 2007