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Asthma: Signs and Symptoms

What are the signs and symptoms of asthma?

The signs and symptoms of asthma include:

  • Frequent cough
  • Wheezing
  • Difficulty breathing with exercise
  • Coughing during the night
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Frequent respiratory illnesses or pneumonia

If you have any of these symptoms on a regular basis, you should see your healthcare provider.

Late signs of an asthma episode require immediate emergency care. These include:

  • Difficulty breathing while walking or talking
  • A change in skin, fingernail or lip color to gray or blue
  • Inward movement of the muscles in the neck, chest or ribs or flaring of the nostrils
  • Failure of medications to reverse or control worsening symptoms
  • Declining peak flow meter readings in spite of medication use (A peak flow meter measures how fast a child can blow air out of his or her lungs.)