Asthma Symptoms

Asthma Symptoms

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  • 1 Answer
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    Some clues of an asthma attack are difficulty catching your breath, heavy breathing, using muscles in the shoulders or belly to help breathe, skin that is sucked in or retracted around the ribs, audible wheezes or noisy breathing, inability to talk or, in worst cases, turning blue or falling asleep. Asthma attacks are very serious. You should seek medical attention immediately if you suspect that you're having an asthma attack.
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    A Nutrition & Dietetics, answered on behalf of
    Here are some of the “early warning signs” that people have reported:

    • sighing a lot

    • getting “the look” -- a tense, worried face or circles under the eyes

    • having a “tickle” in the throat, clearing the throat a lot

    • a “full” feeling in the chest and difficulty taking a deep breath
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    A Nutrition & Dietetics, answered on behalf of
    Asthma symptoms vary from person to person and from time to time. As you try to understand how asthma affects you, consider these factors:

    • type: What types of symptoms do you usually have? For some people with asthma, breathing becomes difficult. Yet for many others, coughing is the only symptom.

    • time: When do you have symptoms? You may experience symptoms only at night. Or, you may only notice symptoms at certain times of the year. Do you get them when you’re active or at rest?

    • duration: How long do symptoms last, and how often do you have them? Your symptoms may last only for a few minutes, or continue for a few days. You might have them every day, or they may flare up unexpectedly and get worse quickly.

    • severity: How do your symptoms affect your life? Are they just a bother -- or do they stop you from doing the things you want to do?
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    A answered
    To monitor peak flow for your asthma, start by finding your best peak flow while your asthma is under control. Take your peak flow each day for two to three weeks first thing in the morning and last thing at night. The highest number is your personal best peak flow. Now you can establish your three zones: green (80 to 100 percent of best peak flow), yellow (50 to 79 percent) and red (below 50 percent), and what medicines to take (ask your healthcare provider). Check your peak flow every morning before you take your medication; during an asthma attack; and just after taking medication for an attack, to see if it's working.
  • 2 Answers
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    Many people with asthma describe attacks as feeling as though they are breathing through a straw. People who are having an asthma attack:
    • wheeze (high-pitched breathing sounds or high-pitched dry cough)
    • cough when they try to breathe
    • breath fast
    • use their neck and belly muscles to breathe
    • feel as though they cannot catch their breath
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  • 12 Answers
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    A , Internal Medicine, answered
    The following are symptoms of asthma:
    • High-pitched cough and wheezing
    • Chest wall sucks in with each breath (called retractions)
    • Grunting at end of each inhalation (this is the body's way of keeping air in the smallest airways so they don't collapse)
    • Nasal flaring
    • Chest pain and/or tightness
    • Fast breathing
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  • 1 Answer
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    If you are experiencing asthma symptoms, you should speak with your doctor. These symptoms may indicate asthma. It's especially important to talk to a doctor if you have a family history of allergies or asthma.

    If you have already been diagnosed, develop an asthma action plan to manage your asthma. This will help you maintain a healthy daily and long-term life. If you feel worse, you may need to adjust your medications. Talk with your doctor about the amount and type of asthma medicine you take. If you visit the emergency room because of an asthma attack, if your symptoms increase in frequency or severity or disturb your sleep, or if you use your quick-relief inhaler more than 2 days a week, be sure to speak with your doctor.

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    A , Allergy & Immunology, answered
    In one emergency department in New York City that is supervised by a colleague of mine, approximately one-third of the children treated for acute asthma are not previously known to have had asthma and had never been treated for it. This could be because the child had never had a previous asthma attack, or such an attack went undiagnosed or was treated as a different type of medical disorder. Moreover, both patients and their family physicians tend to concentrate on short-term relief rather than ongoing disease control. Regardless, there is a great amount of denial on the part of both patient and parents where asthma is concerned. They simply don't want to believe asthma is present, or that it is an ongoing condition in the absence of overt symptoms.
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    A , Internal Medicine, answered

    In those with severe GERD, acid can reflux high enough that it can be aspirated into the lungs causing wheezing and a cough. In addition, a reflex can cause the airways to narrow and also cause breathing problems. 

    Ironically, certain asthma medication can make GERD worse by relaxing the lower esophageal sphincter. This is the valve that prevents acid from backing up from the stomach into the esophagus.

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    A answered

    So how can you tell if you're really doing a good job of keeping your asthma symptoms in check? There are six key signs that you should watch out for:

    Your symptoms flare frequently. How many times a week do you experience tightness in your chest, coughing and wheezing, shortness of breath, or other asthma symptoms? If your asthma treatment plan is working, you should have symptoms no more than twice a week. And if you're having symptoms daily, you have uncontrolled asthma—and need to talk to your doctor about developing a better action plan.

    You're cutting back on your life. If you find yourself cutting back on activities because you're experiencing asthma symptoms, it's time to see your doctor and learn how to control your asthma.

    Trouble sleeping. People's airways tend to contract naturally during sleep. But when you have asthma your airways are already restricted—especially if you have uncontrolled asthma—and that little bit of extra narrowing during sleep could spell trouble. Talk to your doctor if your asthma causes sleep problems more than once a month.

    You're breaking the rule of two. Using a rescue inhaler more than twice a week can be a sign that your lung function is in poor shape. Follow your doctor's instructions regarding your rescue inhaler. If you find that you are using your rescue inhaler frequently to treat symptoms, talk to your doctor right away.

    Your peak flows are tanking. Peak flow meter readings can help both you and your doctor understand how your lungs are doing. If your doctor has directed you to use a peak flow meter to measure your lung function daily at home, it's important to use it regularly. Some temporary fluctuations in your peak flow readings may be expected. But if your peak flow readings are below your personal best or declining, it could be a sign that you need better asthma control.

    You know the ER nurse's name. Here's a sure sign that you have uncontrolled asthma: You're in the ER because of it. If you have to take a trip to the emergency room because of an asthma attack, be sure to schedule a follow-up appointment with your doctor right away to discuss your asthma management program.

    Revisit your asthma action plan. It's important to try and get your asthma under control as soon as you notice signs that it's getting worse. Talk to your healthcare provider about your asthma action plan—and have her put it in writing, including any updates or adjustments your treatment program may require.