asthma attack causes and symptoms medical management 2023

Dealing with Asthma Attacks: Symptoms, Triggers, and Emergency Responses


What is Asthma?

Lung disease asthma, commonly referred to as bronchial asthma, damages your lungs. It is a chronic (ongoing) condition, meaning it doesn’t go away, and it requires ongoing medical management.

Asthma affects over 25 million people in the United States, including more than 5 million children. Without treatment, asthma can be life-threatening.

Asthma Attack

ANSWERS  to some of the  QUESTIONS of your mind 

Q:can asthma cause chest pain?

A:Asthma can cause chest tightness but not typically Chest pain.

Q:can asthma cause fever?

A: Asthma does not usually cause fever.

Q:asthma ICD 10 ?

A:The ICD-10 code for asthma is J45.

Q:an asthma cause heart palpitations?

A:Asthma can sometimes lead to heart palpitations due to increased heart rate during an asthma attack.

Q:can asthma cause sleep apnea?

A: Asthma can contribute to or worsen sleep apnea in some cases.

What Happens During an Asthma Attack?

When you breathe normally, the airways around your airways are relaxed, allowing air to move easily and quietly. During an asthma attack, three things can must happen:

  • Bronchospasm: The airways around your airways constrict (narrow). When they become tight, they make it difficult for air to pass through freely. Airflow is constrained by narrow airways.
  • Inflammation: The lining of your airways becomes swollen. Swelling narrows your airways, making it harder for air to go in and out.
  • Increased Mucus Production: During an attack, your body produces more mucus. Thick mucus can clog your airways.

When your airways are narrowed, you may wheeze when you breathe in and out, and when you exhale, your airways may make a whistling sound. You may also hear this during an asthma attack, which is called an exacerbation or a flare-up. This term refers to a time when your asthma is not well controlled.”

What Types of Asthma Attacks  are There?


Asthma attack

Asthma is categorized into different types based on the cause and severity of symptoms. Those providing healthcare identify asthma as follows:

  1. Intermittent Asthma: This type of asthma comes and goes in episodes, allowing you to perceive normalcy in between asthma flare-ups.
  2. Persistent Asthma: Persistent asthma attacks means you experience symptoms for an extended period. The symptoms can be light, medium, or severe. Healthcare providers base the severity of asthma that requires healthcare management on how frequently you experience symptoms. They also consider how well you can function during asthma attacks.

Asthma can be triggered by various factors:

a. Allergies: Allergies can be a cause of asthma attacks in some individuals. Allergens include substances like dust mites, mold, and pet dander.

b. Non-Allergic: External factors can also trigger asthma. Exercise, stress, illness, and seasonal changes can be triggers.

Asthma can also be categorized as:

  • Adult-Onset: This type of asthma begins after the age of 18.
  • Pediatric: Often referred to as childhood asthma, this type can start at an early age, even in infants and young children. Asthma can worsen in children. It’s essential to consult with your healthcare provider before deciding whether your child needs an inhaler. The healthcare provider who oversees your child’s well-being can help you understand the risks.

Furthermore, there are these types of asthma:

  • Exercise-Induced Asthma: This type is triggered by physical activity and is also known as exercise-induced bronchospasm.
  • Occupational Asthma: This type primarily affects those working around irritating substances.
  • Asthma-COPD Overlap Syndrome (ACOS): This condition occurs when you have both asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), making it difficult to breathe due to both conditions.

Who can get Asthma Attacks  ?

Anyone can develop asthma at any age. People with allergies or those exposed to tobacco smoke are more likely to develop asthma. It includes secondhand smoke (exposure to someone else’s cigarette smoke) and thirdhand smoke (exposure to surfaces or places where someone has smoked).

Statistics show that among those women who were exposed to secondhand smoke during pregnancy, asthma attacks is more common in their children compared to those born to non-smoking mothers. Asthma disproportionately affects Black individuals compared to other racial groups.



