Inhale Knowledge, Exhale Worry: Understanding the Symptoms of Bronchial Asthma

20 May 2024

Bronchial asthma—even the name itself can provoke a sense of unease. This common respiratory ailment has subtle, sometimes elusive symptoms that confuse patients and their loved ones. It is paramount to understand these signs to manage the disease effectively. With bronchial asthma affecting over 34 million Indians, increasing awareness and prior knowledge of asthma symptoms is not just a necessity but a responsibility.

The symptoms of bronchial asthma may not be noticeable at first, but then they grow over time. Persistent coughing, an uncomfortable feeling of tightness in the chest, wheezing, and shortness of breath are typical signs that should not be dismissed. These symptoms might sometimes worsen due to triggers such as cold air, exercise, allergens or pollution. When left unattended, these signs can progress into a severe episode, often referred to as an asthma attack. Recognising these signs early on is key to managing bronchial asthma effectively.

In the remaining sections of this blog post, we will discuss these symptoms and how timely recognition can make all the difference.

A Cough that Lingers: The Initial Sign of Asthma

When it comes to bronchial asthma, one of the first signs often experienced is a persistent cough. This isn’t your typical seasonal cough that subsides with some honey and lemon but rather a stubborn, lingering cough that has overstayed its welcome. It’s particularly noticeable at night or early in the morning, disrupting your sleep and leaving you with a tired feeling all day. Now, this isn’t an exclusive symptom; many other respiratory conditions may cause persistent coughing. However, combined with other symptoms, it might indicate bronchial asthma.

Strange Sounds While Breathing: The Wheeze Story

Another common symptom of bronchial asthma is wheezing. It’s a high-pitched whistling sound produced when you breathe out. It occurs due to air struggling to pass through narrowed airways. Imagine having to blow up a balloon with a small inlet – you can imagine the effort and the sound made in doing so. Similarly, wheezing indicates that something is obstructing your airways and making it hard for you to breathe comfortably.

Shortness of Breath: The Discomfort Indicator

Shortness of breath can be particularly troublesome, making everyday activities feel like uphill tasks. Simple tasks, such as walking short distances or climbing short flights of stairs, could leave you gasping for breath. It’s akin to trying to breathe through a straw all day – not the most comfortable feeling, is it? Remember, this symptom is not something to be taken lightly; it must be addressed promptly.

Did you know? A pursed lip breathing technique, which involves breathing in through the nose for two counts and exhaling through a puckered lip for four counts, can make breathing easier.

Not Just Your Normal Tightness: The Asthmatic Chest Pain

Man experiencing chest pain as a side effect of bronchial asthma

Chest tightness is another discomfort faced by those with bronchial asthma. Imagine walking around with a tight band around your chest all day – not the most comforting thought, right? That’s exactly how individuals with bronchial asthma describe the sensation. It’s like an invisible corset, persistently squeezing your chest, making it difficult for you to breathe freely.

Children and Asthma: The Hidden Indicators

In children, bronchial asthma can present differently. Infants may display symptoms like:

  • Wheezing
  • Difficulty eating or drinking
  • Irritability and dark circles

It’s critical to watch for these symptoms, as they could indicate this condition that needs immediate attention.

Summing it Up

In understanding Bronchial Asthma, patience and vigilance are crucial. Some symptoms to look out for are repeated coughing, breathing difficulties, wheezing, and a feeling of heaviness in the chest. Recognising the asthma symptoms, identifying the triggers, and taking timely action can help control this condition effectively. With knowledge comes power – the power to manage your asthma well, ensuring it doesn’t hamper your daily routine or reduce your quality of life. Acknowledging your asthma symptoms is the first step towards this empowerment.

At tatvacare.in, we strive to provide you with the most accurate and easy-to-understand information about asthma, its diagnosis, and treatments. We are here to support you on your path towards better health. If you want to learn more about managing Bronchial Asthma or need guidance on using inhalers for asthma attacks, we encourage you to get in touch with us. Remember, at TatvaCare, you are never alone in your health journey.


Q. What are some less common symptoms of bronchial asthma that people often miss?

A: Less often recognised symptoms of bronchial asthma can include frequent respiratory infections and tiredness or weakness when exercising. It’s also possible to experience rapid breathing or trouble sleeping due to shortness of breath or coughing.

Q. Can bronchial asthma symptoms change over time?

A: Absolutely! Symptoms of bronchial asthma can shift and evolve with time. A person might notice their symptoms becoming more frequent or severe, necessitating a revisit to the doctor for an updated management plan. Alternatively, some people may find their symptoms reduce in intensity over time.

Q. How are bronchial asthma symptoms different in children compared to adults?

A: In children, asthma symptoms can often manifest as frequent respiratory infections and a persistent cough, especially at night or during play, exercise, or laughter. Adults may also exhibit these signs, but they might also complain about feeling tired or weak or experiencing shortness of breath during daily activities.

Q. How can I differentiate between bronchial asthma and a common cold?

A: While both conditions may cause coughing and shortness of breath, bronchial asthma symptoms persist longer than a typical cold. Furthermore, wheezing – a whistling sound when exhaling – is a common symptom in asthmatics but not usually seen in colds.

Q. Can bronchial asthma be cured?

A: There is no cure as of yet for the chronic condition of Bronchial Asthma. However, with proper management and treatment, most people with asthma can lead normal, active lives. Remember to get in touch with us to access a treatment plan that meets your individual needs and goals.

About the Author

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Devina Aswal

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