An asthma attack can be triggered by many factors—allergens such as pollen, dust, and pet fur or environmental factors such as air pollution, smoke, or even weather can set one in motion. Other asthma triggers may include exercise, medications, and even stress. Asthma can begin at any time of your life and certain risk factors can make you susceptible. For instance, if you work in an environment rife with chemical toxins, if you are obese, or if you have a family history of ashtma or allergies you could experience asthma in your lifetime.
Read on to learn some of the most prevalent symptoms of asthma:
1. Shortness of breath
Asthma causes the airways to narrow and restricts a person’s ability to breathe. As this occurs, shortness of breath can set in. Shortness of breath is when you feel as though you can not get enough air. It might feel like you are sprinting the 100-meter dash while in reality, you are sitting on the couch.
Inflamed airways have less space for air to get through causing a whistling sound when a person breathes in and out, this is wheezing. During an asthma attack, people often experience wheezing as the episode worsens. Wheezing is one of the major symptoms of asthma and can help you determine if you are indeed having an attack. So if you’ve been making a whistling sound while breathing, it may be time to talk with your doctor.
3. Chest tightness or pain
During an asthma attack, you may experience a feeling of intense tightness and/or pain in your chest. This symptom is due to the inflammation that is occurring in the airways. This may feel like a sharp, quick pain or a dull ache and give you the sensation that a heavy weight is on your chest. Chest pain can be a precursor to an asthma attack and continue through the duration.
4. Trouble sleeping
Asthma comes in many forms, one of which is nocturnal asthma. As the name implies, nocturnal asthma is asthma that displays at night. Particular symptoms of nocturnal asthma include shortness of breath, which in turn causes trouble sleeping. You may feel like your chest is being crushed and you’re trying to catch a breath; these sensations cause many sufferers to lose sleep.
5. Excess mucus
Our bodies naturally produce mucus to protect our lungs and nose from irritants. When a person has asthma, the body begins to secrete mucus on overdrive because the membranes (in the nose and lungs) are more sensitive to anything in the air. Irritants like smoke or dust or even the cold air itself can trigger asthma and excess mucus. If you have a respiratory infection while experiencing asthma symptoms you will have even heavier production of mucus as your body tries to protect itself from any unwanted or harmful substances.