Asthma affects millions of people worldwide, while asthma prevalence is greater in the developed countries. It is characterized by asthma attacks severity of which greatly varies from person to person. People with milder form of asthma have mild asthma attacks such as occasional wheezing and function completely normally between the asthma episodes, while people suffering from sever asthma require immediate medical assistance when having an asthma attack.
Symptoms of asthma occur when a person has narrowed or inflamed airways – when having an asthma attack. The severity, frequency and symptoms greatly vary from patient to patient.
The most common signs and symptoms of asthma include one or more of the following symptoms:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest tightness or pressure
- Chest pain
The mentioned symptoms are experienced very differently from person to person as well as from one asthma attack to another. Before an asthma episode occur early warning signs which can stop an episode or/and worsening of asthma if recognized and treated early enough.
The most common early asthma signs:
- Frequent cough especially at night
- Shortness of breath when being physically active
- Tiredness or weakness after exercise
- Decreased peak expiatory flow rate
- Trouble sleeping
- Symptoms of cold, respiratory infection or allergies
In addition to early asthma symptoms there are also signs of asthma worsening:
– persistent cough
– shortness of breath
– chest tightness
– increased heart rate
– fall of peak expiratory flow rate
– increased need to use bronchodilators to open the airways
If asthma keeps getting worse there is a great risk respiratory arrest and death if not receiving immediate medical assistance.