Asthma is an unwelcoming respiratory disease which may strike anywhere and anytime. It starts with severe coughing, sneezing and wheezing. Your chest will tighten, and you will face difficulty in breathing.
Asthma is developed due to various reasons including genetic inheritance, pollutants, obesity, and active or passive smoking. Asthma attacks are triggered by environmental factors like dust, pollen grains, particulate matter, and other allergy-causing agents.
Before understanding the symptoms of an asthma attack, it is necessary to know the common Causes of Asthma attack. Below are listed a few common triggers that can cause a sudden attack.
- Pollen, dust, mold spores, animal waste, are some airborne substances which are common asthma triggers.
- Infections like common cold or cough.
- Cold air or thin air density.
- Excessive physical activity.
- Air pollutants (like dust, particulate matter, and smoke).
- Medicines like aspirin.
- Stress (both mental and physical).
- Respiratory infections, such as the common cold.
- Chemicals used in paints, insecticides, etc.
Asthma triggers are different for every patient. To avoid a surprise asthma attack, you must keep a record of substances that affect your respiratory system.
Asthma Attack Symptoms
The severity of asthma attacks differs from person to person. While it could be minor for some, the same trigger can cause a life-threatening asthma attack for others. Your asthma attacks could happen only during certain situations where you are exposed to some triggers or perform heavy physical exercises.
In any case, you should be aware of any asthma attack symptoms to prevent any untoward incident. Some common signs you could observe before a serious asthma attack are:
- Difficulty in breathing.
- Shortness of breath.
- Pain in the chest or tightness.
- Constant coughing, wheezing or sneezing, especially at night.
- Trouble sleeping.
- Difficulty in breathing continuously.
- Mood swings.
The intensity of these symptoms increases as asthma hits your respiratory system. The airway tightens, and its inner lining swells. The amount of mucus production increases and blocks the airway.
Below are a few symptoms of an asthma attack which has flared:
- Fast breaths which are short and shallow.
- Making noises while breathing.
- Coughing continuously, especially during the night.
- Squeezed feeling in your chest.
If no steps are taken at this point in time, your asthma attack can get worse. Below are some asthma attack symptoms after it gets uncontrollable.
- Panic attacks.
- Wheezing while breathing
- Continuous coughing that hampers your breathing.
- Having trouble doing any physical activity like walking, talking, jogging, etc.
- Chest and neck muscles tighten.
- Sweat rolls down on your face and neck.
Once you reach this stage, you should consult a doctor immediately. This is symptoms of a serious asthma attack which needs medical attention at the earliest. Asthma attacks drain the energy out of any individual and leave terrible side-effects that last for days. There could be a second wave of asthma attacks waiting to make an appearance after your first attack. Be alert and avoid exposure to any triggers. As there is no medical solution to permanently cure asthma, identifying these signs and symptoms can help in controlling the intensity of the attack.
Prevention of Asthma
If you are diagnosed with asthma, you could start with a prevention plan or an action plan to manage the disease. Asthma action plan is developed by you and your doctor after identifying your triggers. A full-proof plan ensures the prevention of asthma. It helps you to remain physically active without showing any asthma attack symptoms, get undisturbed sleep, and perform your daily chores without any hindrances.
There are essentially four important factors constituting your asthma action plan.
1. Identify your asthma triggers
Identify your asthma triggers to prevent a possible attack. Once you know the cause of your asthma, you can easily avoid these triggers to reduce the chances of an asthma attack. To learn about the triggers, study your asthma. Every time your asthma triggers, make a note of your surroundings. Discuss them with your doctor and list down possible triggers. Once you identify the triggers, discuss how to avoid them.
2. Follow your prescription
Asthma usually has medicines taken through a small device called a nebulizer or an inhaler. Learn how to use an inhaler properly and keep your inhaler with you always. Understand your medicines from your doctor.
3. Recognize early asthma attack symptoms
Recognizing asthma attack signs are the best way to control these attacks. The common symptoms before and during an asthma attack are listed above. Make a note on what action to take if you show any of the asthma attack symptoms. Keep your medicines handy and call your doctor if the symptoms persist.
4. Know your action plan thoroughly
If your asthma attacks symptoms worsen, do not panic. To prevent any further damage, understand the action plan well and do as you have discussed with your doctor.
Asthma is a deadly disease capable of taking away a life. It should not be treated lightly. Once you are diagnosed with asthma, consult a doctor and make an action plan immediately. Prevention of asthma is the key to controlling the intensity and recurrence of attacks.