5 doctors weighed in:

I'm not sure if I have asthma. What does it feel like?

5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Sue Ferranti
Internal Medicine
2 doctors agree

In brief: Acute...

Asthma is a disease characterized by acute episodes of bronchospasm and airway inflammation.
Most asthmatics experience shortness of breath, coughing, wheezing during an acute episode but can be symptom-free between episodes. If you think you are having an asthma episode, see a doctor for evaluation to confirm the disease. There are effective treatments.

In brief: Acute...

Asthma is a disease characterized by acute episodes of bronchospasm and airway inflammation.
Most asthmatics experience shortness of breath, coughing, wheezing during an acute episode but can be symptom-free between episodes. If you think you are having an asthma episode, see a doctor for evaluation to confirm the disease. There are effective treatments.
Dr. Sue Ferranti
Dr. Sue Ferranti
Thank
Dr. Yoram Padeh
Internal Medicine - Allergy & Immunology

In brief: Lack of air

People with asthma symptoms typically feel some version of a "lack of air".
This can include feeling chest tightness, like something wrapped around your chest; chest pressure, like someone sitting on your chest; wheezing, like a squeak or whistle noise from your chest, or generally "shortness-of-breath" where you feel out of breath like you just exercised (when you did not).

In brief: Lack of air

People with asthma symptoms typically feel some version of a "lack of air".
This can include feeling chest tightness, like something wrapped around your chest; chest pressure, like someone sitting on your chest; wheezing, like a squeak or whistle noise from your chest, or generally "shortness-of-breath" where you feel out of breath like you just exercised (when you did not).
Dr. Yoram Padeh
Dr. Yoram Padeh
Thank
Dr. Stephen Kimura
Internal Medicine - Allergy & Immunology

In brief: Variable symptoms.

Classically asthma patients complain of chest tightness, like someone is sitting on their chest.
It can feel like you are not "getting air to the bottom of you lungs" or I have even heard that their chest feels "itchy". I will occasionally have non-asthmatics breathe in and out of a coffee stirrer and then have them do jumping jacks, to simulate trying to breathe through a constricted airway.

In brief: Variable symptoms.

Classically asthma patients complain of chest tightness, like someone is sitting on their chest.
It can feel like you are not "getting air to the bottom of you lungs" or I have even heard that their chest feels "itchy". I will occasionally have non-asthmatics breathe in and out of a coffee stirrer and then have them do jumping jacks, to simulate trying to breathe through a constricted airway.
Dr. Stephen Kimura
Dr. Stephen Kimura
Thank
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