Symptoms



Symptoms of asthma are:

  • Trouble breathing.
  • Wheezing.
  • Feeling of tightness in the chest.
  • Coughing, particularly coughing at night.
 
There is a system that your doctor will use to classify the severity of your asthma. This system will help your doctor to decide how to treat and manage your asthma. 
Regardless of the severity of your asthma, it needs to be managed with planned use of medications as prescribed by your doctor. Your doctor may also recommend the use of peak flow meters and a detailed action plan.
 

The four levels used to classify people with asthma who are five years of age and older are as follows:

Intermittent: Daytime symptoms two or less times per week, or nighttime symptoms one or two nights per month. A sudden flare-up of symptoms (wheezing, shortness of breath, or cough) occurs once or less per year.
Persistent, mild: Daytime symptoms more than two times per week, but not every day, or nighttime symptoms three or four nights per month.
Persistent, moderate: Daytime symptoms every day or nighttime symptoms more than one night per week, but not every night.
Persistent, severe: Continual daytime symptoms or frequent nighttime symptoms (often every night).

With all levels of Persistent asthma, sudden flare-ups of symptoms may occur, usually two or more times per year.
 

For very young children (four years of age or younger), asthma classifications differ. The four levels of asthma for very young children are as follows:

Intermittent: Daytime symptoms two or less days per week with no nighttime symptoms. A sudden flare-up of symptoms (wheezing, shortness of breath, or cough) occurs once or less per year.
Persistent, mild: Daytime symptoms more than two times per week, but not every day, or nighttime symptoms one to two nights per month.
Persistent, moderate: Daytime symptoms every day or nighttime symptoms three to four times per month, but not every night.
Persistent, severe: Continual daytime symptoms or nighttime symptoms more than one time a week.

With all levels of Persistent asthma for very young children, sudden flare-ups of symptoms may occur, usually two or more times in six months. There can also be wheezing episodes that last for more than one day and may occur four or more times per year.
 
Source: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute