People with asthma experience a tight feeling in the chest, shortness of breath, coughing or wheezing at some point in their life. Working in partnership with a healthcare provider is key to successfully managing asthma. Together, you can find the experiences or exposures, called "asthma triggers," that put you at the greatest risk for an asthma flare-up, the steps to take when you have symptoms, and knowing when to see the doctor or seek immediate help.
Asthma is a life-threatening disease, but it can be managed to minimize symptoms so people living with asthma can be active and healthy.
Common symptoms when your asthma is not well-controlled include a tight feeling in the chest, shortness of breath, coughing and wheezing. It is important to recognize these signs and talk to your doctor so you can be symptom-free, active and healthy.
How Is Asthma Diagnosed?
To diagnose asthma, your doctor will evaluate your symptoms, ask for your complete health history, conduct a physical exam and look at test results.
Know when to see your doctor.
Here are some guidelines when to get extra help for your asthma.
Reviewed and approved by the American Lung Association Scientific and Medical Editorial Review Panel.
Page last updated: November 28, 2022