See a doctor

Symptoms of Asthma

In order to effectively manage asthma, it’s important to know exactly what the signs or symptoms are.

The severity of your asthma will affect how often you experience these symptoms. Some people with asthma get them every now and then, while others experience them regularly.

Our doctors can discuss any breathing difficulties you're having. They'll listen to you breathing during your consultation and identify any symptoms that could indicate asthma.

Make an appointment here: See a doctor

This page covers:

Asthma Symptoms in Adults

The most common symptoms of asthma in adults include:

  • Chest pain - This can feel like a band tightening around your chest.
  • Wheezing - A whistling sound when you breathe or cough, caused by an irritated or blocked airway. Mucus or a growth in your airway could cause this blockage.
  • Shortness of breath - Especially after exercise or any strenuous physical activity.
  • Coughing - If swelling in your airways is causing your symptoms, you may have a dry cough. If mucus is blocking your airways, your coughing may bring this up.
  • Trouble sleeping - The above symptoms can be at their worst at night.

These are all symptoms of bronchial asthma, which is the more common form of the condition and affects the tubes that carry air to your lungs.

In rare cases, some of these symptoms could indicate cardiac asthma, which is much more serious and combines wheezing with heart failure.

It’s really important to see a doctor for an accurate diagnosis. They’ll discuss your symptoms and can refer you for further tests if needed.

Asthma symptoms in adults

Asthma Symptoms in Children

The symptoms of asthma in children are largely the same as they are in adults. What’s often different is the cause and times of day when they occur.

There are signs you can look out for if you’re worried that your child might have asthma. For example, your child may cough a lot when they’re playing, laughing or crying.

The main asthma symptom for babies is a cough. You may also notice some wheezing, but this isn’t uncommon in very young children as their airways are smaller.

If you’re at all concerned about your child’s health, our doctors can provide all the help and reassurance you need.

Asthma symptoms in children

Is It Asthma?

The symptoms of asthma are similar to the symptoms of many other conditions. For example, chest tightness and shortness of breath can also be caused by allergies, while coughing can be caused by something as simple as a chest infection.

It can be difficult to tell exactly what’s wrong without speaking to a doctor. However, there are a few clues you can look out for, such as:

  • Symptoms that occur regularly
  • Symptoms that only occur in response to certain triggers
  • Symptoms that get worse at certain times of day, such as early in the morning or late at night

If any of these apply to you, it’s worth seeing a doctor to confirm your asthma diagnosis. This will allow you to start treatment and ensure your symptoms don’t get in the way of your life.

Man doing breathing exercises in a field

Push Doctor logo Try Push Doctor today for £30

Join thousands of satisfied customers. Your first appointment is only £30.

See a doctor online How does it work?

How It Works


1. Book an appointment

Be seen in minutes, or choose a time that suits you.

2. See a doctor online

Video chat with a UK GP right here on our site or in our app.

3. Start feeling better

Receive medical advice, prescriptions, referrals and fit notes.
See a doctor

See what some of our happy customers have to say…

Read all of our reviews here.