Could It Be Something Else Other Than Asthma?
Just because you have the symptoms of asthma,
doesn't mean you necessarily have the disease. There are other conditions
that mimic the symptoms of asthma. These include:
1. Post-Nasal Drip
Excess mucus runs down the back of the nose, into
the throat and airways (usually triggered by an allergy such as
hay fever). This produces a phlegmy cough which
is sometimes mistaken for asthma.
2. Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
A disorder where acid from the stomach escapes and
flows up the esophagus (wind pipe). The primary symptom is heartburn,
although heartburn can cause asthma-like symptoms. GERD can also aggravate
asthma in those already with asthma. Babies, children and adults can all
suffer from this problem. If you have GERD, usually symptoms come on at
night after a late dinner or when lying down.
3. Panic Attacks
Panic attacks in non-asthmatics are sometimes
mistakenly diagnosed as asthma if they cause breathlessness.
Accidentally breathing something into the lungs or
airways which triggers breathing difficulties.
Upper airflow obstruction is where the flow of air
to the lungs is blocked by something, for example a cancer tumor or an
enlarged thyroid gland.
6 Vocal Cord Problems
If the muscles in the voice box contract (close
rapidly), it makes a loud wheezing noise which sounds like asthma. This
condition however can also affect those with asthma. Sometimes the cause is
The airways have been stretched or damaged due to
a diseases caught in childhood, such as pneumonia or whooping cough. This
causes lifelong breathlessness.
8. Low-level Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Usually from gas fires, which can cause
breathlessness and fatigue.
Fungal infection caused when spores from damp
straw, compost heaps or bird cages are inhaled and grow on the lungs. This
disease sometimes accompanies asthma or can mimic it. Tell-tale signs
include a fever when 'asthma' attack is severe, rubbery plugs of phlegm
green or golden-brown in color and worsening of symptoms despite treatment.
Children Only ..
1. An Inhaled Object
Such as a nut or part of a toy - becoming stuck in
the airways. In babies it can also be inhalation of milk droplets; if so,
the 'asthma' comes on mainly after feeding.
2. Heiner's Syndrome
This condition affects babies only and is very
rare. It's a severe allergy to cow's milk which can lead to wheezing and
bleeding of the lungs. The child is pale, sickly, slow to grow and may
suffer repeated bouts of pneumonia.
A viral infection which affects the small airways
(the bronchioles) of babies and toddlers. Unlike asthma, it usually produces
See also: When is a
What Is Asthma?: Easy
What Causes Asthma?
The DNA, family and lifestyle connection.
How Is Asthma
Diagnosed?: Testing For The Disease.
What Are The
Symptoms Of Asthma? Discover the top signs.
What Is The
Best Exercise For Asthma? Exercise is still recommended.
What Is The Treatment For Asthma?
Therapies and drugs.
What Is An Asthma Diet? Fighting symptoms
What Triggers An
Asthma Attack?: Top 10 Triggers.
• Got another question? See: Allergy Questions
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