Asthma Symptoms

Most people with asthma will first show symptoms when they are young. Asthma symptoms are different from person to person and they can change overtime. People with asthma often have one or more of these symptoms:

  • wheezing
  • chest tightness
  • coughing
  • feeling short of breath

Many lung diseases have similar symptoms, so it is important to go to your doctor to get a diagnosis.
Asthma can be a medical emergency, if you have any of these symptoms you must go to the emergency department right away.

Signs and symptoms of a serious asthma emergency

Call 911 and keep taking your rescue medication (blue puffer):

  • struggling for breath
  • blue rescue inhaler doesn't help
  • difficulty speaking, can't finish a sentence
  • sucking in skin above breastbone and between ribs
  • nostrils flaring out
  • pale, grey, sweating
  • blue lips or nail beds
  • really tired, lethargic
  • unconscious (fainted)


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Page Last Updated: 09/02/2015