Do I Have Asthma?

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Do I Have Asthma?

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As more information about chronic diseases and conditions becomes readily available on the internet, more and more people fall down the rabbit hole of self-diagnosis and the anxiety that can result from this type of behavior. Some people may research a condition just to know what it is! The medical definition is simple, but the underlying causes of the condition itself are often complex. Your doctor will most likely define asthma as a “chronic inflammatory disease of the airways” that can cause many undesirable symptoms. Coughing and wheezing can be tell-tale signs of asthma. However, there can be hundreds of other reasons for a cough. From environmental hazards to the common cold, wheezing is not always a sign of asthma. So, how can you tell if you have it?

Classic signs of asthma include:

  • Wheezing
  • Coughing
  • Tightness in your chest
  • Shortness of breath

Other conditions like COPD, post nasal drip, sleep apnea and allergies can cause these symptoms as well. These symptoms can come and go. For example, you may experience trouble exercising and have trouble breathing during exertion but not have asthma. Coughing is a major feature of asthma but can also be a sign of lung disease. You can drive yourself crazy researching online and building a laundry list of symptoms. Don’t give yourself unneeded anxiety and stress. Only a doctor can diagnose asthma. More serious conditions such as pneumonia, cystic fibrosis, lung cancer, heart disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease need to be ruled out before your doctor can be certain that you have asthma. Don’t panic.

Diagnosing Asthma

Your doctor will likely ask you to detail your medical history. Do your relatives have allergies? How about asthma itself? What are your triggers, if any? Triggers can include cigarette smoke, crowded spaces, air pollution, certain aerosols and perfumes, dust, and even cold air. Doctors will ask a plethora of questions. Don’t be alarmed though; your doctor is just trying to rule out serious conditions. It is in your best interest.

Common Questions

There are many common questions that a doctor may ask you.

  • Where do you experience your symptoms? Maybe your house has a mold infestation.
  • When do you experience symptoms? Is it during allergy season?
  • Is your cough worse at night? This could be a sign of asthma.
  • Do you have a sinus infection, acid reflux, or a history of smoking? Emphysema needs to be ruled out in a person with a history of smoking.
  • Is there a history of asthma that runs in your family?

Depending on your circumstances, your doctor will keep asking questions and determine whether or not to monitor and test your lung function. Tests like peak flow monitoring and spirometry can be used to determine how quickly you can expel air and if there are any blockages in your wind tunnel. X-rays can also be used to rule out other causes of asthma-like symptoms, such as pneumonia, heart failure, lung cancer, emphysema and tuberculosis. You are much more likely to have this condition if you have a parent or close relative with allergies and/or asthma. Your chance of asthma also increases if you have a history of wheezing (with or without a cold), inflammation of the nose, or eczema (which is an allergic skin condition). It’s also important to note that you can have asthma and not experience any symptoms.

When to see a Doctor

As you can tell, asthma is not always easy to diagnose. If you are having repeated episodes of shortness of breath and heavy coughing and wheezing, it’s probably a good idea to schedule an appointment. If your symptoms don’t improve or worsen, it may be time to see a lung specialist or allergy and asthma specialist. Discussing your diagnosis and treatment with a professional is always the best option.


There are many medications that can help with the management of asthma. Medications such as corticosteroids and short-acting rescue and maintenance inhalers can also improve symptoms. Medications such as Advair and Symbicort help treat patients with severe asthma. Many of these specific medications are not covered by most insurance plans, which can result in paying out of pocket. This can cost you thousands of dollars per year, which is not feasible to many American families already stretching their pennies.

We Can Help

We are a full-service prescription assistance organization dedicated to helping uninsured and under-insured patients receive the medication they need in an affordable and timely fashion. Millions of Americans cannot afford the medications they need to live a happy and healthy life. Living with asthma is incredibly manageable if you have the right tools and medication. We bring together pharmaceutical companies, doctors, health care providers, patient advocacy organizations and community groups to help qualifying patients get medications through a specific program that’s right for you. Our mission is to increase awareness of patient assistance programs and boost enrollment of those who are eligible. Contact us today to discuss your options regarding the very best medications in asthma treatment. We look forward to lifting the financial burden off your back. Breathe easy.