Asthma Symptoms

Acute Asthma Attacks

What is an Acute Asthma Attack?

If you have asthma more than likely at least one of these allergens causes you problems and can lead to an asthma attack. Keep in mind that of those children with asthma 80% of them also have allergies and 50% of adults with asthma do too.

Irritants are not the same thing as allergens. They are non-specific asthma attack initiators. For example, a common asthma irritant is a respiratory infection. This includes sinusitis, colds, bronchitis and others. Smoke from cigarettes, cigars, and the like frequently is an asthma irritant as well. Many common drugs like Beta Blockers, which are used to regulate blood pressure, aspirin, and NSAIDS. Other drugs are also irritants to some asthma sufferers. Women experiencing PMS may notice the hormonal changes are irritants as well. Exercise in cold dry weather can irritate asthma, not to mention being laughing hysterically, screaming, crying, or stress. Fumes from diesel trucks, smog, drastic weather changes, as well as paint, chemicals, perfumes, and the like are other common irritants.

There are other asthma irritants and allergens; these are just a few of the most common.

An acute asthma attack is very serious and something that should be taken that way. Many individuals are unaware of what an acute asthma attack is not to mention how it can affect the sufferer. Fortunately, an accurate description of what an acute asthma attack is as well as additional information will help you better understand.

An acute asthma attack is one that comes on suddenly and generally is caused by allergens or even an infection of the upper respiratory tract. If your asthma is under control then the acute attack will not be as severe as if you did not have your asthma under control. The danger of acute asthma attacks is that they can be deadly. Even when the fast acting medicine is used the medicine might not work creating an emergency situation for the individual. If this occurs then the individual should head to the nearest hospital for immediate treatment. An acute asthma attack is not to be taken lightly. If treatment is not available the asthma attack will simply continue. They don’t just run their course and then stop on their own.

It is also important to remember that if you are experiencing an acute asthma attack that does not respond to your inhaler then an immediate trip to the emergency room is required. Death can result from a prolonged asthma attack that is not treated and it is important to know what to do in a situation such as this.

If you cannot walk or talk without shortness of breath then you are likely having a severe asthma attack. An additional symptom is continuous coughing. Some individuals find their lips are blue, they feel confused, and they have difficulty concentrating. If you find yourself trying to sit, stand, or position yourself in a way that allows for better breathing then you are probably having an asthma attack. If you are having these symptoms then your respiratory system is about to fail and the use of an inhaler more than likely will not be able to stop the symptoms. When these symptoms occur you need to go to the emergency room as soon as possible.

The hospital staff will more than likely treat you with a mechanical ventilator. You will only need this treatment for the duration of the attack and once your lungs are able to function normally again the mechanical ventilator and face mask will be removed. If you seek immediate treatment of your acute asthma attack more than likely the doctor will be able to get it under control quickly and you can return home after a period of observation. If you wait too long, however, you will probably end up in the hospital for a day or two to ensure your lungs are working properly and that you are out of danger.

Please click on the following links for more detailed articles.

  1. Asthma—The Information you Need to Know
  2. Common Myths about Asthma
  3. Which Type of Asthma do you Have?
  4. Living with Asthma