5 Common Signs of Asthma

Life is best when we don’t have to think about allergy triggers every single minute of everyday. Yet for millions of people, there are triggers that can make a beautiful day a nightmare. People with asthma have chronic inflammation of the smaller airways, (the bronchi and bronchioles). This makes them excessively sensitive to things like tobacco smoke, pet dander, dust, stress, and fragrances, and any one of these things can send an asthmatic into a potentially deadly attack.

Even though there is no cure for asthma, there are asthma treatments that work over the long term to control the inflammation (i.e, asthma inhalers). These open up the air passages by relaxing the muscles that are surrounding and constricting them. It’s important that everyone learns about asthma causes and triggers since roughly 300,000 million people suffer from it worldwide and it can be deadly. So, how do we know if we or those we love are suffering from asthma? Consider the symptoms:

1. Coughing
Excess inflammation and mucus cause coughing and so this is one of the first symptoms and signs of an asthmatic attack. Though the purpose of a cough is to expel foreign substances, the asthmatic cough is generally mucus-free. There is little relief from this symptom as the mucus remains, thus exacerbating the problem.

2. Wheezing
This is a high-pitched whistle-like sound caused by the inflammation and narrowing of the air passages. Though there are other issues that can cause wheezing, asthma is not to be neglected as a likely reason, especially in combination with these other symptoms.

3. Shortness of breath
During an asthmatic attack the breathing becomes shallow and speeds up. This combined with the narrowing of the passageways doesn’t allow one to get a full breath.

4. Chest tightness
The small bronchial passageways have an inner lining called the mucosa which is surrounded by a layer of smooth muscle. When in contact with one of the many possible triggers the smooth muscle tightens around the small airways making the taking in of much needed oxygen nearly impossible. The strain on the system makes the chest feel tight which, in turn, causes more anxiety which is one of the triggers for an attack.

5. Difficulty breathing
It’s little wonder that difficulty breathing would be a symptom or sign of asthma. Not only is the smooth muscle tightening but the inflammation causes more mucus in the airways. This results in a smaller passageway. In fact, the exhalation is often more difficult than the inhalation. This can even result in too much air in the lungs. So, the breathing cycle becomes an agonizing process forcing the body to work much harder than it should while trying to deliver oxygen to the different organs of the body. Unfortunately, sometimes the body just can’t keep up.