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A 21-year-old member asked:

How will i know what does an asthma attack feel like?

3 doctor answers22 doctors weighed in
Dr. Sean McGhee
Allergy and Immunology 24 years experience
Different things: Some people experience asthma as breathlessness or feeling starved for air, others chest tightness or chest pain, and still others hear or feel the wheezing in their chest. A few people only have cough, although they are the minority. When severe, there is usually little doubt about the diagnosis, but milder forms can sometimes be difficult to sort out.
Dr. Brian Novick
Allergy and Immunology 44 years experience
some people say it feels like a pile of books pressing on my chest..."hard to take a full breath"
Jan 30, 2012
Dr. James Glauber
Pediatrics 34 years experience
I have heard an asthma attack described as trying to breathe through a straw.
Feb 3, 2012
Dr. Sue Ferranti
Internal Medicine 30 years experience
Terrible....: People describe the sensation as "breathing through a straw." it feels like there is not enough air in the room. It is a very scary sensation.
Dr. James Glauber
Pediatrics 34 years experience
However as a pediatrician I have seen many younger children having asthma attacks that aren't complaining. Sometimes you have to look at how a child is breathing to know whether he/she is having an attack: rapid breathing, using extra muscles in the neck, chest and abdomen to breathe.
Feb 7, 2012
Dr. Helena Bentley
Pediatrics 40 years experience
Chest tightness with persistent "tight" cough and wheezing. Some patients have said that it fells liike suffocation.
Feb 8, 2012
Dr. Matthew Majzun
Internal Medicine - Pulmonary Critical Care 15 years experience
Terrible. : Asthma attacks are usually fairly quick in onset, though if you're asthma is not well-related it may be hard to tell what's an attack and what is just uncontrolled asthma. Symptoms are usually shortness of breath, coughing, chest tightness, feeling like it's hard to get air out of your chest, and you may hear wheezing. If these start abruptly, you may need prompt medical attention.

Similar questions

A 40-year-old member asked:

What happens if you feel like you're having an asthma attack but you don't have and inhaler?

2 doctor answers8 doctors weighed in
Dr. Kevin Windisch
Pediatrics 26 years experience
Airway constriction: This airway constriction could then result in collapse and even death. Don't let your inhalers expire and keep them within easy reach.
A 39-year-old member asked:

Can you tell me what can mild asthma attack feels and look like?

1 doctor answer1 doctor weighed in
Dr. Andrew Murphy
Allergy and Immunology 30 years experience
Varies: Asthma will cause symptoms that consist of chest tightness, trouble breathing, coughing, wheezing. These may be mild in nature or can be severe.
A 43-year-old member asked:

How does a person feel during an asthma attack?

2 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Alfredo Garcia
Pediatrics 57 years experience
Asthma: A person during an asthma attack shows severe difficulty of breathing, continuous cough, labored breathing, audible wheezing and pale skin. S/he gasps for air and looks very anxious.
Dr. Arthur Atlas
Pediatrics 40 years experience
In children, an asthma exacerbation can present in many different ways. Some children do not appear sick or in distress, but cough or have wheezes on clinical exam. Some or in significant respiratory distress. Some just complain on the inability "to fill there lungs" or "can't take a deep breath".
Jul 27, 2012
A 45-year-old member asked:

How to know if i'm having an asthma attack but i'm not sure?

1 doctor answer1 doctor weighed in
Dr. Richard Williams
Pharmacy 19 years experience
Get tested: An attack of shortness of breath can be almost anything. Givcing your physician a good history and a spirometry test can eliminate other conditions. Good luck.
A 46-year-old member asked:

How to know it is my first asthma attack?

1 doctor answer1 doctor weighed in
Dr. Richard Williams
Pharmacy 19 years experience
Hard to tell: A good history and spirometry test will give your physician am excellent way to diagnosis asthma. If your first attack is bothering you, get your physiican to test you. Good luck.

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Last updated Mar 20, 2015
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