Signs That You May Have Asthma

By Carole 1 year ago

1. Breathlessness

Image source: Reddit
Being short of breath is one of the most common symptoms of asthma due to the muscles around the airways tensing causing them to narrow.  The body creates mucus to deal with this reaction and the lungs become less efficient in transferring oxygen to the blood vessels on the surface of the lungs.

2. Coughing

Image source: Reddit
The coughing associated with asthma is often worse at night, usually manifesting as a dry cough that doesn't expel mucus.  This can disrupt sleep, leaving the person tired out the next day. Experts are of the opinion that the night time coughing may be a result of increased
exposure to allergens
, the sleep position or hormones that are released at night. Sleeping with your head raised may help prevent coughing due to asthma.

3. Wheezing

Image source: Reddit
Wheezing often develops at the same time as shortness of breath, coughing and tightness in the chest.  Sufferers of asthma may develop an
audible whistling noise
when they breathe in and out.  It's important to note that this symptom is not exclusive to asthma alone.  Other many respiratory conditions can cause wheezing.

4. Intolerance of Cigarette Smoke

Image source: Reddit
Many people find cigarette smoke intolerable but passive smokers, those who inhale the smoke released from another person's cigarette, can severely affect their asthma condition.  The chemicals irritate the lungs, causing
constriction of the airways
and can cause lasting damage.  Pollutants in the air and car exhaust fumes may cause a similar irritation.

5. Feeling The Change Of Seasons

Image source: reddit 
Some people develop
pollen-induced asthma
when the seasons change, especially in spring/summer, during the hay fever period.  Pollen from plants can be difficult to avoid, making these asthma attacks more frequent and harder to prevent. When hay fever has already irritated the lungs, this can exacerbate the symptoms further.

6. Tightness In The Chest

Image source: Reddit
Tightness in the chest,
feeling like a belt is tightening around the ribs
, is a common symptom of asthma. The pressure may be continuous or be off and on and the symptom can also affect the neck.  It may become difficult to breathe as the chest tightens, a severe issue, requiring medication.

7. Lips or Fingers Turning Blue

Image source: YouMeMindBody
Changes in lip and finger color
often occur when the body is deprived of oxygen.  This symptom is easier to identify in individuals with lighter skin.  Though asthma can explain this sign, other issues can also lead to bluish lips and fingers such as chronic lung disease, blockage of arteries and heart disease.

8. Fainting

Image source: Reddit 
A severe asthma attack can even lead to unconsciousness when the flow of
oxygen to the brain is interrupted.
  Excessive coughing can also place the nervous system under sudden strain, leading to a fall in blood pressure. If a person feels faint for any reason, they should sit or lie down immediately and get medical attention.

9. Disorientation

Image source: Reddit
Since asthma reduces the supply of oxygen in the blood, it can often  leave people feeling
dizzy and confused
. Many factors can cause this symptom, such as diabetes and prescription medications. Any person who is experiencing prolonged dizziness should seek immediate medical help.

10. Does Asthma Medication Help?

Image source: Reddit
Doctors may prescribe medication for asthma to those showing symptoms, even if they do not have a definitive asthma diagnosis. This preventive prescription is usually considered
safe for healthy people
.  If the treatment relieves the symptoms, then the person is likely to have asthma. The danger of this approach can occur if the medications mask the presence of another respiratory condition.

11. Difficulty Sleeping

Image source: Reddit
There is evidence to suggest that a
lack of sleep can make your asthma symptoms worse
than usual.  If you’re struggling with sleep and it is affecting your asthma, you should speak to your doctor or asthma nurse. If you are coughing, sit up and take your reliever inhaler, usually the blue one, as prescribed.

12. Frequent Infections

Image source: Reddit

Chest infections can make your asthma symptoms worse

as they could inflame your airways. One of the things you can do to reduce the risk of getting a chest infection is to try to protect yourself from colds and flu. You may notice that your asthma symptoms get worse when it’s cold.

13. Anxiousness And Panic

Image source: Reddit 
Many studies have shown that hyperventilation, whether caused by a disorder such as anxiety, or no disorder at all, appears to increase the likelihood of bringing on an asthma attack. 
Those with anxiety may be more prone to hyperventilating
as they unintentionally bring on their own symptoms.

14. Throat Clearing

Image source: Reddit
Asthma cough reflex and throat clearing are very common.  They usually go away on their own and most people self treat and don’t seek medical attention.  However, sometimes when these symptoms become chronic, defined as
coughing or throat clearing
that persists for 8 or more weeks, this is the time when people seek help.

15. Children May Complain Of Tummy Ache

Image source:
Children with asthma are thought to have a far greater frequency of gastrointestinal symptoms, particularly
diarrhoea, abdominal pain and vomiting
.  To evaluate these symptoms, skin prick tests are performed and height and weight measured of those with asthma compared to those who don't have it.

