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How Do I Know I Have Asthma

What Are Some Early Warning Signs Of Asthma

How do I know if I have asthma?

Asthma is a respiratory disease that causes difficult and labored breathing, wheezing, and coughing, and that is why it is such a dangerous disease. Asthma generally develops early in childhood and may not be diagnosed until years later. While asthma cannot always be prevented, there are certain signs of asthma that can help you and your doctor get to the root of your condition. The main early warning signs that your child might have asthma are:.

What Causes Asthma Attacks

Exposure to certain irritants and substances can trigger signs of asthma attack. The most common asthma triggers are airborne substances, such as pollen, dust mites, pet dander, mould spores or particles.

An asthma attack can begin abruptly or slowly. A mild asthma attack may seem to go away and return a couple of hours later. In cases like this, the second attack is often much worse than the first.

The Basics Of Diagnosing Asthma

Your doctor will probably start your examination by delving into your past medical history and asking whether any of your relatives have allergies or asthma. Youll also be asked to describe your symptoms, their severity, and what, if anything, is triggering them.

Triggers could include cold air, dust, hairsprays, perfumes, household cleaner vapors, cigarette or cigar smoke, and air pollution, Asciuto says.

Doctors also try to narrow down the list of culprits by asking these additional questions:

Next, your doctor will listen to your breathing with a stethoscope and may order one or more of these diagnostic tests:

Its also important to note that you can have asthma without experiencing any of the hallmark symptoms. Theres no single patient profile for asthma, says Dr. Fineman. Some will have more coughing, some more wheezing, and some have more problems breathing with exercise, he says.

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Food Allergy Testing And Management

Because an allergic reaction to food can be so serious and severe, it is important to find out if a reaction was caused by an intolerance or by an allergy in order to decide on appropriate management.

If food allergies are the suspected cause of symptoms, itâs important to consult with a healthcare provider to determine if testing for allergies is warranted or if symptoms may be caused by something else.

A blood testâtogether with an allergy-focused medical historyâmay help identify underlying allergen triggers.

A blood testâtogether with an allergy-focused medical historyâmay help identify underlying allergen triggers.

A diagnosis, followed by counseling and advice based on test results, can help to reduce the incidence of adverse reactions and the unnecessary exclusion of foods that should be eaten as part of a normal, healthy diet.1,11

How Do You Monitor Asthma Symptoms

Does Your Child Have an Asthma Action Plan?

You should keep track of your asthma symptom. Its an important piece of managing the disease. Your healthcare provider may ask to use a peak flow meter. This device measures how fast you can blow air out of your lungs. It can help your provider make adjustments to your medication. It also tells you if your symptoms are getting worse.

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Hows It Different From Regular Asthma

More and more, doctors are coming to see that thereâs really no such thing as regular asthma. But something like classic, childhood asthma may look like this:

  • Comes on when youre a kid
  • Often gets triggered by an allergen, like pet dander or dust mites
  • Causes swelling in the airways, and symptoms like wheezing and trouble breathing
  • Responds well to treatment with inhaled corticosteroids

When you look at eosinophilic asthma, it:

  • Tends to come on in adults
  • Isnt usually caused by allergies â people who get it tend not to have allergies
  • Causes swelling in your entire respiratory system
  • May not seem like asthma at first because the main symptom may involve shortness of breath rather than wheezing
  • Doesnt respond well to inhaled corticosteroids, even at high doses

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Having An Asthma Action Plan

You and your doctor will also put together an asthma action plan. This is a personalised set of instructions that includes a list of your usual asthma medications and doses, guidance on what to do in different situations , and your doctors contact details.

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What Do I Do If I Think I Have Asthma

Evelyn Mills | Answered June 2, 2020

Contact your doctor

See your doctor: If you think you have asthma. If you have frequent coughing or wheezing that lasts more than a few days or any other signs or symptoms of asthma, see your doctor. Treating asthma early may prevent long-term lung damage and help keep the condition from getting worse over time.

Mar 5, 2022

Gwendolyn Webb | Answered November 2, 2021

Sinus infections, allergies, pollen, breathing in some chemicals, and acid reflux can also trigger attacks. Physical exercise some medicines bad weather, such as thunderstorms or high humidity breathing in cold, dry air and some foods, food additives, and fragrances can also trigger an asthma attack.Aug 21, 2020

What Does Untreated Asthma Feel Like

ASTHMA Symptoms and Signs – How to KNOW if You Have Asthma!

Marjorie Myers | Answered April 20, 2020

Daily symptoms, such as chest tightness, shortness of breath, coughing and wheezing, are signs of uncontrolled asthma and may require the use of quick-relief medication a few times a week or even daily. In addition, you may commonly experience nighttime flare-ups and may even have to visit the emergency room.Jan 9, 2020

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Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

As with asthma, people with COPD may experience coughing and shortness of breath.

