When a sigh is just a sigh . . . and not asthma

Ann Allergy. 1993 Nov;71(5):478-80.


Sighing is a normal physiologic response, expanding the lungs to vital capacity, usually followed by a prolonged expiratory phase. Sighing dyspnea is a condition that may be mistaken for asthma, and should be considered in the atypical cases. Recognizing sighing dyspnea at the onset may save patients from having to undergo extensive diagnostic evaluations and treatments. This condition, once identified, can often be easily treated by explaining the benign nature and giving reassurance to the patient.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Asthma / diagnosis*
  • Asthma / physiopathology
  • Child
  • Diagnostic Errors
  • Dyspnea / diagnosis*
  • Dyspnea / physiopathology
  • Dyspnea / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperventilation / diagnosis
  • Hyperventilation / physiopathology
  • Hyperventilation / psychology
  • Male