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Warning Signs and Symptoms


Lt Col Reynolds
Asthma signs and symptoms can range from mild to severe. Dr. Flemings, will you tell us about some of these warning signs and symptoms?

Dr. Flemings
Of course, Dr. Reynolds. Some people may experience only occasional episodes of asthma with moderate, short-lived symptoms such as wheezing. Others might cough and wheeze most of the time or find that their symptoms become much worse after exposure to an asthma trigger such as pollen, mold, or tobacco smoke. In severe cases, an asthma attack can leave a person gasping for air.

Learning to recognize warning signs and treating symptoms early can help prevent attacks or keep them from becoming worse. Warning signs and symptoms for adults can include:

  • Increased shortness of breath or wheezing
  • Disturbed sleep caused by shortness of breath, coughing, or wheezing
  • Chest tightness or pain
  • Increased need to use bronchodilators, which are medications that open airways by relaxing the surrounding muscles, and
  • A fall in peak flow rates as measured by a peak flow meter, a simple and inexpensive device that allows you to monitor your own lung function