While many people assume that they would know if they have asthma, a surprising number of people are shocked when they discover that their mild breathing issues are due to this chronic respiratory disease. The problem is that asthma often mimics other conditions such as a respiratory infection, so it can go unrecognized for months or even years. Plus, your symptoms may only flare-up during exercise, when you would expect to be winded and breathless. Our Fort Worth, TX, asthma specialists know exactly what to look for.
Signs and Symptoms of Asthma
Asthma symptoms will vary from person to person. Some people’s symptoms are so mild that they can go unnoticed for a long time. To prevent an asthma attack from happening to you, it’s important to read the signs of asthma, even if they are subtle. Some of these signs include:
- Shortness of breath: This is a more common sign of asthma. Inflammation in the airways prevents enough oxygen from entering the lungs, as well as the rest of the body.
- Persistent cough: If you have a cough that doesn’t seem to go away or gets worse at night this could be a sign of asthma. Cough-variant asthma can be triggered by allergens such as pet dander and mold, which can lead to wheezing, coughing, and difficulty breathing.
- Wheezing: Do you hear a whistling sound when you breathe in or out? This is known as wheezing and it’s a telltale sign of asthma.
- Tightness in the chest: Since air gets trapped in the chest, you may notice chest tightness whenever you try and take a deep breath. You may feel like you are never able to get a full breath.
- Shallow, rapid breathing: Since you can’t quite take a full, deep breath you may be more likely to deal with rapid, shallow breathing.
- Struggling through physical activities: Do you find yourself feeling surprisingly winded and exhausted after just a few minutes of exercise? Those with asthma may find themselves extremely exhausted after working out because they can’t catch their breath. Exercise-induced asthma symptoms usually appear right away and can last up to a half-hour after exercise.
- Chronic fatigue: If your body isn’t getting enough oxygen it isn’t going to work optimally. If you are dealing with persistent fatigue along with breathing difficulties it could be due to asthma.
Detecting Asthma in Children
Asthma is one of the most common chronic conditions in children for which our Southlake, TX, asthma specialists provide treatment; however, it’s often challenging to diagnose asthma in children under five years old because their airways are small, and symptoms may be misdiagnosed as colds and other infections. Signs of childhood asthma include:
- Coughing, usually at night
- Persistent and recurring colds and respiratory infections
- Rapid breathing
- Trouble breathing
- Wheezing when breathing out
If you are concerned that you or a loved one may have asthma, our Southlake and Fort Worth, TX, asthma specialists can provide a swift diagnosis and create a customized asthma action plan to fit your needs. Call Texas Regional Asthma and Allergy Center today at (817) 421-0770.