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How Do You Know If You Have Asthma?

You’re wheezing and coughing. Is it Asthma? Allergies? Viral Bronchitis? It can be hard to know sometimes. But that’s why we’re here.

Asthma is a chronic illness characterized by episodes of abrupt worsening of symptoms caused by inflammation and narrowing of the bronchial tubes. People with the disease experience asthma symptoms when the airways tighten, inflame, or fill with mucus.

Classic asthma symptoms can vary widely between people and asthma attacks. For this reason, it can be difficult to know if what you’re experiencing is really asthma.

Common Asthma Symptoms

Asthma symptoms include coughing, often with exertion, wheezing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness, pain, or pressure. Not every person has the same symptoms, and many asthma symptoms resemble those that occur with other illnesses.

For example, although allergy and asthma symptoms can be similar, allergies occur in the upper-respiratory system and are coupled with nasal congestion, sinus pain, and nasal drip.

Asthma, on the other hand, affects the airways that carry air to and from the lungs.

Asthma Risk Factors

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in 13 people in the United States has asthma.

You’re more likely to have asthma if you have a parent or close relative with allergies or asthma, and if you have a history of wheezing (without having a cold), inflammation in the nose (allergic rhinitis), or eczema (an allergic skin condition).

If you answered yes to any of the following questions, you may have asthma and should consult your healthcare provider:

  • Do you ever feel like you’re breathing through a cocktail straw?

  • Is there a whistling or squeaky sound in your chest when you breathe?

  • Do you ever feel like your throat or chest is too tight and that you can’t get enough air?

Common Asthma Triggers

One of the best things someone with asthma can do is understand what triggers an asthma attack. Below are some common triggers:

  • Allergens such as dust mites and pets

  • Irritants such as tobacco smoke and perfume

  • Colds and respiratory infections

  • Food sensitivities

  • Exercise

  • Weather

  • Stress

How Urgent Care Can Help With Your Asthma

The providers at GoHealth Urgent Care can help diagnose and, if necessary, treat asthma symptoms.

During your visit, a health care professional will discuss potential triggers and measure how easily air moves in and out of your lungs. They can perform chest x-rays, provide nebulizer treatments, and prescribe medications to keep you breathing easy.

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