Asthma - symptoms and causes (2023)

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asthma attack

Asthma - symptoms and causes (1)

asthma attack

When you have asthma, the lining of the airways in your lungs can become inflamed and swollen. Also, the membranes of the linings of the airways can drain excess mucus. The result is an asthma attack. During an asthma attack, narrowed airways make it hard to breathe, and you may cough and wheeze.

Asthma is a condition in which the airways become narrow and swollen, and extra mucus can be produced. This can make breathing difficult and cause coughing, wheezing (wheezing in the chest) when exhaling, 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 can lead to a life-threatening asthma attack.

There is no cure for asthma, but its symptoms can be controlled. Because asthma often changes over time, it's important to work with your doctor to monitor your signs and symptoms and adjust your treatment as needed.


(Video) Asthma - What It Is, Causes, Symptoms and Treatments and More


Asthma symptoms vary from person to person. You may have infrequent asthma attacks, only at certain times, e.g. B. during sports - or constantly.

The signs and symptoms of asthma include:

  • shortness of breath
  • tightness or pain in the chest
  • wheezing when exhaling, which is a common sign of asthma in children
  • Difficulty sleeping due to shortness of breath, coughing, or wheezing
  • Episodes of coughing or wheezing that are made worse by a respiratory virus, such as a cold or flu

Signs that your asthma may be getting worse include:

  • Signs and symptoms of asthma that are becoming more frequent and bothersome
  • Increasing shortness of breath, measured with a device that monitors lung function (peak flow meter)
  • The need to use a rapid-release inhaler more frequently

Some people have signs and symptoms of asthma in certain situations:

  • exercise induced asthma,what can be worse when the air is cold and dry
  • occupational asthma,caused by irritants in the workplace, such as chemical fumes, gases, or dusts
  • allergy induced asthma,caused by airborne substances such as pollen, mold spores, cockroach droppings or animal fur particles, and dried saliva (pet dander)

when to the doctor

Seek emergency treatment

Severe asthma attacks can be fatal. Work with your doctor to determine what to do if your signs and symptoms worsen, and if you need emergency treatment. Signs of an asthma emergency are:

  • Shortness of breath or wheezing that gets worse quickly
  • No improvement even after using a rapid inhaler
  • Shortness of breath with minimal physical activity.

Contact your doctor

Consult your doctor:

  • If you think you have asthma.If you have frequent coughing or wheezing that lasts more than a few days, or have other signs or symptoms of asthma, see your doctor. Early treatment of asthma can prevent long-term lung damage and help prevent the condition from getting worse over time.
  • To control your asthma after diagnosis.If you know you have asthma, talk to your doctor about getting it under control. Good long-term control will help you feel better each day and may prevent a life-threatening asthma attack.
  • if your asthma symptoms get worse.Contact your doctor right away if your medicine does not seem to relieve your symptoms or if you need to use your inhaler more often.

    Do not take more medication than prescribed without first consulting your doctor. Overuse of asthma medicines can cause side effects and make asthma worse.

  • To review your treatment.Asthma often changes over time. Meet with your doctor regularly to discuss your symptoms and make any necessary adjustments in treatment.

More information

  • Asthma care at Mayo Clinic
  • Vocal cord dysfunction
(Video) Adult Asthma - Overview (signs and symptoms, pathophysiology, investigations and treatment)

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(Video) Asthma - causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, pathology

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It is not clear why some people have asthma and others do not, but it is likely due to a combination of environmental and hereditary (genetic) factors.

asthma triggers

Exposure to various irritants and substances that cause allergies (allergens) can trigger signs and symptoms of asthma. Asthma triggers vary from person to person and can include:

  • Allergens in the air, such as pollen, dust mites, mold spores, pet dander, or roach waste particles.
  • Respiratory infections such as B. Cold
  • physical activity
  • Cold air
  • Air pollutants and irritants like smoke.
  • Certain medications, including beta blockers, aspirin, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) and naproxen sodium (Aleve)
  • Strong emotions and stress.
  • Sulfites and preservatives added to some types of food and beverages, including shrimp, dried fruit, processed potatoes, beer, and wine.
  • gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a condition in which stomach acid backs up into the throat

More information

  • Asthma care at Mayo Clinic
  • asthma and heartburn

risk factor's

Several factors are believed to increase the chances of developing asthma. They include:

  • Has a blood relative with asthma, such as B. a parent or sibling
  • Another allergic condition, such as atopic dermatitis, which causes red, itchy skin, or hay fever, which causes a runny nose, stuffy, and itchy eyes.
  • being overweight
  • be a smoker
  • secondhand smoke exposure
  • Exposure to exhaust gases or other pollutants
  • Exposure to occupational triggers, such as chemicals used in agriculture, hairdressing, and manufacturing.


Asthma complications include:

  • Signs and symptoms that interfere with sleep, work, and other activities
  • Days off work or school during asthma attacks
  • A permanent narrowing of the tubes that carry air to and from the lungs (bronchial tubes), affecting the way you breathe
  • Emergency services and admissions for severe asthma attacks
  • Side effects of long-term use of some medications used to stabilize severe asthma

Proper treatment makes a big difference in preventing short- and long-term complications of asthma.


Although there is no way to prevent asthma, you and your doctor can create a step-by-step plan to help you manage your condition and prevent asthma attacks.

(Video) Understanding Asthma: Mild, Moderate, and Severe

  • Follow your asthma action plan.Work with your doctor and health care team to create a detailed plan for taking medicine to control an asthma attack. So be sure to stick to your plan.

    Asthma is an ongoing condition that requires regular monitoring and treatment. Taking control of your treatment can make you feel more in control of your life.

  • Get vaccinated against flu and pneumonia.Keeping up with vaccinations can prevent the flu and pneumonia from triggering asthma attacks.
  • Identify and avoid asthma triggers.Various external allergens and irritants, from pollen and mold to cold air and pollution, can trigger asthma attacks. Find out what is causing or worsening your asthma and take steps to avoid these triggers.
  • Control your breathing.You can learn to recognize the warning signs of an impending seizure, such as: B. Mild coughing, wheezing, or shortness of breath.

    However, because your lung function may decline before you notice any signs or symptoms, measure and record your peak flow regularly using a home peak flow meter. A peak flow meter measures how much you can breathe out. Your doctor can show you how to check your peak flow at home.

  • Identify and treat attacks early.If you act quickly, you are less likely to have a serious seizure. You also don't need as many medications to control your symptoms.

    If your peak flow readings are falling, alerting you to an impending attack, take your medication as directed. Also, immediately stop any activity that may have triggered the attack. If your symptoms do not improve, seek medical help as indicated in your action plan.

  • Take your medication as directed.Don't change your medicines without first talking to your doctor, even if your asthma seems to be getting better. It's a good idea to bring your medications to all doctor appointments. Your doctor can make sure you are using your medicine correctly and taking the correct dose.
  • Consider increasing your use of quick-relief inhalers.When you rely on your quick-relief inhaler like Albuterol, your asthma is not under control. Contact your doctor to adjust your treatment.

By the staff of the Mayo Clinic


1. What is Asthma? Causes, Signs and Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment.
(Medical Centric)
2. Asthma in Children - Causes, Symptoms and Treatment Options
3. Early Warning Signs of an Asthma Attack
(AAFA National)
4. Asthma Symptoms & Precautions & Causes |Bronchial Thermoplasty
(Yashoda Hospitals - Hyderabad)
5. Allergies and Asthma: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment Options
(St. Mark's Hospital)
6. Asthma - signs and symptoms, pathophysiology
(Armando Hasudungan)


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