During an asthma attack, also called an asthma exacerbation, your airways become swollen and inflamed. The muscles around the airways contract, causing your breathing (bronchial) tubes to narrow.
During an asthma attack, you may cough, wheeze and have trouble breathing. An asthma attack may be minor, with symptoms that get better with prompt home treatment, or it may be more serious. A severe asthma attack that doesn’t improve with home treatment can become a life-threatening emergency.
The key to stopping an asthma attack is recognizing and treating an asthma flare-up early. Follow the treatment plan you worked out with your doctor ahead of time. This plan should include what to do when your asthma starts getting worse, and how to deal with an asthma attack in progress.
When to seek emergency medical treatment?
Seek medical attention right away if you have signs or symptoms of a serious asthma attack, which include:
-Severe breathlessness or wheezing, especially at night or in the early morning
-The inability to speak more than short phrases due to shortness of breath
-Having to strain your chest muscles to breathe
-Low peak flow readings when you use a peak flow meter