Asthma is one of the most rapidly growing health problems not only in the United States, but in the world. Between 2002 and 2004, the incidence of reported asthma rose over 4% – a startling statistic, and even more startling when you consider that many people dont even recognize the signs and symptoms of asthma, and go undiagnosed.
These people, suffering from whats often called hidden asthma, are more prone to respiratory illnesses, get more severe colds, are more likely to get pneumonia and chronic bronchitis.
In addition, their health may suffer from poor sleep (one of the sign and symptoms of asthma is nighttime coughing and restlessness), depressed immunities and general fatigue.
Knowing a sign and symptom of asthma can alert you to a possible problem with undiagnosed asthma. A doctor can evaluate lung function using a peak flow meter or other method, and prescribe a treatment plan that will reduce the chances of ever having an acute episode of asthma and reduce the number of days you miss because of symptoms related to hidden asthma.
Signs and symptoms of asthma include:
Wheezing is the telltale sign of an asthma attack, but may not be present in chronic mild asthma.
– Wheezing at the end of an exhale is a symptom of mild asthma
– Wheezing throughout an exhale is a symptom of more severe asthma
– Wheezing on both inhalation and exhalation is a symptom of acute asthma attack. Medical attention should be sought if medication doesnt relieve the symptoms within five to ten minutes.
– Chronic nighttime coughing, especially in the absence of another illness is one of the most common signs and symptoms of asthma in children.
– The cough may sound rattly, but is seldom productive because the asthma cough is not triggered by a need to move mucus. Instead, its triggered by irritated and inflamed airways
– Of all the signs and symptoms of asthma, coughing is the one most likely to appear alone. Cough-variant asthma should be diagnosed by a doctor using a special kind of test to provoke a reaction using histamines.
– Cough-variant asthma is very responsive to a combination of bronchodilators and inhaled corticosteroids to relieve inflammation.
Shortness of Breath
– Being out of breath after minimal exertion can be a symptom of asthma
– Exercise induced shortness of breath is most often diagnosed as asthma, but needs to be carefully evaluated by a medical professional. In one study conducted at the University of Iowa, researchers found that over 60% of the children who were diagnosed as having exercise induced asthma actually had nothing wrong with them at all except their own perceptions of how much they should be able to do without getting out of breath.