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Health A-Z

Medical Content Created by the Faculty of the
Harvard Medical School

When to Call A Doctor

Call your doctor whenever you or your child has persistent:

  • Wheezing

  • Chest tightness

  • Difficulty breathing

  • Cough

Some children with asthma may not complain specifically of shortness of breath. However, they may flare their nostrils or use their chest and neck muscles when breathing. These are signs that they are having trouble.

If you already have been diagnosed with asthma, call your doctor if your symptoms:

  • Are getting worse

  • Are not being controlled by your regular medications

For example, call your doctor if you must use your rescue bronchodilator more than four times a day. Also call if your peak-flow-meter readings are in the yellow or red zones.

If you have an asthma attack and your symptoms persist despite your usual medications, seek emergency help immediately.

Page 7 of 9     Next Page:  Asthma Prognosis
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From Health A-Z, Harvard Health Publications. Copyright 2007 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved. Written permission is required to reproduce, in any manner, in whole or in part, the material contained herein. To make a reprint request, contact Harvard Health Publications. Used with permission of StayWell.

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