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patient care / conditions treatments / asthma




Having asthma means your airways have become narrow and swollen. In addition they may also be producing extra mucus making it difficult for you to breathe. Asthma can be a mild irritation for some people. For others, though, it could prevent them from carrying out their normal day-today activities and may even lead to a potentially fatal asthma attack. This condition is often one that will last a long time – perhaps even throughout your life – so you need to follow your doctor’s advice and check in with him or her regularly to adjust treatment as needed.

Signs and symptoms

  • Shortness of breath
  • Pain or tightness of chest
  • Trouble sleeping caused by shortness of breath, coughing or wheezing
  • A whistling or wheezing sound when exhaling
  • Coughing or wheezing attacks that get worse with a cold or the flu
  • Difficulty breathing while exercising
  • Difficulty breathing when the air is cold and dry
  • Difficulty breathing when exposed to workplace irritants such as chemical fumes, gases or dust
  • Difficulty breathing when exposed to allergens, such as pet dander or pollen

When to see a doctor

Severe asthma attacks can be life-threatening. See a doctor without delay if you have the following symptoms:

  • Shortness of breath or wheezing gets worse
  • A quick-relief inhaler isn’t effective
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