Saturday, September 15, 2012

What Is an Asthma Attack?

Asthma is a long-term disease affecting the lungs and the airways. In this kind of condition, the airways narrows and inflames. The common signs and symptoms of asthma include chest tightness, wheezing sound, coughing and shortness of breath. The coughing symptom often occurs early in the morning or late at night. In a situation of asthma attack which is also referred to as an asthma exacerbation, the lining of your airways becomes inflamed. The muscles will contract causing you to experience a narrowed breathing pattern. During an asthma exacerbation, you will cough a lot, wheeze and you may experience difficulty of breathing. This kind of condition can be mild which can be managed at home. However, there are severe cases which need immediate attention because it can be a life-threatening situation.

Severe and Mild Forms of Asthma

Some individuals with asthma do not experience an attack of asthma for longer periods. They can actually continue with their day to day activities without experiencing any signs and symptoms of asthma. But there are also some individuals who happen to experience recurrent attack of asthma.

Asthma attack which is mild in form is actually more common compared to severe cases. In mild cases of asthma, your airways will just open up after a few minutes of treatment. With regards to severe attacks of asthma, it is less common but the symptoms really last for longer hours which can threaten your life. This is the main reason why people having severe asthma attacks need to be transported to the nearest health care facility as soon as possible. In order to prevent severe cases of asthma attacks, it is very essential for you to be capable of recognizing early signs and symptoms of an asthma. Treating mild signs and symptoms will prevent further attacks of asthma that are severe in form.

Life-Threatening Asthma

For some reason wherein you have not received any kind of treatment for your asthma attacks for a long time, you won't be able to speak and you would likely develop a bluish discoloration all over your lips. This condition is due to the lack of oxygen circulating in your body. In medical terminology, the bluish discoloration around your lips is referred to as "cyanosis." In the absence of immediate medical attention, you may experience loss of consciousness and you can eventually die.

Early Warning Signs of Asthma Attack

In general, the early symptoms of asthma are not actually severe that may paralyze your day to day activities. But because you can recognize the early signs and symptoms, you can prevent further exacerbation of these.

There are several warning signs of an early asthma attack. These warning signs include frequent cough which is common at night, a meter reading which shows reduced peak flow, shortness of breath or difficulty of breathing, fatigue, body malaise, wheezing, moody, grumpy, easily upset, having trouble falling asleep and signs of allergies or cold such as nasal congestion, headache, and sore throat. The above mentioned warning signs are important for you to remember always. Keep things in moderation and always bring your medication with you. Remember, an attack of asthma can occur unexpectedly.