But morning coughing with phlegm is more characteristic of COPD. In contrast, asthma tends to cause worsening symptoms at night, and may be accompanied by wheezing and tightness in your chest.

Its also possible to have both asthma and COPD. Contact a doctor if youre experiencing symptoms of either condition.

When To See A Doctor About Asthma Symptoms

Asthma is a chronic disease of the airways, but symptoms can be managed and treated through a combination of lifestyle and medication. Here are three easy ways to check if your asthma is under control, according to the American Lung Association:

  • Do you experience asthma symptoms or reach for your rescue inhaler more than twice per week?
  • Do you wake up at night with asthma symptoms more than twice per month?
  • Do you find that you have to refill your rescue inhaler more than two times in a year?

If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, your asthma may not be well-controlled, and you should reach out to a health professional. Start with your primary care doctor, who can help determine if you should also see a doctor who specializes in asthma and allergies, or the lungs.

You should consider seeing a lung specialist if youre having two or more asthma attacks throughout the year, Dr. Galiatsatos adds, as that means your asthma is uncontrolled.

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Can You Suddenly Develop Asthma

Roxanne Osborne | Answered March 26, 2021

While most people develop the condition in childhood, adult-onset asthma is also possible. In fact, asthma symptoms can develop at any age and stage of life. Some people who have asthma as children age out of flare-ups as they get older, while others first experience the condition well into adulthood.May 20, 2022

Why Have I Suddenly Developed Asthma

UnitedHealthcare on Twitter: " Did you know 1 in 14 people have asthma ...

The development of asthma is generally associated with the excessive use of certain drugs and with the development of infections of different origins. The most common causes of asthma are the following: The presence of fungi, viruses and microbes in the atmosphere, pollution and/or allergens . Second factor that causes asthma is the presence of hypersensitive reactions to certain allergens . Third factor in the development of asthma is the presence of certain allergies to certain drugs , the regular use of which eventually leads to the development of asthma..

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What Are The Asthma Signs And Symptoms

Signs of an asthma attack include:

Mild or moderate

  • Minor difficulty breathing with short, shallow, rapid breaths
  • Chest retractions
  • A whistling sound when you breathe, especially out
  • Able to talk in full sentences
  • May experience a dry cough that wont go away

Mild anxiety attacks may last only a few minutes. These attacks can resolve spontaneously or may require medication, typically an asthma inhaler.

What to do: Start asthma first aid


Severe asthma symptoms need medical care right away.

  • Feeling panicky
  • Cannot speak a full sentence in one breath
  • Having trouble talking or walking
  • Getting tight neck and chest muscles

A severe episode can last from hours to days.

What to do: Call an ambulance and start asthma first aid


  • Ribs or stomach moving in and out deeply and swiftly
  • An expanded chest that does not deflate when you exhale
  • Not responding to reliever medication

What to do: Call an ambulance and start asthma first aid

How long your asthma attack lasts can vary, depending on the cause and inflammation in the airways.

What Are The Symptoms Of Asthma In Older Children

Symptoms of asthma in children who are 6 years of age or older can range from a nagging cough that lingers for days or weeks to sudden and scary breathing emergencies. Common symptoms include:

  • Coughing, especially at night
  • A wheezing or whistling sound, especially when breathing out
  • Trouble breathing or fast breathing that causes the skin around the ribs or neck to pull in tightly. Children with asthma may describe this like it feels like something is squeezing or sitting on their chest
  • A lack of energy or feeling weak or tired
  • Frequent colds that settle in the chest

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Symptoms Like Coughing Wheezing And Feeling Breathless Could Mean You Have Asthma See Your Gp To Confirm A Diagnosis Of Asthma And Start Treatment

  • tightness in the chest
  • feeling short of breath.

Not everyone with asthma will get all of these. For example, not everyone wheezes. But if youre experiencing one or more of these symptoms, make an appointment with your GP.

Most people with well-managed asthma only have symptoms now and then. But some people have symptoms a lot of the time, particularly the small percentage of people with severe asthma.

A key thing with asthma is that symptoms come and go – you may not have them all the time.

Why its important to see your GP to confirm a diagnosis

If youve noticed asthma-like symptoms, dont ignore them. Make an appointment with your GP or an asthma nurse as soon as you can.

The quicker you get diagnosed, the quicker you can get the right medicines to help you deal with your symptoms.

Asthma is a long-term condition that needs regular preventer treatment. If its not treated, it could lead to an asthma attack which can be life-threatening.

Advice For Friends And Family

Asthma Diagnosis – Asthma Testing – How do I know if I have asthma

It̢̮s important that your friends and family know how to help in an emergency.

It can be useful to make copies of your personal asthma action plan and share it with others who may need to know what to do when you have an attack.

You can photocopy your existing plan, or you could download a blank personal asthma action plan from Asthma UK and fill it in for anyone who might need a copy.