16. Feeling Tired And Moody

Image source: Reddit 

Since asthma can be worse at night, symptoms may keep you from getting a good night’s sleep.

Fatigue is very common after having an asthma episode
, so you may feel tired or exhausted for several days. Try and be kind to yourself by taking things easy until you have more energy.

17. Signs Of A Cold or Allergy

Image source: Forbes
A cold or the flu can trigger an asthma attack.  Even
a mild cold can set off tightness in your chest and wheezing
.  If you feel an attack coming on, take your prescribed medication, your inhaler, as well as, say, Paracetamol, if you have a sore throat or feel a high temperature coming on.

18. Pale, Sweaty Face

source: Reddit
a pale, sweaty face could be a sign of asthma
.  This is not often mentioned as an initial asthma symptom but can alert your doctor to a possible diagnosis.  Of course, a medical professional will consider all other symptoms you may be experiencing as you may have a different condition,

19. Over The Counter Medications May Make Symptoms Worse

Image source: Reddit
Beta-blockers can be an important preventative care medication although some are prone to trigger asthma symptoms.  Pain relievers such as
Aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen
, as well as other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, may trigger symptoms in individuals who have asthma.

20. Symptoms Appear With No Warning

Image source: Good News Network
An asthma attack is also called an asthma exacerbation, where the airways become inflamed and swollen.  The muscles around the airways contract, making the airways produce extra mucus and causing
the breathing (bronchial) tubes to narrow
. During an attack, you may wheeze and have trouble breathing.

21. What Helps Symptoms?

Image source: Reddit
Someone who is an asthma sufferer will normally have an inhaler that their doctor has specifically prescribed. They may also have
spacer which makes the inhaler more effective.
Family members should be aware of how the inhaler and spacer work, in case of an emergency, if the sufferer needs your help.

22. You Think You May Be Having An Asthma Attack

Image source: Cars 108
Be aware that sitting upright can help keep your airways open.  Be sure to avoid lying down when you are having an asthma attack as this can make your symptoms worse.  Try to remain as calm as you can while you are in the middle of the  attack as
panic and stress can worsen your symptoms.

23. Steadying Your Breathing

Image source: Reddit
In order to steady your breathing during an asthma attack, breathe slowly through your nose as opposed to your mouth.  You can use the
Papworth method
which uses your diaphragm and nose to breathe in a particular way.  Yoga breathing techniques, called pranayama, involves the timing of each breath.

24. Make A Note Of Your Triggers

Image source: Reddit
You may find that
certain triggers make your asthma worse
so making a note of them for future reference could really help you keep the symptoms at bay or to a minimum.  Whereas we are always told to go out in the cold weather and wrap up warm because it's supposed to be good for our mental health, the low temperature can be am asthma trigger for some individuals.

25. Long Term Prevention Of Asthma

Image source: Reddit
They always say that
prevention is better than cure
and that, to some extent, can refer to controlling asthma.  Taking medication every day to control airway inflammation and prevent asthma attacks will likely be very beneficial.  These medications can include  inhaled corticosteroids and leukotriene modifiers.

26. Quick Relief

Image source: NBC News
This is known as rescue medication that you take for short term relief from asthma symptoms. These medications are referred to as short-acting bronchodilators and they work to open up your airways.  You should work with your doctor to develop a personalized
asthma action plan

27. Does My Child Have Asthma?

Image source: U.S.Army
Most children with asthma show symptoms
before they are 5 years old
.  In very young children, it may be hard for parents and even doctors to recognize that the symptoms are actually due to asthma.  This is because the bronchial tubes in infants, toddlers and preschoolers are already small and narrow.

28. Do Antihistamines Help?

Image source: CBC
The short answer is 'yes.'  Some asthma sufferers find an attack comes on or their symptoms worsen due to any number of allergies.  Taking a daily antihistamine can help control this and it should be noted that a generic antihistamine can be around
a third of the price
of a branded one, with exactly the same active ingredients.

29. Strong Emotions May Bring On An Asthma Attack

Image source: Developmental Science
A display of strong emotion that affects normal breathing patterns such as
shouting, laughing or crying,
can act as an asthma trigger
.  Panic can prevent a person with asthma from relaxing and following instructions which is essential during an asthma attack. Scientists report that rapid breathing associated with strong emotions may cause bronchial tubes to constrict, possibly provoking an attack.

30. Asthma Attack Risk Checker

Image source:  SheKnows
This simple check can be
very effective for people with asthma
who are over 12 years of age.  It only takes a few minutes on your phone, and will show your risk of an asthma attack. You’ll also receive a personal asthma report which is packed with simple tips and advice to help you deal with your asthma.

What To Read Next

Load More