Diseases with Symptoms similar to Asthma

Updated at: Feb 17, 2012
Diseases with Symptoms similar to Asthma

Several diseases mimic asthma symptoms such as wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath and coughing. Here is a list of diseases that may be taken for an asthma.

Gunjan Rastogi
AsthmaWritten by: Gunjan RastogiPublished at: Feb 17, 2012

Symptoms of asthma are excessive mucus production, wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath and coughing.  There, however, are many other illnesses, which show symptoms similar to asthma symptoms. These diseases can be respiratory ailments or non-asthmatic diseases. Few of these diseases are mentioned below:

Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)

A major cause of respiratory illness, respiratory syncytial virus causes lung infection and infection in breathing passages. It is a contagious disease that produces symptoms such as running nose, cough, fever, sore throat, mild headache and bluish cast to the skin. This virus usually infects young children as they get it through their schools and childcare centres. Lungs, heart and immune system are the most affected areas in newborns or kids. Bronchiolitis and pneumonia are two respiratory illnesses caused by RSV. Frequent hand washes help to prevent transmission of RSV from surfaces such as doorknob or TV remote.


Caused by a cold or respiratory infection, bronchitis is characterized by inflammation of the bronchial tubes of the lungs. Bronchitis affects your nose, throat and lungs and carries symptoms common to asthma. Some symptoms are-common cold, fever, excess phlegm, coughing, shortness of breath, fatigue and uneasiness in the chest. Smokers, patients with heart and lung ailments and young children are at a major risk of developing bronchitis. Continuous cough with mucus for three-long months is a sign that you may be diagnosed with bronchitis. It is a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease that you can prevent by reducing your exposure to air pollution, quitting smoking, washing your hands frequently and getting a flu vaccine and a pneumococcal vaccine once in a year.

Vocal Cord Dysfunction

An affected individual finds difficulty in inhaling because when he breathes, his vocal cords narrow down to such an extent that there is little space left for passing air. It is a vocal cord malfunction, which has symptoms similar to asthma. Its symptoms include stridor, dyspnoea, cough, tightened throat, acute cough and shortness of breath.


A person affected by sarcodiosis experiences inflammation in lungs, liver, skin, eyes, lymph nodes and other body tissues. Any specific cause of sarcodiosis is unknown, but high sensitivity to environmental factors, low immunity and genetic history of an individual increases the possibility of its occurrence. It is supposed that African American people and Caucasians of Scandinavia are more affected by this disease than any other ethnicity.  Women have elevated chances of developing this disease than men. Symptoms can be noticed on any body organ. On skin, you can witness scars, rashes and red sores. Headache, fever, fatigue, weight loss, dry cough, seizures, nosebleed and chest pain are some usually seen symptoms.

Cystic Fibrosis

This is a genetic disease in which excess phlegm builds up in the lungs, digestive tract and other respiratory parts. It is a life-threatening lung disease, common among children and young adults. It has symptoms similar to asthma. Fever, increased coughing, loss of appetite, shortness of breath, more mucus, bloating, belly pain, fatigue, blocked nose and recurrent episodes of pneumonia are mostly experienced symptoms.


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