In this Article

What is asthma?

Asthma is a lung condition in which the airways narrow causing difficulty breathing, wheezing and coughing.


If you have asthma, you may have the following symptoms:

  • Chest tightness
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Wheezing
  • Coughing

When to See a Doctor

Consult your primary care provider for any symptoms that are asthma like.

Diagnosis and Tests

In addition to asking you questions about your symptoms and lifestyle, your provider may use a variety of tools to diagnose and confirm if you have asthma:

  • Physical examination
  • A breathing test called spirometry
  • Blood testing


Prescription and over-the-counter medications may also be recommended, including:

  • Inhaled albuterol
  • Intranasal corticosteroids

Allergy immunotherapy, also known as an allergy shot, is a long-term treatment that reduces your sensitivity to substances that cause allergies. When these allergies trigger asthma, it may be recommended to reduce asthma symptoms. Many people find that their allergies improve so much that they can stop taking their regular allergy medications.


The best way to prevent symptoms from asthma is to avoid allergic triggers if they are connected. It is important to come up with a treatment plan with your provider and to take medications to prevent ongoing symptoms.