3 Warning Signs and other Emergency Symptoms of an Asthma Attack
More than 1,000 people die from asthma in the UK each year, and it is estimated that 90% of these could have been prevented.There is no age for asthma, children, teenagers and adults are affected by it. It is almost impossible to generalize on the elements that generate a crisis because each person affected by asthma reacts to different elements in the atmosphere. The majority of asthma crisis are triggered by airborne particles that cause the lungs to close so as not to allow the allergen to continue entering the bronchi. There are so many things in the air that it is difficult to determine what causes a crisis, but examples of them are dust, perfume, pollen, wood smoke and many others that with time the person affected learns to identify and stay away from them.
The first sign
The first sign is to watch for are nasal congestion that was not there minutes earlier and sneezing. Large quantities of mucus are released into the nose from the sinuses to prevent the irritating agent to descend into the lower airways. The eyes start to water because the throat and nose are irritated and need to get rid of whatever is causing the discomfort and finally you start sneezing in an effort to expel everything that is stuck to the mucus. All this can happen in a few seconds or it make take minutes, this depends on the amount of the allergen in the air you are breathing.
The Second Sign
After the sneezing the affected person will start coughing. This is a sign that the allergen has reached the lungs and they are trying to get rid of it. Coughing contracts the lungs and expels air with a lot of pressure which is the way the body protects itself and tries to force the irritant from the bronchi. If something is not done within a few minutes since the coughing episodes begin, the person may experience muscular pains on the chest because of the effort made while coughing. Medication at this point will reopen the lungs and may stop the crisis for the time being. Asthma medication contains substances that force the lungs to reopen so air can circulate again.
The Third SignThe third sure sign of an oncoming asthma attack is a wheezing sound that can be heard every time the person tries to take a breath. As the muscles surrounding the airways tighten to close the way into the lungs, respiration becomes difficult. The inability to swallow enough air with each breath forces the person to breath rapidly producing chest pains and pressure. This is the beginning of an asthma attack, If after a few minutes of taking medication these continue, the best thing to do is to seek medical attention as soon as possible. The medication is either not working properly or the amount of allergen already in the lungs is too much for the medication to stop the lung's defense tactics.
Symptoms ListedTo make it more clear, Some asthma symptoms may develop days before breathing tests show a significant decrease in lung function. Yet, in some situations the symptoms develop suddenly. The most common symptoms of asthma or an attack include:
- Coughing, especially at night or during exercise
- Wheezing or losing your breath easily
- Tightness in the chest
- Runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, and other typical allergy or cold symptoms
- Fatigue and weakness, especially during exercise
- Trouble sleeping
Some warning signs of asthma are more serious. They include:
- Symptoms that keep getting worse, even with treatment
- Difficulty catching your breath or talking
- Flaring your nostrils as you breathe
- Sucking in your chest or stomach with each breath
- Difficulty walking
- A bluish or grayish tinge to your lips or fingernails