Asthma Symptoms & Diagnosis

It is important to recognize your asthma symptoms and work with a healthcare provider for initial diagnosis and ongoing management.

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.  

Asthma Symptoms

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.

Recognize asthma symptoms

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.

What to expect from diagnosis

Reviewed and approved by the American Lung Association Scientific and Medical Editorial Review Panel.

Page last updated: November 28, 2022

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