Asthma symptoms: wheezing
An asthma wheeze can vary from mild to severe. Some people say it sounds like a high-pitched whistle.
Sometimes you’ll be able to hear your child’s wheeze easily, usually when your child is breathing out. As wheezing becomes more severe, your child might also have difficulty breathing.
Asthma wheezing is typically worse first thing in the morning or at night when the air is cooler. Other times you’ll hear a wheeze after your child has done some exercise.
Asthma symptoms: coughing
Asthma coughing can vary from mild to severe.
You’re more likely to hear the cough at night, after your child has done some exercise, or when the weather is cold.
Sometimes your child might have a restless sleep or wake during the night because of the cough. Sometimes coughing, especially at night, is the only sign that your child has asthma.
The cough might also stop your child from doing sport or other physical activity at school.
The severity and frequency of asthma symptoms vary a lot. Some children wheeze or cough only a few times a year when they have a cold, whereas others (a small minority) have some asthma symptoms every day.
Does your child need to see a doctor about asthma symptoms?
Your child should see your GP if:
- your child’s wheezing, cough or shortness of breath doesn’t go away or gets worse despite medication
- your child needs to use an inhaler more often than every 3-4 hours
- 2-6 puffs of the inhaler don’t help to make your child better immediately
- your child can’t exercise or play normally, or can’t keep up with other children
- your child’s sleep is disturbed because of coughing or wheezing
- your child needs to use the inhaler more frequently or there has been a change in your child’s symptoms
- your child needs medication as soon as they wake up in the morning, or can’t wait until after breakfast
- you don’t have a clear asthma action plan for your child.
Your child’s doctor will take a very careful history of how bad your child’s symptoms are and how often your child has them. Your child’s asthma action plan will depend on these factors.
Your doctor should regularly review your child’s asthma action plan.