The airways become enlarged and irritated during an asthma attack, also known as an asthma exacerbation. The muscles around the airways tense, and the airways generate more mucus, resulting in the narrowing of the breathing (bronchial) tubes. You may cough, wheeze, and have difficulty breathing during an episode. Minor asthma attack symptoms improve with immediate home treatment. A severe asthma attack that does not improve with self-care might develop into a potentially fatal emergency. The key to preventing an asthma attack is early detection and treatment of an asthma flare-up. Adhere to the treatment plan you developed in advance with your doctor. Your treatment plan should include what to do if your asthma begins to worsen and how to manage an asthma attack that has already begun. Severe shortness of breath, chest tightness or discomfort, and coughing or wheezing. Low peak expiratory flow (PEF) measurements, if using a peak flow metre. Symptoms that do not improve with the use of a rapid-acting (rescue) inhaler
The signs and symptoms of an asthma attack vary according to individual. Consult your physician to determine your specific signs and symptoms of worsening asthma – and what to do if they occur. If your asthma symptoms persist or worsen despite taking medicine as prescribed by your doctor, you may require emergency care. Your doctor can teach you how to spot an asthma emergency and when to seek medical attention.If your asthma flares up, immediately begin the treatment measures outlined in your written asthma plan with your doctor. If your symptoms and peak expiratory flow (PEF) values improve, you may just require at-home therapy. If your symptoms do not improve after trying home remedies, you may require emergency care. When you have asthma symptoms, follow the directions on your written asthma plan for using your quick-acting (rescue) inhaler. PEF values between 51% and 79% of your personal best indicate that you should utilise the quick-acting (rescue) drugs advised by your doctor. Keep asthma attack quotes in mind to always remind yourself.
Asthma symptoms might fluctuate over time, so you’ll need to tweak your treatment plan on a regular basis to keep them under control. If you have uncontrolled asthma, you are more likely to experience an asthma attack. Persistent lung inflammation increases the likelihood that your asthma will flare up at any time. Attend all planned physician visits. If you experience frequent asthma flare-ups, have low peak flow measurements, or have other symptoms that your asthma is not well managed, schedule an appointment with your doctor. Seek medical care immediately if you experience any of the following signs or symptoms of a severe asthma attack:
- Severe shortness of breath or wheezing, particularly at night or early in the morning
- Inability to speak more than brief sentences as a result of shortness of breath
- Requiring you to contract your chest muscles in order to breathe
- Low peak flow measurements when a peak flow metre is used
- No improvement with the use of a rapid-acting (rescue) inhaler
When exposed to specific triggers, a sensitive immune system causes your airways (bronchial tubes) to become inflamed and swollen. Asthma triggers vary by individual. The following are common asthma attack triggers:
- Pollen, domestic animals, mould, and dust mites
- Infections of the upper respiratory tract
- Cigarette smoke
- Inhaling dry, chilly air
- Acid reflux disease of the gastroesophageal sphincter (GERD)
For many patients, respiratory infections such as the common cold exacerbate asthma symptoms. Certain individuals get asthma flare-ups as a result of something in their work environment. Occasionally, there is no obvious trigger for an asthma episode. Anyone who suffers from asthma is at risk of having an attack. If any of the following apply to you, you may be at a higher risk of having a severe asthma attack:
- You’ve already experienced a severe asthma attack
- You have previously been hospitalised or need to visit the emergency department due to asthma
- You have previously been intubated due to an asthma attack.
- You use more than two rescue (quick-acting) inhalers every month
- Asthma episodes can strike without you realising your symptoms have gotten worse.
- You have additional chronic health problems, such as sinusitis or nasal polyps, as well as cardiovascular or chronic lung illness. Asthma episodes can be life-threatening. They are capable of:
- Interrupt daily activities such as sleep, school, work, and exercise, so reducing your quality of life – and perhaps interfering with the lives of people around you.
- Refer you to an emergency room, which is unpleasant and expensive.
- Can result in cardiac arrest and death.
The best method to avoid an asthma attack is to maintain good control of your asthma in the first place. This entails adhering to a documented asthma action plan in order to monitor symptoms and alter your medication. While you cannot completely remove your chance of having an asthma attack, you will be less likely to have one if your current treatment successfully manages your asthma. As specified in your documented asthma strategy, use your inhaled medicines as directed. These preventative drugs alleviate the airway inflammation that contributes to the symptoms and indications of asthma. When used regularly, these drugs can significantly minimise or eliminate asthma flare-ups — and your need for a quick-acting inhaler. Consult your physician if you are following your asthma action plan but are still experiencing frequent or troublesome symptoms or readings of low peak flow. These are indications that your asthma is out of control and that you should work with your doctor to adjust your therapy.
If your asthma symptoms worsen during a cold or the flu, take efforts to avoid an asthma attack by monitoring your lung function and symptoms and altering your therapy accordingly. Reduce your exposure to allergens and exercise in chilly weather using a face mask. Even a moderate cold can cause wheezing and chest discomfort if you have asthma. Colds and the flu are two of the most prevalent triggers of asthma flare-ups, particularly in infants and young children. Regular asthma treatments may be ineffective in alleviating asthma symptoms caused by a cold or the flu. Additionally, the symptoms of asthma brought on by a respiratory illness may continue many days to weeks. There is no certain method to avoid contracting a cold or the flu for yourself or your child. However, taking precautions to prevent becoming ill — and taking the appropriate measures if you do — can help.