Signs Many people use the words 'sign' and 'symptom' interchangeably. However, there are important differences that affect their use in the field of medicine. Any objective evidence of a disease, such as a skin rash or a cough, is a sign. A doctor, family members, and the individual experiencing the signs can identify these.
Symptoms may be briefly acute or a more prolonged but acute or chronicrelapsing or remitting. Asymptomatic conditions also exist e. Constitutional or general symptoms are those related to the systemic effects of a disease e.
They affect the entire body rather than a specific organ or location. The terms "chief complaint", "presenting symptom", "iatrotropic symptom", or "presenting complaint" are used to describe the initial concern which brings a patient to a doctor.
The symptom that ultimately leads to a diagnosis is called a "cardinal symptom". Non-specific symptoms[ edit ] Non-specific symptoms are self-reported symptoms that do not indicate a specific disease process or involve an isolated body system.
For example, fatigue is a feature of many acute and chronic medical conditions, which may or may not be mental, and may be either a primary or secondary symptom. Fatigue is also a normal, healthy condition when experienced after exertion or at the end of a day.
Positive and negative[ edit ] In describing mental disorders  especially schizophreniasymptoms can be divided into positive and negative symptoms. It reflects an excess or distortion of normal functions i.
For example, a sudden loss of sight in one eye has a significantly smaller number of possible causes than nausea does. Some symptoms can be misleading to the patient or the medical practitioner caring for them.
For example, inflammation of the gallbladder often gives rise to pain in the right shoulder, which may understandably lead the patient to attribute the pain to a non-abdominal cause such as muscle strain. Symptom versus sign[ edit ] A sign has the potential to be objectively observed by someone other than the patient, whereas a symptom does not.
There is a correlation between this difference and the difference between the medical history and the physical examination.
Symptoms belong only to the history, whereas signs can often belong to both.
Clinical signs such as rash and muscle tremors are objectively observable both by the patient and by anyone else. Some signs belong only to the physical examination, because it takes medical expertise to uncover them.
For example, laboratory signs such as hypocalcaemia or neutropenia require blood tests to find. A sign observed by the patient last week but now gone such as a resolved rash was a sign, but it belongs to the medical history, not the physical examination, because the physician cannot independently verify it today.
Symptomatology[ edit ] Symptomatology also called semeiology is a branch of medicine dealing with symptoms.Heart Attack Symptoms and Signs in Women. The classic symptoms of heart attack include a feeling of extreme pressure on the chest and chest pain, including a squeezing or full sensation.
A symptom is any subjective evidence of disease, while a sign is any objective evidence of disease. Therefore, a symptom is a phenomenon that is experienced by the individual affected by the disease, while a sign is a phenomenon that can be detected by someone other than the individual affected by.
You may have infrequent asthma attacks, have symptoms only at certain times — such as when exercising — or have symptoms all the time. Asthma signs and symptoms include: Shortness of . After an Asthma Attack.
You'll probably feel tired and worn out. For the next few days, you're more likely to have another flare, too. Pay attention for warning signs. Take care of yourself. Follow your asthma action plan closely.
Make sure you take your medications. Use your peak flow meter. Avoid your triggers. Asthma is a chronic disease that affects your airways. Your airways are tubes that carry air in and out of your lungs.
Asthma symptoms can be as innocent as a little trouble catching your breath to severe wheezing. You could have one sign of asthma one day and something else–or nothing–the next, and your. Read patient information from MedlinePlus: Signs of an asthma attack. Skip navigation. U.S. National Library of Medicine. The navigation menu has been collapsed. If you do not know if you have asthma, these 4 symptoms could be signs that you do: Coughing that sometimes wakes you up at night. Wheezing, or a whistling sound when you breathe. The Common Signs & Symptoms of Asthma. If you have asthma or you aren’t completely sure whether or not you suffer from it, the signs of an asthma attack may come on gradually and manifest themselves just as your regular symptoms at first. However, as the attack worsens, these symptoms may become more severe over time.
If you have asthma, the inside walls of your airways become sore and swollen. Most children and adults with asthma have times when their breathing becomes more difficult. Some people with severe asthma may have breathing problems most of the time.