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What are the symptoms of asthma?

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Asthma is a chronic disease that affects the airways. It causes inflammation and narrowing of the airways, which makes it difficult to breathe. Asthma symptoms can vary from person to person and can range from mild to severe.

Common symptoms of asthma include:

  • Coughing: This is often the most common symptom of asthma, and it can occur at any time, but it is often worse at night or in the early morning.
  • Wheezing: This is a whistling sound that occurs when you breathe out. It is caused by the narrowing of the airways.
  • Shortness of breath: This can make it difficult to talk, eat, or exercise.
  • Chest tightness: This can feel like a band is tightening around your chest.

Other symptoms of asthma can include:

  • Rapid breathing: This is especially common in children with asthma.
  • Fatigue: You may feel tired all the time, even if you get enough sleep.
  • Trouble sleeping: This can be caused by coughing, wheezing, or shortness of breath.
  • Peak flow changes: Peak flow is a measure of how quickly you can blow air out of your lungs. If you have asthma, your peak flow may be lower than normal during an asthma attack.

Asthma attacks are sudden worsening of asthma symptoms. They can be triggered by a variety of things, including:

  • Allergens: Dust mites, pollen, pet dander, and mold are common asthma triggers.
  • Exercise: Exercise-induced asthma is a common type of asthma that is triggered by physical activity.
  • Cold air: Breathing in cold air can trigger an asthma attack in some people.
  • Respiratory infections: The common cold and the flu can trigger asthma attacks.
  • Smoke: Inhaling secondhand smoke or smoking can trigger asthma attacks.
  • Strong emotions: Strong emotions, such as stress, anger, or anxiety, can trigger asthma attacks.

If you think you or your child may have asthma, it is important to see a doctor. They can diagnose asthma and develop a treatment plan to help you manage your symptoms.

Asthma treatment typically includes a combination of medications and lifestyle changes. Medications can help to prevent asthma attacks and relieve symptoms when they do occur. Lifestyle changes that can help to manage asthma include:

  • Avoiding asthma triggers: This can help to prevent asthma attacks.
  • Getting regular exercise: Exercise can help to improve lung function and reduce asthma symptoms.
  • Maintaining a healthy weight: Being overweight or obese can worsen asthma symptoms.
  • Eating a healthy diet: A healthy diet can help to reduce inflammation and improve lung function.
  • Quitting smoking: Smoking can worsen asthma symptoms and make it more difficult to control the disease.

With proper treatment, most people with asthma can live normal, active lives.

If you have any questions about asthma, please talk to your doctor.

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