During an asthma attack, airways in the lungs become narrow because of inflammation and the tightening of muscles around the passageways. Sometimes asthma attack situations can be life-threatening, so it is crucial to understand how to recognize an asthma attack before it’s too late.
Common symptoms include coughing, wheezing, difficulty breathing, and tightness in the chest. These can be caused by exposure to mites, pollen, animal dander, ragweed, or pollution in the air like smoke, chemicals, or intense weather conditions.
Crying, laughing, or shouting more than usual can also trigger asthma. Moreover, quick breathing in connection with strong emotions can cause bronchial tubes to tighten, resulting in attacks.
Some patients quickly panic because they have trouble breathing. This can keep them from getting basic first aid to ease the situation.
How To Identify Symptoms Of An Asthma Attack
Asthma puts enormous pressure on your body, and its symptoms are chaotic and show up at any time.
Significant Signs of an Asthma Attack
- Excessive coughing, wheezing or tightening of your chest
- An inhaler no longer helps much in alleviating your asthma
- Shortness of breath
- Heavy breathing
- Peak flow meter readings are lower than normal for those who use one
- Children complain about chest tightening, wheezing, and exhaling
Other Signs to Watch for
- Blue fingernails and lips
- Feeling anxious, tired, or panicked
- Chest pain with a feeling of pressure on it
Call 911 if your symptoms include trouble walking due to difficulty breathing, a change in lip color, and if your fingernails turn blue. These are signs that you are losing consciousness and are becoming less responsive.
Asthma symptoms in children and infants are common and are not much different than in adults. Infants may have difficulty eating. There are various symptoms and reasons for infants to have asthma, including:
- Parents with a history of asthma or allergies
- Atopic dermatitis (eczema)
- Food allergies
Babysitters, teachers, and other guardians must be aware of these symptoms and immediately call 911 in case of a child experiencing an asthma attack.
Not immediately treating asthma attacks may result in an emergency situation. Without an inhaler or bronchodilator, the person will have difficulty breathing. Once symptoms are recognized, seek immediate medical assistance.
What Happens If Your Asthma Attack Worsens?
When an asthma attack worsens, the person’s lungs tighten, and they lose the ability to use a peak flow meter. Next, the individual’s lungs become so constricted that there will be little movement of air which will not be enough to produce wheezing or sufficient breathing.
If this occurs, call 911. The cessation of wheezing is often viewed as a patient improvement by bystanders, but this is not necessarily true.
Unfortunately, patients who do not receive the needed asthma treatment are eventually unable to speak or respond; their fingers, nails, and lips will turn blue. This color change is known as cyanosis, meaning significantly less oxygen in the patient’s blood.
Every asthma patient should have an emergency instruction manual and a medical ID bracelet so that healthcare professionals can have the necessary information available to treat an asthma attack.
Technology is also helping asthma patients; equipment like the Propeller Digital Sensor and the peak flow meter tracking app are on the frontline to fight asthma. Notice the symptoms mentioned above to get medical help as soon as possible – neglect can cost you your life.
When To Seek Emergency Aid?
In case of the following symptoms, it’s best to call 911:
- Wheezing or severe breathlessness in the early morning or night
- Having difficulty speaking continuously due to shortness of breath
- Trying to breathe with straining chest muscles
- Low peak flow readings
- No improvement of the condition even after using an inhaler
Continuously neglecting asthma can lead to serious health issues, especially in the lungs. A phenomenon known as Airway Remodeling can occur when the lungs become scarred. As a result, asthma medication has no impact, and lung airflow is reduced significantly.
Your asthma is an issue if you struggle with coughing and wheezing most of the time, you are more tired than usual, or your regular methods and medications are not working as well as they used to. Seek help immediately.
Consult The Asthma Experts At Imperial
The asthma specialists at Imperial Center Family Medicine are available to assist you with an action plan to treat your asthma. Imperial’s well-trained team can help you control your asthma with appropriate care.