Asthma Attack Symptoms
During an asthma attack a series of things happen in your lungs and airways that all contribute to the symptoms of an asthma attack. The cells that line your airways create and excrete more mucus that they normally do.
The muscles in your airways tighten. These muscles are wrapped around the airways and when they tighten they constrict the airways and cause them to narrow. This has a two-fold negative effect in an asthma attack. It lessens the amount of air that can travel in them and also hinders in the ability to cough up and out the excess mucus that is being produced in the airways. Both of these combined have the effect of inhibiting the ability to inhale end exhale air comfortably.
Another thing that happens is the airways themselves begin to swell. This swelling takes place in the tissue lining the airways, closing off the inside of the airways. All three things combined cause and contribute to the symptoms of an asthma attack. Excess mucus that fills the airways and lungs. Swelling on the inside of the airways resulting in lesser volume of air capacity. Tightening and constricting of the muscles wrapped around the airways all bring on an asthma attack.
Asthma attacks may be severe, moderate or mild. They can come on suddenly or take days in developing. A severe asthma attack can be deadly. It can cause the person to literally suffocate. In the severe asthma attack the person become so breathless that they may be unable to talk. The person suffering the attack may feel their neck and chest muscles tightening. Due to the lack of oxygen in the blood, lips and fingernails may begin to turn bluish in color.
It is important for the person suffering a severe asthma attack to get immediate help. Delaying treatment in any way can have catastrophic consequences. The first thing that should be done is to take your prescribed medication to help stop the attack and relieve the symptoms. Contact emergency medical services and handle it as such, a medical emergency. If someone is with you have them get you to the hospital immediately. Time is of essence in the event of a severe asthma attack.
A mild asthma attack has the same causes and the same symptoms, they are just not as extreme and are not deadly. There should be a plan in place for the person who suffers a mild asthma attack. If they are treated promptly with prescribed medication, while uncomfortable, they will pass. Keep your medication available and ready to use at all time and never run out. Replace medications before they run out A quick response is the key to stopping an asthma attack.
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Article by Sven Ullmann, who runs Deserved Health - information on health for you and your family. Read more about asthma attack symptoms.