If you think you might have asthma, here are some signs and symptoms that can help you distinguish between a simple cold or flu virus and the advent of asthma and/or an impending asthma attack.
Of course, the main problem with diagnosing asthma is that a typical asthma symptom is easily confused with a symptom caused by a common cold or flu virus. If you suspect that you or your child may have asthma, or if you or your child are displaying any of the following symptoms, it is imperative that you immediately see your doctor. Even if you think something is just a cold, for safety's sake, you should see your doctor and rule out asthma. Should you ignore any symptoms, doing so can have serious repercussions, especially in regard to your child's health. As with most things,a typical asthma symptoms can vary from one person to another. However, there are specific things to look out for. These include wheezing, in which you whistle when you breathe in or out. If this happens to you or your child at night or when you have just gotten over suffering a cold, it could mean that you are developing asthma. Of course, it could also mean that you are developing or suffering from a lung infection, which is dangerous in its own right. Either way, see a doctor immediately.
Of course, not all asthma sufferers have wheezing, but there are other symptoms as well. For example, does your child have a cough that just won't go away? This is an asthma symptom as well, and should be checked out immediately. Another asthma symptom that's common is to have the feeling of breathlessness, or finding it extremely difficult to breathe. Less severely, it can simply be a feeling of tightness in the chest. Keep in mind that very young children may not be able to clearly verbalize what they're feeling, so it behooves you as the parent to surmise what may be happening and get prompt medical care. For example, even if your very young child says he has a stomach ache, he may in fact be talking about pain in his chest, if he cannot be very clear on exactly what he's feeling. Having such symptoms checked out by a doctor covers all the bases and makes sure that your child is safe.
Of course, young children need to be held, and they may also say that they need to be carried or otherwise treated like an infant, especially if they've had some traumatic event in their life, such as a new baby in the house. However, this is different than the type of neediness or clinging that happens when a child is feeling ill, and you as the parent will be able to clue in on what the difference is. It should also be noted that feeling tired is a common asthmatic symptom, so if your normally energetic child is feeling lethargic, this is another clue. All in all, just to be safe, taking your child to the doctor when he or she is exhibiting any kind of illness that is clearly not simply minor should be checked out.
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