Around 5.4 million Brits are affected by asthma and experts have now highlighted some of the more “unusual” symptoms that may not initially appear to be a sign of the condition
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Asthma is a common lung condition that affects the airways causing occasional breathing problems, and impacts around 5.4 million Britons in the UK. While many are aware of the main symptoms of asthma, which typically include wheezing and shortness of breath, some go under the radar.
The WebMB experts revealed: “Not everyone with asthma has the usual symptoms of cough, wheezing, and shortness of breath. Sometimes individuals have unusual asthma symptoms that may not appear to be related to asthma.”
Anxiety and sleeping difficulties are listed as some of the most unusual asthma symptoms to look out for.
Unusual symptoms of asthma to look out for
Experts have highlighted some of the most “unusual” symptoms of the condition to look out for, these include:
- Rapid breathing
- Inability to exercise property (called exercise-induced asthma)
- Difficulty sleeping or nighttime asthma
- Chronic coughing without wheezing
It is important to note that these symptoms are not always the result of asthma.
WebMD explained: "Asthma symptoms can be mimicked by other conditions such as bronchitis, vocal cord dysfunction, and even heart failure."
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Common symptoms of asthma
If you are concerned you may have a lesser-known symptom of asthma, you should also check whether you are experiencing any common symptoms of the condition.
According to the NHS : "The most common symptoms of asthma are wheezing (a whistling sound when breathing), breathlessness, a tight chest – it may feel like a band is tightening around it and coughing."
These symptoms are more likely to be asthma if they worsen at night or early in the morning, or happen frequently and recurrently.
Asthma can also be triggered by exercise and allergies.
An asthma attack occurs when the condition gets worse for a short period of time, this can include wheezing and coughing, being too breathless to eat, speak or sleep, or breathing faster.
In severe cases, a person may experience a rapid heartbeat, drowsiness, confusion, exhaustion or dizziness and blue lips or fingers.
What to do if you think you have asthma
The best thing to do if you are concerned that you or your child has asthma is to visit your GP.
Your GP will likely ask a series of questions, including notes on any family history or allergies.
They may suggest doing some tests to confirm whether or not you have asthma.
According to the NHS: "A GP will probably be able to diagnose it, but they may refer you to a specialist if they're not sure."