Symptoms normally associated with asthma are tightening of the airways, inflammations and mucus collection. People start wheezing, or coughing consistently at night, complain of difficulty in breathing, or suffering pressure or pain as the chest tightens.
Every person may not necessarily suffer from the same asthma symptoms. You may also notice different symptoms during another attack that range from mild to severe. It is entirely possible that some patients may not have any symptoms connected with asthma, for extended periods, but suffer attacks with steadily worsening symptoms. Some people may display asthmatic signs every day or especially when they exercise or contract a cold or viral infection. During a mild attack, the airways open a few minutes or sometimes for a few hours. However, when the attacks become severe it is necessary to seek medical attention. Take precautions and learn to treat mild symptoms to prevent them from becoming severe attacks.
You will notice some warning signs just prior to an attack after which the symptoms manifest themselves. Sometimes, the symptoms may be mild and you can continue going about your daily chores. However, if you are able to recognize the signs, you can take immediate precautions. Look for warning signals, such as difficulty in breathing, persistent coughing especially at night, fatigue, especially when exercising, feeling moody or grouchy, getting upset or tired easily and finding difficulty with sleeping. At the first signs of warning, make sure you medicate yourself as recommended by the action plan.
Asthma symptoms manifest themselves more often in children from the age of five though it can begin from any age. In the United States along, nearly 10% to 12% children suffer from this chronic illness and the numbers steadily increase every year.
When the bronchial tubes get inflamed, sticky secretions are produced in the tubes, which give rise to asthma. One of the common symptoms is chronic coughing though some children have a wheezing problem. Since chronic coughing is also a symptom of bronchitis, the chances are that asthma in a child may not be noticed immediately.
The attack is triggered off when the muscle bands that surround the airways tighten and this is referred to as bronchospasm. Swelling is noticed in the airways, when it becomes inflamed or swollen and thick mucus is produced by the cells, which line the airways. These asthma symptoms such as inflammation, mucus production and bronchospasm, cause wheezing, shortness of breath, difficulty in breathing and performing normal activities on a daily basis. The other symptoms are non-stop coughing, rapid breathing, pressure or pain felt in the chest, wheezing sounds heard when a person breathes in or out and retractions, when the neck and chest muscles get tight. People find it difficult to talk, become pale and sweaty in the face, start to panic and feel anxious or find that their fingernails or lips start turning blue.
The asthmatic attack can worsen in severity quickly therefore it is essential to recognize the symptoms and get treatment immediately. You will have labored breathing till you get hold of a bronchodilator or asthma inhaler. The reading of your breathing at this time could be less than 50% on the peak flow meter. When your lungs start tightening further, it is impossible to use this meter, as wheezing will also stop, with air constricting the lungs. This is referred to generally as the “silent chest” and is a dangerous sign. It is vital that you are taken to the hospital at once. Most people assume once the wheezing stops that there is no danger and hence fail to get emergency treatment immediately which can cause fatal repercussions.
Prompt treatment is urgently required or the patient will start turn blue at the lips and become speechless. Cyanosis is the result of lack of oxygen flowing in the blood which results in this color change. It is possible that a patient can suffer death if they are not given aggressive treatment on an emergency basis.
Some people may not display normal symptoms, associated with asthma, such as difficulty in breathing, wheezing or coughing. They may display “unusual” symptoms such as fatigue, rapid breathing, sighing, anxiety, nighttime asthma that causes difficulty in sleeping and concentrating. They may cough consistently even though there is no wheezing or are unable to exercise, due to a condition known as exercise-induced asthma. Patients may display asthma symptoms that are associated with dysfunction of the vocal chords, heart failure or bronchitis. You should be aware of how your body reacts to the symptoms and discuss your asthmatic problems with your doctor, as well as other patients, as you may not always have symptoms that other asthmatic patients report therefore it is necessary to be prudent and watch out for warning signs or asthma symptoms.