Asthma occurs when your airways swell and narrow and can produce extra mucus. This makes breathing difficult and can trigger wheezing and a cough when you have shortness of breath. Asthma can interfere with your daily activities and can lead to an asthma attack. Asthma cannot be cured, but its symptoms can be controlled. Asthma physician assistant in Gaithersburg, MD, offers comprehensive asthma care to patients.
What is an asthma attack?
An asthma attack is a period where bands of muscle around the airways are forced to tighten. This is called bronchospasm. During the attack, the airways become inflamed or swollen, and the cells in the airway make thicker mucus than usual.
Mucus production, inflammation, and bronchospasm cause wheezing, shortness of breath, trouble breathing, coughing. An asthma attack can get worse with time, and it’s essential to treat the symptoms immediately. Without treatment, it will become difficult to breathe.
As your lungs continue tightening, you won’t be able to use a peak meter. The lungs compress, and there is no adequate air movement to make wheezing. It would be best if you went to a hospital immediately. Some people think that the absence of wheezing is a sign of improvement, and they do not get emergency care.
Without immediate treatment, you may be unable to speak, and you can get bluish coloring on the lips. This color change shows that you have less oxygen in the blood, and it can cause death or loss of consciousness. If you have an asthma attack, follow emergency instructions in the asthma action plan immediately.
Asthma patients do not have the same symptoms in the same way. You can have all symptoms or have different symptoms at different periods. The symptoms can differ from one asthma attack to another, being severe during one and mild during another.
Some people go for long periods without having asthma symptoms while others get the symptoms every day. Others can have asthma during exercise or with colds or viral infections. Mild asthma attacks are expected. Typically, the airways open within a few minutes to a few hours. Severe attacks are rare but last for an extended period and need medical attention sooner.
Monitor your breathing. You can learn to identify incoming asthma attack symptoms such as wheezing, slight coughing, or shortness of breath. If your lung function decreases before noticing any symptoms or signs, you can measure and record your peak flow with a home peak meter. Your doctor can teach you how to use a peak flow meter at home.
Take your medications as the doctor prescribed. Your doctor can ask you to take medicines with you to each appointment so that he can make sure you are taking them in the correct dose.
Pay attention to increasing inhaler use. If you find you are relying on an inhaler, your asthma is not under control. You should see your doctor for treatment adjustment.
Asthma is a chronic condition that causes swelling and narrowing of the airways. It affects people of any age, and symptoms can be severe and mild. An asthma attack can occur at any time, and you should have quick treatment when an attack strikes. Constantly monitor any symptoms that can trigger the attack and seek treatment to have some medical adjustments.