This article explains asthma attack, how to detect an asthma attack at an early stage, symptoms of approaching an asthma attack, what to do during an attack of asthma and lots more
What is an asthma attack?
An asthma attack is a sudden deterioration that causes compression of the muscle tissue around the airways (bronchospasm). During an asthma attack, the airways swell or become inflamed, the amount of mucus (more than normal) increases.
All these factors (bronchospasm, inflammation and accumulation of mucus) cause an exacerbation of asthma symptoms such as shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath and difficulty in performing normal activities. In addition, there are other symptoms:
- Strong wheezing during inspiration and exhalation
- A persistent cough that can not be stopped
- Rapid breathing
- Pain and a feeling of tightness in the chest
- Compression of the muscles of the neck and chest, called retraction
- It’s hard to say
- Feelings of anxiety or panic
- Pale and sweaty face
- Blue lips or fingers
- Deterioration of traditional symptoms, despite regular use of drugs
Some people live for a long time without the slightest bouts of asthma or other symptoms. Sometimes these tranquil periods are interrupted by minor exacerbations of symptoms due to contact with asthma triggers or due to excessive physical exertion with asthma stress.
Attacks of asthma of medium gravity are more frequent. Disclosure of the respiratory tract can take from a few minutes to several days. More serious asthma attacks are less frequent, but last longer and require immediate medical intervention. It is very important to recognize and start treatment for even moderate severity of symptoms to prevent more severe seizures and keep the disease under control.
What happens if asthma is not treated?
Without immediate medication and further treatment for asthma, it will be more difficult to breathe, and the whistle will grow louder. If you use a pneumotachometer to track asthma symptoms, your best performance will gradually deteriorate.
If the lungs continue to contract during asthma attacks, then soon you will not be able to use the pneumotachometer at all. Gradually, the lungs will shrink so much that there will not be enough free passage, even for wheezing. Sometimes this condition is called “hidden breath”, and this is a bad sign. The next severe asthma attack may require emergency hospitalization. Unfortunately, some people regard the cessation of wheezing as a sign of improvement and make the mistake of getting out of treatment.
If you do not receive proper treatment during asthma attacks, in time you will not be able to talk, and around the lips there will appear spots of blue hue. The change in the color of the spots, known as “cynos”, means an increasing lack of oxygen in the blood. Without immediate medical intervention, consciousness is lost with time and, eventually, death occurs.
How can I detect an asthma attack at an early stage?
Warning signs are changes that occur before or at the beginning of an asthma attack. Changes appear before the onset of all known asthma symptoms and these are the earliest signs that the condition of the disease is deteriorating.
In general, the symptoms of an asthma attack are not so serious and noticeable that they can affect your daily activities. But, knowing about these signs, you can stop an attack of asthma or prevent the deterioration of the disease.
Symptoms of approaching an asthma attack:
- Frequent cough, especially during sleep
- Reduced indicators of a pneumotachometer
- Frequent shortage of air or shortness of breath
- Feeling tired or weak during exercise
- Wheezing or coughing after physical exertion or with stress asthma
- Feeling tired, quick deterioration in mood, grumbling or gloominess
- Reduction or changes in lung performance, as confirmed by a pneumotachometer
- Symptoms of a cold or allergies (sneezing, runny nose, cough, sore throat, headaches)
- Insomnia with nocturnal asthma
The severity of an asthma attack can quickly increase, so it is very important immediately after finding even the slightest signs of starting treatment.
What to do during an attack of asthma?
If you or a loved one has an asthma attack or if the condition does not improve even with the full compliance with the treatment program, contact your doctor or call an ambulance. In this case, an emergency medical intervention is necessary.