Asthma Signs and Symptoms

Inflammation of the bronchial airways causes them to become constricted and narrowed. Narrowing of the airways, called bronchoconstriction, produces asthma symptoms including shortness of breath, tightness in the chest, coughing, and wheezing.

Except in severe cases, symptoms of asthma are occasional. The duration and severity of asthma symptoms vary greatly from time to time and from patient to patient. The symptoms may be intermittent, and they can last just a few minutes or days. In severe cases, asthma symptoms may be constant and persistent.

Publication Review By: Stanley J. Swierzewski, III, M.D.

Published: 31 May 2000

Last Modified: 17 Aug 2015