What does asthma feel like?

Not everyone who has asthma will experience the same symptoms, and you may even find that the symptoms you have change over time.1 However, common symptoms you may experience include:1

  • wheezing
  • continuing cough
  • chest tightness
  • feeling breathless

Regardless of the symptoms you experience, if your asthma is well controlled, you should only experience them occasionally. If you think your asthma has gotten worse or your symptoms are more frequent, it is important to speak to your doctor.

Severity and control: What’s the difference?

Ideally, doctors will try to diagnose the severity of your asthma before prescribing treatment.2 No matter how severe your asthma is, having good control of your symptoms is what’s essential to reduce the impact asthma has on your life.

Asthma severity is based on your asthma before you have been treated with medication, including:3

  • symptom intensity (e.g. how severe your symptoms appear)
  • how quickly symptoms come on
  • to what extent asthma affects your daily activities.

Asthma control is based on how well asthma treatments reduce your symptoms, such as:3

  • how often you experience asthma symptoms
  • how frequently you need use your asthma medication
  • to what extent asthma still affects your daily activities.

Reference: 1. Asthma Australia. About asthma. Available at: https://www.asthmaaustralia.org.au/act/about-asthma Accessed December 2016. 2. Pollart SM and Elward KS. Am Fam Physician 2009;79:761–67. 3. Taylor DR. Eur Respir J 2008;32:545–54.