Asthma attack – Know the warning signs, what you can do
Symptoms of asthma include – wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath and /or chest tightness.
New Delhi: Asthma is a common lung condition that affects a person's breathing. It is a long term or chronic disease and characterized by recurrent attacks of breathlessness and wheezing, which vary in severity and frequency from person to person.
The World health organisation (WHO) estimates 235 million people suffer from asthma.
Asthma usually starts at childhood, but it can affect an individual at any age.
The exact cause of asthma is not known. However, there are risk factors that causes asthma – allergies, environmental, family history. People having exposure to tobacco smoke, allergens or chemical irritants may be at higher risk of asthma.
Symptoms of asthma include – wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath and /or chest tightness. Symptoms become worse during physical activity and at night.
Understanding the signs of an asthma attack and knowing what to do before it gets worse can be helpful or even save life.
Here are a few signs of an asthma attack:
- The person will begin to wheeze and find it difficult to catch a breath
- Chest tightness or pressure
- Difficulties in speaking or coughing thta won't stop
- Feeling anxious and distressed
- Lips may begin to turn blue
- Pale, sweaty face
- Worsening symptoms despite medications - people suffering with asthma usually carry an inhaler with them
If you or someone you know shows these signs, this is what you can do -
- Keep calm and do not panic
- Sit up straight and don't lie down
- If helping someone, find a comfortable place to sit down while assisting him/her with asthma medication.
- Stay away from triggers – smoking, pets or even turn off the AC.
- Seek immediate medical help or call emergency services if attack becomes severe
It is important to recognise and treat even mild asthma attack to help you avoid severe episodes and keep your lung condition under control.