Symptoms of Severe Asthma

People with severe asthma experience the same symptoms as people with mild to moderate asthma, however these asthma symptoms may be more intense or occur more often.

Severe asthma symptoms remain uncontrolled despite high-dose treatment or can only be controlled with continual high-dose treatment. Symptoms can include:

  • breathlessness
  • wheezing
  • feeling tight in the chest
  • continuing cough

Symptoms often occur at night, early in the morning, or during or after activity.

When asthma is well controlled, you should only have occasional asthma symptoms – less than twice a week.

Severe asthma is not the same for everyone. So finding the right treatment options may take time and will differ from person to person.

The lived experience for people with severe asthma can be challenging .

“On some occasions the mind’s there and wants to do it but the body can’t keep up. It sort of makes you feel worthless in a way.” Neil*, 60 years

“I don’t feel like I’m getting a lot of breath in. I’m very restricted and tight in the chest and [breathing] doesn’t even feel like it’s doing any good. Depending on the day, [I could be feeling like this] all day, three quarters or maybe half the day. I don’t think I’ve actually had a full day, feeling capable of just doing things, like showers, for a year and a-half.” Casey*, 48 years

* No real names have been used