Triggers Prevention Attacks

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An asthma attack generally refers to a patient’s inability to draw in a full, comfortable breath, and let it back out fully. The most common symptoms of an asthma attack are wheezing, coughing (either a dry, hacking cough or a phegm-producing cough), and shortness of breath. Wheezing, usually the first sign of an attack, often begins suddenly and may be worse at certain times of day, such as late in the evening or early in the morning. Wheezing can be exacerbated by a number of factors, including cold air, heartburn, or vigorous exercise.

Some patients may also feel tightness or pain in the chest and in the muscles around the ribcage. These symptoms usually begin suddenly and are episodic. Most asthmatics carry with them an emergency inhaler that can alleviate some of the symptoms. Resting, stopping vigorous activity, and sitting in a relaxed position in which the chest can easily expand can also help.

During a serious asthma attack, the patient may experience extreme difficulty breathing (verging on the feeling of suffocation), and the lips and face may turn a bluish color. Extreme anxiety, a racing pulse, and sweating might also occur. In any of these cases, emergency services should be contacted—especially if the patient begins to appear drowsy or confused, or if they lose consciousness completely during the attack.

Some less “traditional” symptoms associated with asthma are difficulty sleeping or concentrating, sighing frequently, fatigue, anxiety, and an inability exercise or take part in vigorous activities. People who notice these symptoms should talk to their doctor about asthma as a possible culprit.

Asthma Symptoms Triggers Prevention Attacks