Asthma is characterized by inflammation of the bronchial tubes with increased production of sticky secretions inside the tubes. People with asthma experience symptoms when the airways tighten, inflame, or fill with mucus. Common asthma symptoms include:
- Coughing, especially at night
- Shortness of breath
- Chest tightness, pain, or pressure
Important Points for Asthma:
- Every patient is unique and so are the symptoms – Not every person with asthma has the same symptoms in the same way. Asthma symptoms may also vary from one asthma attack to the next, being mild during one and severe during another.
- Intervals of the Asthma Attacks can differ – Some people with asthma may go for extended periods without having any symptoms, interrupted by periodic worsening of their symptoms called asthma attacks. Others might have asthma symptoms every day. In addition, some people may only have asthma during exercise, or asthma with viral infections like colds.
- Types of Attacks – Mild asthma attacks are generally more common. Usually, the airways open up within a few minutes to a few hours. Severe attacks are less common but last longer and require immediate medical help. It is important to recognize and treat even mild asthma symptoms to help you prevent severe episodes and keep asthma under better control.
Warning signs of an Asthma Attack:
Early symptoms of asthma warning signs are changes that happen just before or at the very beginning of an asthma attack..
Other symptoms of an asthma attack include:
- Tightened neck and chest muscles.
- Feelings of anxiety or panic
- Pale, sweaty face
- Blue lips or fingernails
- Severe wheezing.
- Rapid breathing
- Chest pain
Asthma affects as many as 10% to 12% of children in the United States and is the leading cause of chronic illness in children. For unknown reasons, the incidence of asthma in children is steadily increasing. While asthma symptoms can begin at any age, most children have their first asthma symptoms by age 5.