Asthma occurs when an individual’s airways become constricted and inflamed. This can cause a range of symptoms, from mild tightness in the chest to severe, life-threatening breathing difficulties. Because symptoms can be mild, some people have asthma and do not know it until something triggers a severe reaction.
An asthma attack is a name given to a severe asthma event that causes extreme difficulty breathing. These occur when asthma symptoms suddenly worsen, and the muscles in the airway tighten, become inflamed and swell, closing the airway. Asthma attacks can be fatal, which is why asthma control is so important. Not all people who have asthma will have an attack, but all people who have the condition can have an attack.
Symptoms and Risk Factors of Asthma
Asthma symptoms include wheezing, coughing, tightness in the chest and shortness of breath. While the underlying cause of asthma — inflammation of the airway — is the same for all asthma patients, the way the symptoms manifest varies significantly.
Some people have daily struggles, while others only have problems on occasion or with exposure to certain triggers. Children and infants, because of their small airways, are more susceptible to asthma symptoms than adults, so many patients will appear to outgrow their asthma. For some individuals, asthma is a reaction to an allergen in the environment. Others will experience exercise-induced asthma that occurs after a period of physical activity. Both types can greatly disrupt the patient’s quality of life.
Dealing With Asthma
If you have been diagnosed with asthma, you will receive an asthma action plan that is personalized to your condition, as well as an inhaler with asthma medications to use as you follow the plan. In most cases, carefully following the asthma action plan can help prevent a serious asthma attack.
However, on occasion you will find that, in spite of your best efforts, you start to struggle with asthma symptoms, or worse, you may experience asthma exacerbations. When this happens, and you have used all of your inhaler medications, seek medical attention right away.
Home remedies for asthma are never a substitute for medical intervention, as this can be a life-threatening condition. Still, some remedies have proven effective at managing symptoms. Steeping ginger in boiling water, then drinking the water after it has cooled can provide relief, as can massaging mustard oil mixed with camphor onto the chest and upper back. Avoiding known triggers can also protect the patient from an asthma attack.
Trust AAYU Clinics — Immediate Care for Asthma Help
If you suspect you are having an asthma attack, don’t wait for help. AAYU Clinics offers convenient access to a doctor 365 days a year, including Sundays. Visit our comprehensive health clinic for a thorough asthma evaluation from a skilled team of doctors who put patients first. Come to our urgent care today, or schedule an appointment to discuss your asthma control plan.