Patients present with recurrent episodes of shortness of breath, chest tightness, wheezing, or coughing.
Examination typically demonstrates an expiratory wheeze; however, in severe asthma there is poor air entry and the chest is silent.
Treatment is stepwise based on symptoms. Patients need to monitor their peak expiratory flow daily, and to be aware of the warning signs of a severe attack.
Some patients may develop progressive, irreversible obstructive lung disease.