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How To Tell You Have Asthma

How To Know If You Have Asthma Signs And Symptoms

How do I know if I have asthma?

Asthma symptoms can vary from person to person. Thats what makes learning how to know if you have asthma very difficult. People with asthma can have infrequent attacks and have symptoms only at certain times, such as exercise or under a lot of stress.;

How to know if you have asthma? Below are some signs and symptoms:;

  • Persistent coughing: Can occur at any time, but mostly early in the morning or late at night. This is probably the most common and significant symptom of asthma.;
  • Chest tightness: This is a sensation in which you feel like something is pressing down on your chest, making it difficult for you to breathe.;
  • Wheezing: Having difficulty breathing along with a whistling sound coming from your airway or throat.
  • More mucus: The amount of thick phlegm or fluid that builds up in your airways becomes intensely increased when you have asthma.;
  • Lack of sleep: You wont be able to have a good nights sleep due to breathing problems; they are likely to keep you awake at night.;
  • Shortness of breath: This is an unpleasant feeling when you cannot get enough air into your lungs. You can even find it difficult when eating, drinking, or speaking.

Signs that indicate that your asthma condition is worsening:

  • The frequency of the attacks and the severity of the attacks increases.
  • You need to use an inhaler more often than usual.;
  • Coughing more and increasing difficulty breathing. This can be hard to keep track of on your own, but you can do it thanks to the help of a tool like Hyfe App.;

When To Get Medical Advice

See a GP if you have persistent symptoms of COPD,;particularly if youre over 35 and smoke or used to smoke.

There are several conditions that cause similar symptoms, such as asthma,;bronchiectasis, anaemia;and heart failure. A;simple breathing test can help determine if you have COPD.

Find out more about tests for COPD.

While theres currently no cure for COPD, the sooner treatment begins, the less chance there is of severe lung damage.

Find out more about how COPD is treated.

Page last reviewed: 20 September 2019 Next review due: 20 September 2022

Asthma Attack Symptoms You Need To Know According To Doctors

Some lesser-known warning signs of a potential asthma attack are important, too.

About 25 million people in the US have asthma, according to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention. The chronic condition affects the airways that allow air into and out of the lungs, and sometimes it can cause what doctors refer to as an asthma attack which happens when the airways become too swollen and mucous-filled for proper airflow.

While there are a few different types of asthmaabout eight, to be exactthey all usually fall into one of two categories determining the severity of disease: intermittent and persistent, according to Alfin Vicencio, MD, chief of pediatric pulmonology at Mount Sinai in New York City. The CDC explains that intermittent severity includes those with well-controlled asthma without long-term medication, while those with persistent severity are either on long-term medication or have poorly-controlled asthma without long-term medication.

Dr. Vicencio adds that people with intermittent asthma experience very sporadic symptoms that can be separated by long periods of time,” explaining that someone who has symptoms twice a month likely has an intermittent form of the disease. Persistent asthma, on the other hand, causes symptoms to occur more regularly. As a rule of thumb, if youre having symptoms on a regular basis, twice a week or more, thats one of the defining characteristics for persistent disease, he explains.

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What Is Childhood Asthma

Childhood asthma is the same lung disease adults get, but kids often have different symptoms. Doctors also call this pediatric asthma.

If your child has asthma, their lungs and airways can easily get inflamed when they have a cold or are around things like pollen. The symptoms may make it hard for your child to do everyday activities or sleep. Sometimes, an asthma attack can result in a trip to the hospital.

Thereâs no cure for asthma in children, but you can work with your childâs doctor to treat it and prevent damage to their growing lungs.

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Signs Of Poor Asthma Control

How to Know if You Have Asthma (with Pictures)
  • You have frequent breathing difficulties and find yourself coughing or wheezing most days
  • Your asthma impacts your sleep; if your asthma symptoms wake you up or keep you up at night your asthma isnt controlled
  • You cant exercise or exert yourself physically without experiencing breathing difficulties
  • You frequently miss work or school due to asthma
  • You use your reliever medication more than 3 times per week

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How Can I Be Better Prepared To Manage Asthma What Is An Asthma Management Plan

Unfortunately, asthma cannot be cured. This makes it crucial to have your doctor create an asthma action plan to help you stay in control of your asthma.

Your asthma action plan will outline:

  • What medication do I need?
  • How can I tell if your asthma is getting worse?
  • What should I do if my symptoms get worse?
  • What can I have an asthma attack?

If your doctor develops an asthma action plan for you, its important to follow your asthma action plan closely. Make sure you carry and take your medications, such as an asthma inhaler.

