Shortness of breath (SOB), “can’t catch my breath”
Tightness in the chest
Coughing, with mucous production
Wheezing, usually on breathing out, is a whistling noise as your airways get smaller. The airway constriction is mostly in the smaller airways and is something that you can hear when your doctor listens with their stethoscope.
Picture a balloon. When you breathe into the balloon it fills and the balloon gets bigger. If you are still trying to fill the balloon but you pause, the air can ‘push back’ and the balloon gets smaller. You don’t hear any noise when this happens, the neck of the balloon is nice and open. The balloon just gets smaller and you get a mouthful of air. Let’s say you have filled the balloon up and you squeeze the neck letting out a small amount of air. You get a high-pitched noise. This is similar to what is happening during an asthma attack. You can get the air in better than you can get it out.