Researchers don’t know why some people get asthma while others don’t. But some factors pose a higher risk:

  1. Allergies: Having allergies can increase your risk of getting asthma.
  2. Environmental Factors: Exposure to substances that irritate the airways, such as allergens, pollutants, smoke, and other environmental factors, can lead to asthma, especially in children and infants whose immune systems are not fully developed.
  3. Genetics: If there’s a history of asthma or allergies in your family, you are at a higher risk.
  4. Respiratory Infections: Some respiratory infections, like Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), can harm the growing lungs of infants and young children.

Different Triggers can cause Asthma Attacks?

If you come into contact with substances that irritate you, you may experience an asthma attack. These substances that trigger asthma attacks are called ‘triggers.’ Knowing what triggers your asthma can make it easier to prevent asthma attacks.

For some people, triggers can cause an immediate attack. For others, the attack may start hours or even days later.

Triggers can vary for each individual, but some common triggers include:

  • Air Pollution: Many external factors can contribute to asthma attacks, including emissions from factories, vehicle exhaust, forest fire smoke, and more.
  • Dust Mites: You can’t see them, but they exist in our homes. If you’re allergic to dust mites, they can be a trigger for asthma attacks.
  • Exercise: For some people, physical activity can be a trigger for asthma attacks.
  • Mold: Mold can grow in damp places and may cause problems for people with asthma.
  • Insects: Cockroaches, mice, and other household pests can be asthma triggers.
  • Pets: Your pets can also be asthma triggers. If you’re allergic to pet dander (dry skin flakes), breathing it in can cause irritation in your airways.
  • Tobacco Smoke: If you or someone in your household smokes, you’re at an increased risk of developing asthma. Smoking should be avoided in closed spaces like cars or homes, and quitting smoking is the best solution.
  • Strong Chemicals or Fumes: Some individuals may be sensitive to strong chemicals or fumes, which can trigger asthma attacks.
  • Occupational Exposures: Your job may expose you to various asthma triggers, including cleaning products, flour dust, or other chemicals. If you have asthma, it’s essential to take precautions in your workplace.
  • Certain Professions: Some specific jobs can increase the risk of asthma, such as cleaning jobs or those involving exposure to wood dust or chemicals.

Understanding and avoiding your asthma triggers is crucial in managing your condition and preventing asthma attacks. If you suspect that you have asthma or need help managing your symptoms, it’s essential to consult with a healthcare provider for guidance and treatment options.

What are the Symptoms and Signs of Asthma Attacks ?

People with asthma typically have noticeable symptoms. These symptoms and signs are similar to many respiratory infections:

  1. Tightness, pain, or pressure in the chest.
  2. Coughing (especially at night).
  3. Shortness of breath.
  4. Wheezing.
  5. Nasal congestion.

With asthma, you may not experience all of these symptoms with every episode. With chronic asthma, you can have different symptoms and signs at different times. Additionally, the signs between asthma attacks can vary.

Diagnosis and Tests How is Asthma Diagnosed by Healthcare Providers?

Your a Doctor provider will take a detailed medical history, including information about your family and siblings. You’ll be questioned by your healthcare about your symptoms as well. Your provider may need to know about allergies, eczema (skin rashes due to allergies), and other lung diseases in your family.

Your provider may order a spirometer test. This test measures the flow of air through your lungs and is used to diagnose and monitor your progress with treatment. Your healthcare provider may also order a chest X-ray, blood tests, or skin tests.”

Note: The translation is based on the provided Urdu text, and some medical terminology may require further context or clarification in a medical context.


Here are the options for treating asthma:

  1. Bronchodilators: These medications relax the muscles around your airways, making it easier for air to move in and out. They also help in clearing mucus from your airways. These medicines are used to relieve your symptoms when they occur and are often used regularly for chronic asthma.
  2. Anti-inflammatory drugs: These medications reduce swelling and mucus production in your airways. They make it
    quiet easier for air to enter and exit your lungs. Your healthcare provider may recommend taking them daily to control or prevent symptoms of chronic asthma.
  3. Biologics for severe asthma: These are used for severe asthma when symptoms persist despite appropriate inhaler therapy.

You can take asthma attacks medications in various forms, such as metered-dose inhalers, nebulizers, or oral medications. Your healthcare provider can prescribe medications that you inhale through an inhaler or swallow. Make sure to follow your healthcare provider’s recommendations for managing your asthma effectively.”