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So What Are The Symptoms You Should Watch Out For

Which signs of asthma you might experience differs from person to person and some are more common than others, Raymond Casciari, M.D., a pulmonologist at St. Joseph Hospital in Orange, California, tells SELF. Its possible that youll have such a mild reaction to one of your personal asthma triggers that you dont take much note of it. But if the effects get worse, they can turn into an asthma attack, which is a potentially life-threatening exacerbation of asthma symptoms. Thats why its so important to know the common signs of asthma, including the more subtle ones.

These are classic asthma signs you should know:

  • Shortness of breath: This is an obvious complication that happens when you cant get enough oxygen due to the way your airways and their surrounding muscles are reacting to asthma triggers, Sadia Benzaquen, M.D., a pulmonologist and associate professor in the department of internal medicine at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, tells SELF.

  • Cough: When an irritant gets into your throat or airways, it stimulates nerves that prompt your brain to make the muscles in your chest and abdomen expel air from your lungs with a cough, according to the Mayo Clinic. Since a sensitivity to irritants can cause asthma symptoms, coughing is a hallmark sign of this condition, says Dr. Benzaquen. In fact, its the most common sign of asthma Dr. Parikh has seen people ignore.

  • Some people may have these less common signs of asthma:

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    How Do Healthcare Providers Diagnose Asthma

    Your healthcare provider will review your medical history, including information about your parents and siblings. Your provider will also ask you about your symptoms. Your provider will need to know any history of allergies, eczema and other lung diseases.

    Your healthcare provider may order a chest X-ray, blood test or skin test. Your provider may order spirometry. This test measures airflow through your lungs.

    Tips To Keep Your Asthma Under Control

    How to Tell if Your Child Has Asthma

    May 4th, 2015

    Almost three million Canadians and more than 300 million people worldwide have asthma, including many top athletes. Asthma is a common chronic lung disease that can make it difficult to breathe. ;Although there is no cure for asthma, those with the condition can live healthy, active lives if their asthma is under control.;

    For World Asthma Day , the Canadian Lung Association has some helpful tips for people with asthma.;

    1.;;;Know your triggers and avoid themTriggers like allergens and irritants can make ;your asthma symptoms worse by irritating your airways. ;The best way to control your asthma is to know what your asthma triggers are and how to avoid them.

    2.;;;Take your asthma medication as prescribed by your doctorMany people think they can skip their asthma preventer medications when they dont feel any symptoms thats not true. Asthma is a chronic disease. If you have asthma, you have it all the time, even when you dont feel symptoms. You have to manage your asthma every day, not just on days when you feel symptoms. Read more about asthma medications and how to use them.

    3.;;;Learn how to use your inhaler properlyYour health-care provider can show you how to use your inhaler properly so that ;your medicine reaches the airways. ;Ask him or her ;to watch you useyour inhaler. ;Your health-care provider may offer suggestions on how to improve your technique so that the medication gets to your airways. Watch our videos on how to properly use your inhalers.

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    Can You Have Asthma For Years And Not Know It

    But, one in every 200 U.S. adults is diagnosed every year with asthma, a condition called adult-onset asthma, the researchers said. A lot of people have asthma and dont know it. Many adults do not have the traditional asthma symptoms, or they dont have all of the symptoms, said Dr. David Beuther.

    Can Asthma Reappear In Adults After Disappearing Years Ago

    Asthma is usually diagnosed in childhood. In many patients; however, the symptoms will disappear or are significantly reduced after puberty. After age 20, symptoms may begin to reappear.

    Researchers have tracked this tendency for reappearing asthma and found that people with childhood asthma tend to experience reappearing symptoms through their 30s and 40s at various levels of severity.

    Regardless of whether your asthma is active, you should continue to avoid your known triggers and keep your rescue medications or prescriptions up-to-date and handy in case you need them.

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    It’s Easy To Get The Care You Need

    See a Premier Physician Network provider near you.

    It might feel like taking deep breaths of very cold air on a winter day. Your breathing becomes harder and may hurt. You may cough and wheeze. Is this an asthma attack?

    If you have asthma, you already know that it makes the airways of your lungs swell and narrow. The wheezing that sometimes you can hear, sometimes only a physician can hear, is when air is trying to squeeze through those little airways, explains Anessa Alappatt, MD, Fairborn Medical Center. While no one knows for sure what causes asthma, its most likely a combination of inherited and environmental factors.

    Question : Do You Keep Getting Chest Infections

    How to Know if You Have Asthma (with Pictures)

    You answered yes.

    You answered no.

