Asthma is a condition in which your airways narrow and swell and may produce extra mucus. This can make breathing difficult and trigger coughing, a whistling sound (wheezing) when you breathe out and shortness of breath.
For some people, asthma is a minor nuisance. For others, it can be a major problem that interferes with daily activities and may lead to a life-threatening asthma attack.
Asthma can’t be cured, but its symptoms can be controlled. Because asthma often changes over time, it’s important that you work with your doctor to track your signs and symptoms and adjust your treatment as needed.
Asthma symptoms vary from person to person. You may have infrequent asthma attacks, have symptoms only at certain times — such as when exercising — or have symptoms all the time.
Asthma signs and symptoms include:
- Loss of appetite
- Dark circles under the eyes
- Fatigue or difficulty sleeping
- Feeling very tired or weak with exertion
- Frequent cough
- Wheezing with exertion
- Shortness of breath
- Chest tightness or pain
- Coughing or wheezing attacks that are worsened by a respiratory virus, such as a cold or the flu
Signs that your asthma is probably worsening include:
- Asthma signs and symptoms that are more frequent and bothersome
- Increasing difficulty breathing, as measured with a device used to check how well your lungs are working (peak flow meter)
- The need to use a quick-relief inhaler more often
For some people, asthma signs and symptoms flare up in certain situations:
- Exercise-induced asthma, which may be worse when the air is cold and dry
- Occupational asthma, triggered by workplace irritants such as chemical fumes, gases or dust
- Allergy-induced asthma, triggered by airborne substances, such as pollen, mold spores, cockroach waste, or particles of skin and dried saliva shed by pets (pet dander)
Exercise is a common trigger for asthma symptoms. Many people with asthma may experience difficulty breathing, coughing, wheezing, or chest tightness during or after exercise. However, most people with asthma can successfully participate in their exercise of choice with proper guidance and treatment. Exercise has been shown to benefit all individuals, including those with asthma.
Sport with short bursts of activity’s
A prominent review of 19 studies (involving 695 people) on exercises for asthma was published in 2012. The review found that exercise for asthma is safe, improves heart and lung fitness, and enhances quality of life. The review concludes that people with asthma should be encouraged to exercise without worrying that their symptoms will get worse.