Do I have asthma?

Do I have asthma? 2021-01-27T22:41:16+00:00

Content reviewed by Marcy D. Markes, MSN, APRN, FNP-BC | AE-C, National Asthma Educator Certification Board (NAECB) Certified Asthma Educator

Asthma is a chronic lung disease that affects more than 17 million Americans. Asthma is characterized by inflammation of the airways with intermittent bronchospasm. Bronchospasm is caused by the inflammation of the muscles surrounding the air passageways. The inflammation makes the airways smaller and therefore making it more difficult for air to move in and out of the lung. This creates the symptoms of asthma:  Cough, chest tightness, shortness of breath and/or wheezing.

Asthma symptoms can be triggered by colds or viruses, allergies, medications, exercise, foods, reflux (GERD), sinusitis, emotions, stress, weather changes or strong odors/irritants.

Asthma can be ongoing (persistent) or reoccurring (intermittent). Asthma is also classified according to the severity of symptoms at the time of an attack. This can range from mild to severe. Symptoms can vary from day to day and even from hour to hour and can present as a cough, a wheeze or both. One misconception to asthma is that you have to wheeze. It is not necessary to have a wheeze to have a diagnosis of asthma. A cough, night time awakenings and/or limitations of daily activities or play are signs that you may have asthma and should be evaluated by a medical provider.

Asthma does not have to limit the activities that you want to do. We have Olympic athletics with asthma and with proper monitoring and treatment, your asthma does not have to control your life. If you have asthma, or think you have asthma, call us for an evaluation. We can teach you how to monitor and control your asthma so that you can breathe easy and live free.