What is Asthma Attacks Control?

Asthma Attack control

The goal of asthma control is to manage the symptoms effectively. Asthma control means:

  1. Being able to do the things you want to do at work and at home.
  2. Having no (or minimal) symptoms of asthma.
  3. Rarely needing to use your rescue inhaler.
  4. Going about your daily activities without interruptions due to asthma.

How do you monitor your asthma symptoms?

It’s important to keep an eye on your asthma symptoms. This is a crucial part of managing the condition. You can use a Peak Flow Meter, which measures how fast you can blow air out of your lungs. It helps your healthcare provider adjust your medications if needed. It is also tells you if your symptoms are getting worse.


How can I Prevent Asthma Attacks?

If your healthcare provider says you have asthma, it’s important to understand what triggers your attacks. Avoiding triggers can help you prevent attacks. However, you can’t stop asthma  attacks itself.


What is the outlook for asthma patients? If you have asthma, you can still lead a fulfilling life and participate in sports and other activities. Your healthcare provider can help you manage your symptoms, understand your triggers, and assist in preventing or managing attacks.

Living with Asthma

What is an Asthma Action Plan?

Your Doctor provider will work with you to create an asthma action plan. This plan tells you how and when to use your medications. It also guides you on what to do based on your asthma symptoms and when to seek immediate care. Don’t hesitate to ask your healthcare provider about anything you don’t understand.

If I Have a Severe Asthma Attack, What Should I do?

If you experience a severe asthma attack , you need to seek immediate medical help.

First, you should use your rescue inhaler. A rescue inhaler contains fast-acting medicines that quickly open your airways. This is different from a maintenance inhaler, which you use every day. When your symptoms are bothering you, you should use the rescue inhaler, and if your wheezing is severe, you can use it more frequently.

If your rescue inhaler doesn’t help or you don’t have it, go to the emergency department if you have:

  • Restlessness or anxiety.
  • Blue or gray nails, lips (in light-skinned individuals), or gray lips, or gums (in dark-skinned individuals).
  • Chest pain or pressure.
  • Coughing that doesn’t stop or severe wheezing with every breath.
  • Difficulty speaking.
  • Pale, sweaty face.
  • Very fast or very shallow breathing.
  • can asthma cause chest pain


How can you tell if you have Asthma or not?

To determine whether you have asthma or some other condition, you’ll need to consult a healthcare provider who specializes in respiratory health. There are other respiratory conditions that can cause difficulty breathing, coughing, and wheezing.

Can Asthma be cured?

No, there is no cure for asthma, but it can be controlled. actually asthma cannot be cured, but it can be managed. Asthma may worsen as children grow older.

Why does my Asthma Attacks get Worse at Night?

Asthma symptoms that worsen at night are sometimes referred to as “nocturnal asthma.” There are no definite reasons for this, but some theories include:

  1. Your sleeping position: Sleeping on your back can lead to postnasal drip or acid reflux from your stomach, which can trigger asthma symptoms.
  2. Allergens and nighttime triggers: You may encounter dust mites, pet dander, or pollen on your bedding, blankets, or pillows. If you’ve been outdoors during the evening, you may have brought pollen indoors.
  3. Adverse effects of medications: Some asthma medications, such as steroids and Montelukast, may affect your sleep.
  4. Temperature and humidity: Extremely hot or cold air can irritate your airways, and cold air can be a trigger for some people.
  5. Changes in lung function: Your lungs naturally function differently at night.

It’s essential to work with your healthcare provider to ensure that your asthma symptoms are controlled both during the day and at night. Managing symptoms at night is crucial because severe asthma attacks, and sometimes even deaths, can occur during the night.

What should I know about COVID-19 and Asthma?

If you have severe asthma or if your asthma symptoms are not well-controlled, you are at a higher risk of getting COVID-19. Therefore, if you go to indoor places with other people, you should wear a mask, get vaccinated, and avoid being around people who are infected with the virus.


Many people live their entire lives with asthma. Some professional athletes with asthma have even achieved records in their sports. Taking care of your health can be the best way to manage your asthma. Talk to your healthcare provider about how to control your symptoms.

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