    • People with asthma have sensitive airways so are at a higher risk of developing chest infections.
    • Often following a cold or a bout of the flu, a chest infection can considerably worsen asthma symptoms.
    • If you have a chest infection which isnt clearing up, or you keep getting them again and again, consult your doctor, as this may be an indication that you have asthma.

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    Asthma Patterns In Children

    Every childs asthma is different. Some children have mild, occasional episodes of asthma or only show symptoms after;, or when they have a;. Some experience daily symptoms, while others have symptoms continuously, which limit their level of activity.;

    Each pattern of asthma requires a different treatment approach. It is important to remember that children can still have a;severe and even life-threatening attack, even if they generally have mild or occasional asthma.;

    What Is Asthma Anyway

    First up, a little anatomy refresher: Your airways, which extend between your nose and mouth and your lungs, have the very important job of carrying air in and out of your body, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute . When you have asthma, triggers like animal fur, pollen, mold, cold air, cigarette smoke, exercise, and respiratory infections like colds cause your airways to get inflamed, according to the NHLBI. That inflammation can cause swelling, which in turn can prompt the muscles around your airways to tighten, making it hard to get air in and out. At the same time, your airways might also expel more mucus than they usually do, making it even harder to breathe.

    Experts dont know exactly what causes some people to get asthma when others dont, but its pretty safe to assume that its probably a combination of environmental factors and genetic factors. For example, if someone in your immediate family has asthma, youre more likely to have it too, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . Beyond that, the general cause is a stronger-than-normal response from your immune system to certain triggers, which is why you get all that inflammation when people without asthma dont, says the NHLBI.

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    What Causes Asthma And Copd

    The main cause of COPD is tobacco smoke. COPD also affects people who inhale fumes from cooking fuel and heating in poorly ventilated homes.

    When you have asthma, your airways react to different particles present in the environment. These are called asthma triggers. Exposure to these triggers causes asthma symptoms to worsen. Common asthma triggers include infections, pollen, dust, pet dander, and pollutants, and tobacco smoke.

    What Are Pulmonary Function Tests

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

    Pulmonary function tests include numerous procedures to diagnose lung problems. The two most common lung function tests used to diagnose asthma are spirometry, exhaled nitric oxide and challenge tests.

    Spirometry This is a simple breathing test that measures how much and how fast you can blow air out of your lungs. It is often used to determine the amount of airway obstruction you have. Spirometry can be done before and after you inhale a short-acting medication called a bronchodilator, such as albuterol. The bronchodilator causes your airways to expand, allowing for air to pass through freely. This test might also be done at future doctor visits to monitor your progress and help your doctor determine if and how to adjust your treatment plan.

    Exhaled nitric oxide Nitric oxide is a gas that is produced in the lungs and has been found to be an indicator of inflammation. Because asthma is an inflammatory process, this test has become helpful in the diagnosis and management of asthma. The test is performed by having you breathe into a small, handheld machine for about 10 seconds at a steady pace. It then calculates the amount of nitric oxide in the air you breathe out.

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    How Is Asthma Treatment Different For Older Children

    Sometimes when asthma is suspected, the doctor will put your child on a trial of asthma medication to see if it helps. If your child gets better while taking the medicine, it can be a signal that your childs symptoms are due to asthma. The medication will depend on how severe your childs symptoms are and how often they occur.

    The goal of treatment for children include:

    • Managing the childs environment to avoid triggers
    • Treating the airway inflammation and bronchospasm with medication
    • Keeping asthma in control so activity does not need to be limited
    • Teaching the child about asthma, their medications and how to be as healthy as possible in a way they can understand

    When administering medication to your child, make sure to follow the instructions given to you by your doctor and on the package insert.

    Occupational Asthma Is Triggered By An Irritant Youre Exposed To At Work

    If your asthma started when you changed jobs, improves when youre away from your work environment, or is triggered by chemicals that make it difficult to breathe, then you may be suffering from;occupational asthma.

    Occupational factors are associated with up to 15 percent of disabling asthma cases in the United States. An estimated 11 million workers in a wide range of industries are exposed to at least one of the numerous agents known to be associated with occupational asthma.;

    More than 250 manufacturing substances have been known to exacerbate occupational asthma, such as:

    • Paints

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    Triggers For Asthma In Children

    Asthma triggers;are substances, conditions or activities that lead to asthma symptoms. These include :;

    • wheezing whistling noise when breathing;
    • coughing .;

    Your child may have all of these symptoms or just a few. Symptoms are often worse at night, in the early morning, during exercise or due to other triggers.;

    Advice For Friends And Family

    How to Know if You Have Asthma (with Pictures)

    Itâs 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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