14 August, 2017
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At Healthfully, we strive to deliver objective content that is accurate and up-to-date. Our team periodically reviews articles in order to ensure content quality. The sources cited below consist of evidence from peer-reviewed journals, prominent medical organizations, academic associations, and government data.
- FamilyDoctor.org: Exercise-Induced Braonchospasm - What You Should Know
- Cleveland Clinic: Symptoms of Asthma
- MayoClinic.com: Asthma - Symptoms
The information contained on this site is for informational purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for the advice of a professional health care provider. Please check with the appropriate physician regarding health questions and concerns. Although we strive to deliver accurate and up-to-date information, no guarantee to that effect is made.
Bronchospasm is a term used to describe the unusual narrowing or constriction of the airways. The symptoms of bronchospasm typically mimic those of asthma, a chronic lung disease, though people who don't have asthma can experience bronchospasm. Mild bronchospasm symptoms may resolve without additional medical intervention, but severe bronchospasm symptoms require emergency medical care.
In healthy people, air flows freely into the lungs when they inhale. During bronchospasm, this inhaled air has a difficult time flowing through a person's narrowed airways. As the air squeezes through the tightened airway, it can make a squeaking or whistling sound, a bronchospasm symptom called wheezing, the American Academy of Family Physicians sponsored website FamilyDoctor.org explains. Wheezing typically occurs during inhalation and may be audible to other people who are near a person experiencing bronchospasm.
Chest Pain or Tightness
When the airways constrict during a bronchospasm, people may experience sensations of pain, pressure or tightness in the chest, the Cleveland Clinic reports. Chest discomfort may be more severe when the lungs expand during inhalation and can exacerbate breathing difficulties. People who experience sudden or severe chest pain should seek immediate medical care, as this symptom of a bronchospasm attack is also a sign of a heart attack.
Breathing Difficulties or Coughing
People who experience a bronchospasm attack may develop mild to severe breathing difficulties, depending upon the extent of airway constriction. Extensive airway constriction can cause sudden shortness of breath, a bronchospasm symptom that requires emergency medical care, MayoClinic.com advises. Airway irritation caused by bronchospasm may also lead to symptoms of a recurrent or persistent cough. Frequent coughing can exacerbate chest pain or discomfort symptoms in people who experience bronchospasm.
- thorax x-ray of the lungs image by JoLin from Fotolia.com