Gasping For Air After Coughing, Is It Considered Asthma & Requires Treatment?

Question

Asked by mama

Gasping For Air After Coughing, Is It Considered Asthma & Requires Treatment?

My mother, 58, would start out coughing, then gasps for air. She has these episodes every other day, each lasts for about 1-2 minute. She asks that I smack her upper back, & that usually helps her get her breaths back. Is this normal? or is she suffering from asthma?

Answer

It's really impossible for us to tell you a diagnosis for your mom. A doctor would need to examine her, ask about her medical history and possibly do testing to know for sure whether or not she has asthma or some other condition.

I can tell you, though, that a chronic cough, wheezing, shortness of breath and chest tightness are the hallmark symptoms of asthma. But any one or more of those symptoms can also be symptoms of many other conditions. What will help your mother's doctor zero in on what's going on in her airways is for you to keep a symptom diary. Note when the coughing fits come on and what she was doing/where she was right before. If it's asthma, then it could be that she's being exposed to some kind of trigger, such as pollen, animal dander or dust mites that is setting off her symptoms.

It's always scary watching someone unable to catch their breath (and even scarier if you're the one gasping!), so you should get this evaluated as soon as possible by a medical doctor, OK?

To your health,

Kathi

Answered by Kathi MacNaughton