Or you could take a photo of your action plan on your phone, so you can show or send it to others easily.

Page last reviewed: 19 April 2021 Next review due: 19 April 2024

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Asthma Uk Is Here To Support You

We have expert advice on how to manage your asthma well and what to do if you have an asthma attack.

We also have lots of tips on living with asthma, from doing sports and going on holiday, to studying with asthma and having relationships.

Explore our health advice web pages and . The more you know about your asthma, the better youll be able to work with your GP or asthma nurse to manage it well.

Speak to someone about your asthma

You can also call our Helpline on 0300 222 5800 to speak to a respiratory nurse specialist. Or you can WhatsApp them on 0307378 606 728.

You can ask them anything from symptoms and treatments to living life without asthma getting in the way.

Next review due February 2024

How Can I Test Myself For Asthma

Amelia Morris | Answered January 22, 2021

Use the self-assessment quiz to determine if you might have asthma. Do you cough or have trouble breathing during or shortly after exercising? Do you ever hear wheezing noises inside your chest? Do you ever cough or have trouble breathing when its very hot or cold outside?

Also Check: Can Asthma Attacks Go Away On Their Own

Question : Do Your Symptoms Get Worse When You Go Out In The Garden Or Are Near Pets

You answered yes.

You answered no.

  • A worsening of asthma symptoms is known as an asthma exacerbation, or more commonly, as an asthma attack. These are induced by triggers stimulus that cause increased severity of symptoms.
  • Triggers are often something airborne that inflame the bronchi when they come into contact with them.
  • Common triggers include allergens such as pollen, pet hair, or dust, but an asthma attack can also be triggered by non-allergic reactions, such as to cigarette smoke, exhaust fumes, certain foods or medicines, or an abrupt change in the weather.
  • An attack can even be brought on by stress a number of changes in the body take place when were under pressure, which can lead to increased chest tightness and heavy breathing.
  • The body also releases chemicals in periods of stress, such as leukotrienes and histamines, which can cause inflammation of the airways.

Where To Get An Allergy Test

How to know if I have asthma

Any healthcare provider can order a specific IgE blood test to aid in the diagnosis of your allergies. But did you know that you can get an allergy test without an in-person visit to a doctor’s office? With or without insurance, you can get access to a quick, personalized allergic sensitization test at a time and place that works for you. Explore the options below to either obtain your own allergy tests or arrange a virtual medical appointment.

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How Is Asthma Diagnosed

  • Asthma Patient Resources and Videos
  • If you or your child experience symptoms such as wheezing, frequent cough, shortness of breath or chest tightness, it is important to see a healthcare provider to determine if the symptoms point to asthma.

    To diagnose asthma, a doctor will evaluate these symptoms, ask for complete health history, conduct a physical exam and look at test results.

    At the initial visit, your asthma care provider will determine your level of severity and create a treatment plan. At each follow-up visit, they will assess your asthma control and adjust your treatment plan as needed.

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    How To Tell If You Have Asthma

    Asthma is a respiratory condition caused by inflammation and constriction of the airways. Its a long-term condition that requires lifelong management and treatment to help prevent symptoms and reduce your chances of having an asthma attack.

    But how do you know for sure if you have asthma? If youre experiencing a cough or shortness of breath, learn what differentiates asthma from other respiratory conditions and how a doctor can confirm a diagnosis, so you can get the right treatment for your symptoms.

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    What To Do If Your Asthma Is Poorly Controlled

    If your asthma is poorly controlled you need to speak with your healthcare provider. Uncontrolled asthma is very serious and could lead to a life-threatening asthma attack. Its vital that you take your asthma seriously and recognize when your symptoms arent properly controlled. Over time, poorly controlled asthma can cause permanent damage to your airways that cannot be reversed. This is called airway remodeling. It is important to have proper treatment for your asthma to avoid this permanent damage.

    If your asthma is not well controlled, talk to your healthcare provider about your symptoms. You can gain control of your asthma by:

    • Taking your controller medication as prescribed to minimize symptoms and reduce inflammation in the airways
    • Avoiding your personal asthma triggers as much as possible
    • Carrying your reliever medication with you at all times
    • Working with your healthcare provider to create an Asthma Action Plan and following it
    • Discussing your asthma with your healthcare provider on a regular basis so that your asthma never becomes uncontrolled and your treatments can be adjusted if necessary.

    Medical History And Physical Exam

    Confirming the Diagnosis of Asthma

    Your doctor will ask about your risk factors for asthma and your symptoms. They may ask also about any known allergies. This includes how often symptoms occur, what seems to trigger your symptoms, when or where symptoms occur, and if your symptoms wake you up at night.

    During the physical exam, your doctor may:

    • Listen to your breathing and look for symptoms of asthma
    • Look for allergic skin conditions, such as eczema

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