What’s an Asthma Attack All About?
It seems like asthma is becoming ever more prevalent these days. No doubt you’ve heard about it. But if you’ve never experienced an asthma attack, you probably don’t know what goes on during one. If you’ve just been diagnosed with the condition, here are some facts you should know.
Symptoms of an asthma attack include shortness of breath, coughing and a wheezing or whistling sound in your chest. This is a severe condition, and can be fatal if you don’t learn to manage it.
What causes an asthma attack? It’s different for everyone. Well known triggers include allergic substances like pollen, dust, environmental pollution, chemicals and smoke. Indeed, many attacks are actually caused by allergy induced asthma. There are also other factors that can set off an asthma attack, including exercise, cold air, pressure changes, and viral infections.
What’s an Asthma Attack?
The site of an asthma attack is the airways leading to the lungs. The opening and closing of your airways are controlled by a specific muscle. You don’t have any control over this muscle; it’s totally automatic. But allergens or the other factors that were pointed out above can cause it to constrict. When you have an asthma condition, the muscle reacts disproportionately to the the triggers, thereby causing an attack.
If the muscle tightens up, the air passage becomes constricted. It also gets clogged with mucus and the lining becomes swollen and inflamed. The presence of mucus in the air passages is completely normal, because it helps the flow of air from the lungs. But when you’re experiencing an asthma attack, the production of mucus increases, thereby filling the air passages.
It’s hard to breathe when this accumulation of mucus is present. As long as the excess mucus is in place, the asthma attack won’t stop. So it’s essential that you manage your symptoms quickly with a medication that has been prescribed by your doctor.
Average Length of an Attack
Attacks are often only a few minutes in duration. A severe attack, though, can go on for hours or days. There will be intervals where you might not experience any symptoms, but they will soon return if you don’t receive the proper medication.
If you suspect you might have asthma, it’s essential that you visit your doctor immediately. He or she will run some tests to diagnose the situation. As well, they’ll try to figure out what’s triggering the attacks. Once you know what your triggers are, it’s essential that you avoid them as much as possible. In order to avoid asthma attacks in the future, close medical supervision and a strong commitment to using the proper asthma remedies are essential. The attacks can be deadly, so don’t ignore your symptoms.