Asthma Home > Symptoms of Asthma

Coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath are common signs and symptoms of asthma. Other symptoms include chest tightness and faster or noisy breathing. Activities such as running or cycling may also trigger symptoms in people with asthma, especially when the weather is cold. In addition, some people experience symptoms on a daily basis; other only experience them every few months.

Symptoms of Asthma: An Introduction

Common asthma symptoms include:
  • Coughing. Coughing from asthma is often worse at night or early in the morning, making it hard to sleep.
  • Wheezing. Wheezing is a whistling or squeaky sound when you breathe.
  • Chest tightness. This can feel like something is squeezing or sitting on your chest.
  • Shortness of breath. Some people say they can't catch their breath, or they feel breathless or out of breath. You may feel like you can't get enough air into or out of your lungs.
  • Faster breathing or noisy breathing. A person with asthma may breathe faster or louder than normal, especially during an asthma attack.
People with asthma may also have symptoms that include:
  • Wheezing when they have a cold or other illness
  • Frequent coughing, especially at night (sometimes, this is the only sign of asthma in a child)
  • Attacks triggered by exercises such as running, biking, or other brisk activity, especially during cold weather
  • Coughing or wheezing brought on by prolonged crying or laughing
  • Coughing or wheezing when near an allergen or irritant.
If you notice that you have symptoms of asthma, talk to your healthcare provider.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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