An asthma attack is a condition where the symptoms of asthma become worse. During an asthma attack, the muscles adjacent the airways constrict, thus the lining of the airways also become distended and production of thicker mucus occurs. An asthma attack occurs if your asthma is not controlled or is caused by being exposed to something that triggers your asthma.
Signs and symptoms of an asthma attack
- Difficulty breathing.
- An increased pace of breathing.
- Excessive coughing and wheezing.
- A feeling of chest tightness.
- Anxiety and fear.
- Discoloration of lips or fingernails to a bluish color.
- Pale face.
- Difficulty in talking due to shortness of breath.
Common forms of asthma attacks are mild asthma attacks, these occur more common and the airways open within a few minutes to a few hours after being treated but in severe cases, these occur less but happen for a long period of time and require immediate medical attention.
There are early warning signs that you can spot to know that an asthma attack is coming. These happen before the general symptoms of asthma occur and is a sign that your asthma is becoming worse.
You can determine that an asthma attack is coming with these early warning signs:
- You experience tiredness or feel weak while exercising.
- Wheezing or coughing after exercising.
- Shortness of breath.
- You are in a moody state.
- You are having difficulty in sleeping due to nighttime asthma.
If you are in an asthma attack, sit up straight and don’t do anything then try your best to relax. Use your inhaler every minute until you use it ten (10) times. If your symptoms fail to get better, it is time to dial your emergency medical service hotline. While waiting for an ambulance, it is best to continue using your inhaler until the ambulance arrives.
Most symptoms of an asthma attack are treated by the inhaler, however, if symptoms fail to cease after using the inhaler at least ten (10) times then it is time to seek medical attention. Failure to treat the symptoms of an asthma attack may result in the lungs to tighten and your lips may discolor to a bluish hue, which is a sign of a severe asthma attack and you must receive immediate medical attention, if left untreated it may eventually lead to death due to the lack of oxygen intake.