Asthma - Symptoms

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What kind of asthma symptoms do you experience?

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What are the signs and symptoms of asthma?

The classic signs and symptoms of asthma are shortness of breath, cough (often worse at night), and wheezing (high-pitched whistling sound produced by turbulent airflow through narrow airways, typically with exhalation). Many patients also report chest tightness. It is important to note that these symptoms are episodic, and individuals with asthma can go long periods of time without any symptoms.

Common triggers for asthmatic symptoms include exposure to allergens (pets, dust mites, cockroach, molds, and pollens), exercise, and viral infections. Tobacco use or exposure to secondhand smoke complicates asthma management.

Many of the symptoms of asthma are nonspecific and can be seen in other conditions as well. Symptoms that might suggest conditions other than asthma include new symptom onset in older age, the presence of associated symptoms (such as chest discomfort, lightheadedness, palpitations, and fatigue), and lack of response to appropriate medications for asthma.

The physical exam in asthma is often completely normal. Occasionally, wheezing is present. In an asthma exacerbation, the respiratory rate increases, the heart rate increases, and the work of respiration increases. Individuals often require accessory muscles to breathe, and breath sounds can be diminished. It is important to note that the blood oxygen level typically remains fairly normal even in the midst of a significant asthma exacerbation. Low blood oxygen level is therefore concerning for impending respiratory failure.

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See what others are saying

Comment from: edtechmommy, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: December 01

When I was 38, I started having intermittent periods for the first time ever. I took pregnancy tests every month that I missed one, always negative. I was sent to a fertility specialist, who found out (through results of an MRI) that I had a tumor surrounding my pituitary gland. I had transfenoidal surgery (tumor removed through my nasal passage and de-bulked) to remove the tumor, and the majority of my pituitary gland was removed with it! I now will always have hypopituitarism (without the full function of my pituitary gland) and have to take hydrocortisone daily to live and stress doses when I have surgery or am stressed.

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Comment from: Kaybaba, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: January 21

My asthma symptoms are shortness of breath and spitting out of some thick and sticky mucus from my throat.

Was this comment helpful?Yes


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