Asthma Attack

Asthma Exacerbation or Asthma Attack is the condition where the airways are inflamed or swollen, thereby causing the airways to suppress and hence the breathing tube called bronchial is narrowed which make it difficult for patients to breathe smoothly. In this condition, the patients may wheeze, cough and also face difficulty in breathing. It is a minor issue but has some symptoms which can be alleviated with some home treatments. But when the Asthma Attack is serious it needs immediate medical attention because it can be fatal at times.

Symptoms and Causes of Asthma Attack

The Asthma Attack sings include:

  • Low peak expiratory flow readings , especially if you are using peak flow meter
  • Serious shortness and difficulty in breathing with cheat tightness, coughing, wheezing,  and pain in chest
  • Symptoms are worsening despite using quick relief inhaler 

You need to understand that the symptoms of Asthma Attack may vary from person to person. So, contact your doctor immediately to recognize the symptoms before it worsen.

Causes of Asthma Attack

Because of the poor immunity, the bronchial tubes may become swollen or inflamed when you are exposed to certain triggers. The triggers for Asthma Attack may vary from person to person. But the common Asthma Attack triggers include:

  • Tobacco smoke
  • Upper respiratory infections
  • Pets, pollen, mold and dust mites
  • Inhaling dry air or cold air
  • Exercises
  • GERD or Gastroesophageal reflux diseases    

Risk Factors & Complications

People who are having Asthma are at great risk of having Asthma Attack anytime. People may be at increasing risk of having Asthma Attack if:

  • They have experienced serious Asthma Attack earlier
  • The Asthma Attacks tend to sneak up on you before noticing the symptoms are worsening
  • You make use of 2-3 quick relief inhalers at once in your mouth
  • You are having other chronic conditions like nasal polyps or sinusitis 

The Asthma Attack can be complicated and may have several serious complications which include:

  • Serious Asthma Attack can cause respiratory arrest and finally lead to death
  • Experiencing severe Asthma Attack may demand for several trips to emergency rooms which can be costly as well as stressful at times
  • It can hinder your daily activities like workouts, school, sleeping and work which can impact the quality of life severely.

Diagnosis of Asthma Attack

Children above the age of 5 years and adults are asked to undergo the lung pulmonary functioning test where the doctors check how the lungs are working. Lungs that are functioning poorly are the good signs of Asthma. Sometime the lung functioning tests are also performed in order to check the severity of Asthma Attack and what treatment is best for treating the condition. Some of the tests include:

  • Peak Flow – This is the test where doctors check and measure how fast the patient is breathing out. It is performed by blowing air into the mouthpiece as hard and fast as you can in a single breathe
  • Spirometry – In the test, the doctors would ask you to take deep breath and exhale into the house forcefully which is linked to the machine called spirometer. This will show the expiratory volume and measures how much air patient can breathe out in single second. It tells how much air lungs can hold and the rate of exhaling and inhaling air
  • Nitric Oxide Measurement – This test helps examine the amount of nitric oxide gas that the patient breathing. Higher amount of nitric oxide means inflammation in the bronchial tubes.  

Pulse oximetry is the test which is done during serious Asthma Attack and it measures the amount of oxygen in blood.

Treatments for Asthma Attack

As mentioned, for minor Asthma Attack you don’t need to visit the emergency room as it can be managed easily with some home treatments. Home treatments include taking 2.5 to 5 milligrams of albuterol every 20 minutes for an hour to alleviate the symptoms. You may also use other quick relief medications but after consulting doctor.

For emergency situations, you are required to go to emergency room where the doctors would administer a variety of medications and different procedures would be followed to soothe the conditions and restore your breathing to the normal state.

Chat with Us on