Asthma is a common lung condition which causes occasional breathing problems. Many people are aware of the main symptoms of asthma, which typically include wheezing and shortness of breath.
Unusual symptoms of asthma to look out for
Some “unusual” symptoms of the condition to look out for include:
- rapid breathing
- inability to exercise properly (called exercise-induced asthma)
- difficulty sleeping or nighttime asthma
- chronic cough without wheezing
However, it is important to note that these symptoms are not always the result of asthma.
WebMD explains: “Asthma symptoms can be mimicked by other conditions such as bronchitis, vocal cord dysfunction, and even heart failure.”
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Common symptoms of asthma
If you are concerned you may have a lesser-known symptom of asthma, you should also check whether you are experiencing any common symptoms of the condition.
According to the NHS: “The most common symptoms of asthma are wheezing (a whistling sound when breathing, breathlessness, a tight chest – it may feel like a band is tightening around it and coughing.”
Many things can cause these symptoms, but they are more likely to be asthma if they worsen at night or early in the morning, or happen frequently and recurrently.
Asthma can also be triggered by things such as exercise or allergies.
The condition can also get worse for a short period of time; this is known as an asthma attack.
An attack can include wheezing and coughing, being too breathless to eat, speak or sleep, or breathing faster.
In severe cases, a person may experience a rapid heartbeat, drowsiness, confusion, exhaustion or dizziness and blue lips or fingers.
What to do if you think you have asthma
The best thing to do if you are concerned that you or your child has asthma is to visit your GP.
Your GP will likely ask a series of questions, including notes on any family history or allergies.
They may suggest doing some tests to confirm whether or not you have asthma.
According to the NHS: “A GP will probably be able to diagnose it, but they may refer you to a specialist if they’re not sure.”