Asthma: Why You Need to Use a Peak Flow Meter

Key Asthma Symptoms

The key symptoms of asthma are also common in other major illnesses and so self diagnosing is not recommended. Only a doctor can diagnose asthma and then only after several tests have been taken.

The most common identifiers of asthma are:

• Wheezing

• Chronic cough.

• Tightness in the chest

• Shortness of breath

Having said that, these symptoms are also common with some heart ailments, cystic fibrosis, bronchitis, allergies and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Sometimes, a person with severe asthma can have a debilitating illness; they are so impacted by the symptoms that they are not able to function normally on a day to day basis. Fortunately, the vast number of asthma sufferers have symptoms that are much more mild. For these sufferers an asthma attack my occur infrequently and the use of Ventolin HFA is all they need.

For some sufferers, their asthma may be too severe to be controlled with the use of an inhaler or nebulizer and their symptoms continue to get worse; the throat muscles can become so inflamed that they have serious difficulty breathing, they wheeze, have a tightness in their chest, and, develop a chronic cough. When this happens, going about their daily lives is impossible.

If your regular medication does not relieve the symptoms then your progress to a severe attack and medical intervention is usually necessary. As the symptoms get worse your ability to breathe is reduced and your body takes in less oxygen than it needs. Without immediate help this can be fatal.

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