In people with severe asthma, the normally-tiny muscles in the walls of the airways are larger than in non-asthmatics. The airways close down when these muscles contract. When airways close down, it becomes difficult to breathe making the chest feel tight. Coughing and wheezing are also common. Medicine is typically necessary to relax and reopen the airways though medicine doesn’t always work well for those with severe asthma. Bronchial thermoplasty (BT) is a procedure that may be effective in treating more severe cases.
Asthma symptoms vary from person to person and can range from infrequent attacks or situational symptoms – like those that occur only when exercising – to serious symptoms all the time.
Common signs and symptoms of asthma include:
Signs that your asthma is probably worsening include:
For some, signs and symptoms flare up in certain situations:
A Deborah Heart and Lung Center physician will listen to the patient’s lungs using a stethoscope. Wheezing or other asthma-related sounds may be heard. The doctor may also choose to order additional tests, such as: