Symptoms of Asthma

People with asthma experience symptoms due to the inflammation and narrowing of their airways.

Symptoms often vary from person to person, but they are most commonly:

  • Breathlessness
  • Wheezing
  • Tight feeling in the chest
  • Continuing cough

Symptoms can be controlled, or they can be very serious. But with the right management, people with asthma continue to live full and uninhibited lives.

A person’s asthma symptoms can vary over time. Sometimes people with asthma will have no symptoms, especially when their asthma is well-controlled. You may have all of these symptoms, or only a few, and they may come and go.

Symptoms often occur at night, early in the morning, or during or just after activity. If your asthma is well controlled, you should only have occasional asthma symptoms. If you have symptoms or use your reliever puffer more than two days a week your asthma may not be under control and you should see your doctor.  You can also get more help by viewing Living with Asthma.

Asthma is a complex condition

Occasionally, people with asthma experience what are known as ‘silent’ symptoms of asthma. This is where the signs of the tightening of the airways don’t result in the familiar asthma sounds of wheezing and coughing.

If you or someone you live with, work with, or care for experiences silent asthma symptoms, it is important they consult a doctor for an ongoing Asthma Action Plan.

People around the person with asthma – such as co-workers, school teachers or daycare educators – should know about the silent symptoms so they can respond if needed.

Asthma can start at any age, and can be more of a problem when it starts in older adults.

Don’t assume if you never had asthma  as a child that it’s not possible to develop symptoms now.

Being breathless is not a normal part of getting older, it should always be checked out by a doctor.

What should I do if I think I have asthma?

If you suspect you might have asthma, you should see your doctor for a professional diagnosis. Don’t ignore it – if you do have asthma, the sooner you get it under control, the faster you can get back to living a full and active life.

For more information on how Asthma Australia is helping people with asthma to breathe so they can live freely, visit About Us.