Asthma is a condition in which your airways narrow and swell and may produce extra mucus. This can make breathing difficult and trigger coughing, a whistling sound (wheezing) when you breathe out and shortness of breath.
For some people, asthma is a minor nuisance. For others, it can be a major problem that interferes with daily activities and may lead to a life-threatening
asthma attack.
Asthma can’t be cured, but its symptoms can be controlled. Because asthma often changes over time, it’s important that you work with your
doctor to track your signs and symptoms and adjust your treatment as needed.
Asthma symptoms vary from person to person. You may have infrequent asthma attacks, have symptoms only at certain times — such as when
exercising — or have symptoms all the time.
Asthma signs and symptoms include:
Shortness of breath
Chest tightness or pain
Wheezing when exhaling, which is a common sign of asthma in children
Trouble sleeping caused by shortness of breath, coughing or wheezing
Coughing or wheezing attacks that are worsened by a respiratory virus, such as a cold or the flu
Signs that your asthma is probably worsening include:
Asthma signs and symptoms that are more frequent and bothersome
Increasing difficulty breathing, as measured with a device used to check how well your lungs are working (peak flow meter)