Signs of Asthma     Asthma Treatment     Lung Diseases     Breathing

Severe Lung Disease

Signs of Asthma

Asthma can be hard to diagnose. This is because the signs of asthma are similar to those of other lung diseases. The signs of COPD, pneumonia, bronchitis, pulmonary embolism, anxiety and heart disease can all be confused for asthma. It is important to note that women are misdiagnosed with asthma when they really have COPD more often than men.

To figure out if asthma is causing your discomfort, the doctor will first ask about your symptoms and health history. She will then do a physical exam.

To confirm the diagnosis, the doctor may run any of the following tests:

The doctor may also suggest other tests to make sure another disease is not causing your problems. These include:


Asthma is an ongoing or chronic disease of the airways in the lungs called bronchial tubes. Bronchial tubes carry air in and out of the lungs. In people with asthma, the walls of the airways become swollen or inflamed and oversensitive. Asthmatic airways overreact to things like viruses, smoke, dust, mold, animal hair, roaches, and pollen. When they react they get nbulleter. This limits the flow of air into and out of the lungs. Asthma causes wheezing, coughing, tightness in the chest and trouble breathing.

About 20 million Americans have asthma. Women are more likely to have asthma than men. In the United States more than 11 million women had asthma in 2003 compared to 8.2 million men.

The percentage of women, especially young women, diagnosed with asthma continues to the rise in the United States. Researchers are not sure why. But there are several theories.

Many experts think that more contact with indoor and outdoor allergens and pollution plays a role in increasing the rate of asthma. Exposure to house dust mite and cockroach allergens as well as tobacco smoke is linked to an increased risk of asthma.