Asthma Attack: What to do?


When you have asthma, your airways narrow and swell, which results in an overproduction of mucus. A whistling sound (wheezing) as you exhale might result in coughing, shortness of breath, and other symptoms.

Some people’s asthma is a minor irritation. Depending on the severity, it can cause significant problems in daily living for certain people, even leading to deadly asthma attacks.

Asthma is incurable, but the symptoms can be kept under control. If you have asthma, you should work with your doctor to keep track of your signs and symptoms and make adjustments to your treatment plan as needed.

What is an Asthma Attack?

An asthma attack is when the muscles surrounding the airways contract, and Bronchospasm is the medical term for this tightening. During an attack, the airway lining becomes swollen or inflamed, and the cells lining the airways produce thicker mucus than usual.

Bronchospasm, inflammation, and mucus production contribute to difficulty breathing, wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath, and difficulty doing routine everyday activities.

The following signs and symptoms are also associated with asthma attacks:

  • Extreme wheezing when taking a breath in and out.
  • Irresistible sneezing.
  • Chest discomfort, pressure, or both.
  • Muscle retractions.
  • Difficulty in talking.
  • Panic attacks or anxiety.
  • Blue lips or fingernails

Asthma attacks can worsen quickly, so it’s critical to treat these symptoms as soon as possible.

It will become more difficult to breathe if you do not receive immediate treatment, such as your asthma inhaler or bronchodilator. If you use a peak flow meter now, the value will likely be less than half of your average or normal peak flow reading. Many asthma action plans recommend initiating interventions at 80% of normal.

You won’t utilize the peak flow meter when your lungs tighten further. Your lungs will tighten, resulting in insufficient air circulation to cause wheezing. You should go to the hospital straight away. Unfortunately, some people believe that the absence of wheezing is a sign of healing and do not seek emergency treatment.

Without adequate treatment, you may lose your ability to speak and have a bluish tinge around your lips. This color change, known as cyanosis, indicates that your blood contains less and less oxygen, and it can result in unconsciousness and death.

If you experience an asthma attack, immediately go to the “Red Zone” or emergency instructions in your asthma action plan. These symptoms occur during potentially fatal asthma attacks, and you require immediate medical assistance.


There is no one-size-fits-all treatment for asthma. Rare asthma attacks, symptoms only present at certain periods of the day, such as when exercising, or symptoms present at all times are all possibilities.

The following are signs and symptoms of asthma:

  • Breathlessness.
  • Chest discomfort or tightness.
  • Asthma symptoms in children include wheezing as they exhale.
  • Difficulty falling asleep because of breathing issues like coughing or wheezing
  • Respiratory infections, such as the common cold or flu, can increase coughing or wheezing episodes.

Asthma is likely to get worse if you notice any of the following symptoms:

  • Asthma is becoming more frequent and painful.
  • Increasing difficulty in breathing (peak flow meter).
  • Increasing use of inhalers.

People with asthma may experience worsening of symptoms and signs in the following situations:

  • Asthma is triggered by exercise that is aggravated by dry, chilly air.
  • Chemical vapors, gases, or dust can induce occasional asthma.
  • It is common for people to suffer from asthma because of airborne allergens such as pollen, mold spores, and cockroach excrement (pet dander).

When To See A Doctor?

Seek immediate medical attention, if:

  • Asthma attacks that are too severe can be fatal. If your signs and symptoms worsen or you require emergency treatment, discuss your options with your doctor. Asthma emergencies can be identified by the following symptoms:
  • Wheezing or shortness of breath that gets worse quickly.
  • A quick-relief inhaler didn’t help at all.
  • Breathing problems even after a short period of light exercise.

Consult your Doctor

  • If you suspect you have asthma. Consult your doctor if you have frequent coughing or wheezing that lasts more than a few days or if you have any other signs or symptoms of asthma. Early treatment of asthma may help prevent long-term lung damage and keep the condition from worsening over time.
  • To keep track of your asthma after it’s been diagnosed. If you have asthma and are aware of it, work with your doctor to keep it under control. Long-term control improves your day-to-day life and can prevent a life-threatening asthma attack.
  • If your asthma symptoms worsen, consult a doctor. If your medication isn’t alleviating your symptoms or if you need to use your quick-relief inhaler more frequently, consult your doctor straight away.
  • Do not take more medicine than is advised without first visiting your doctor. Excessive usage of asthma medication might produce negative effects and worsen your asthma.
  • To go over your treatment plan. Asthma frequently evolves. Consult your doctor frequently to discuss your symptoms and make necessary treatment adjustments.

Book an appointment now to answer all your queries. You can book an appointment with the top Pulmonologists in Lahore through Marham.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1- What are the chances of dying from asthma?

While most parents consider asthma a major cause of missed school and work days, some may be unaware that severe asthma attacks, which necessitate emergency department visits and hospitalizations, can be fatal. Asthma-related deaths are still uncommon.

2- Do you live with asthma forever?

Asthma symptoms that begin in childhood may fade later in life. However, a child’s asthma may disappear briefly only to reappear a few years later. However, some children with asthma, particularly those with severe asthma, never grow out of it.

3- Does asthma worsen with age?

Our asthma attacks get more severe and take longer to heal as we get older. To ensure you are prepared in the event of an asthma attack, speak with your doctor or an asthma nurse about creating an asthma action plan.

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