Asthma Attack Symptoms and Warning Signs

What are the common asthma attack symptoms and warning signs?

An asthma attack can be a frightening experience to live through and witness. Early warning signs can help manage your asthma and alert you to the beginning of an attack. Recognizing early symptoms can help prevent a severe sudden attack that catches you off guard.

People in the midst of an attack experience wheezing, chest tightness, coughing, shortness of breath and the generalized feeling of an inability or difficulty in breathing properly. Other symptoms include sudden very rapid or shallow breathing, chest pain or pressure, tightened neck or chest muscles (called retractions), difficulty talking, feelings of approaching anxiety or panic, and a bluish tinge to the lips or fingernails (called cyanosis). The blue coloring occurs due to a severe lack of oxygen in the blood and is an asthma attack symptom which indicates that the attack has reached a critical level.

Without some type of intervention, a sufferer may suffocate, lose consciousness, and die. Early asthma attack symptoms and warning signs of an impending attack include: frequent coughing (especially at night), reduced peak flow meter readings, a feeling of shortness of breath or inability to catch your breath, feeling a sudden tiredness, weakness or overwhelming fatigue while exercising, signs of a cold or allergies, and trouble sleeping (an indication that minor attacks may be occurring at night).

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A note about Asthma Attack Symptoms and Warning Signs

In natural health and healing, we believe in holistic health and healing, as we realize that different parts of the human body are highly interlinked, often beyond Man's understanding. We also believe that the body has the ability to heal itself of any disease, even supposedly incurable diseases.

In order to do so, the body needs the support of some basic dietary and lifestyle good health habits, such as a full body detox and a proper understanding and application of nutrition. No matter how remote or unrelated a health condition may seem, these fundamental health steps will greatly magnify the effects and benefits of any of our health-promoting efforts, including the use of specific natural health remedies.

For many people, asthma attacks can escalate rapidly, with asthma attack symptoms becoming severe and unmanageable in a matter of a few minutes, so treatment should always be readily available so that it can be implemented immediately in order to stave off a full blown attack.

Attacks vary in severity - some may be so mild that the sufferer barely notices their passing shortness of breath, while other attacks have been fatal. For some people, asthma attacks occur intermittently, while for others, life with asthma represents a daily struggle. Shortness of breath for most people appears to be the most common asthma attack symptom.

Many people describe the sensation like “trying to breathe through a straw,” because the airways become so constricted and tight. Tightness in the chest has been likened to having a vise or rubber band slowly encircled and squeezed around the ribcage. The shortness of breath comes and goes, with breathing appearing normal when no triggers pollute the asthmatic’s environment.

But attacks can come on suddenly and without warning, because many irritants remain invisible to the naked eye. Wheezing occurs in some, though not all, asthmatics. Caused by vibrations of air moving through constricted airways, the sound may occur on the inhale or exhale, and can be quite loud or rather muted, depending on the severity of the attack.

Asthma sufferers tend to think of wheezing in two different ways - either they become embarrassed because attention has been drawn to their condition, or it can be a sign of relief as they may more readily receive help if the attack becomes unmanageable and constitutes a medical emergency.

Some asthmatics may start coughing in addition to, or in place of, wheezing. Some doctors have misdiagnosed such patients because they fail to display the wheeze, a tell tale asthma attack symptom. Often, the excessive coughing may be a reaction to overproduction of mucous, another of asthma’s symptoms. Mucous can make sleeping, swallowing, talking and other everyday activities more strenuous and tiring.

Mild asthma attacks tend to be more common, and after an attack, the airways begin to open back up within a few minutes or hours after treatment. A severe attack may occur less frequently but will generally last longer and may need immediate medical intervention.

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