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Most people with asthma go for periods of time without any symptoms, then have an asthma attack. Some people have chronic shortness of breath that gets worse during an attack. Asthma attacks can last minutes to days, and can become dangerous if airflow to the lungs becomes severely restricted.
Primary symptoms include:
- Shortness of breath
- Episodic wheezing
- Chest tightness
- Early morning or nighttime coughing (dry or with sputum)
Emergency care should be sought if any of the following are experienced:
- Extreme difficulty breathing or stopping breathing
- Bluish color to the lips and face, called cyanosis
- Rapid pulse
- Decreased level of consciousness, such as drowsiness or confusion