Signs and Symptoms of Acute Asthma Attack

Wheezing in adults may be taken for a symptom of old age when it can actually be a symptom of an asthma attack.Here are a few signs and symptoms of a chronic asthma attack.

Aditi Dasgupta
AsthmaWritten by: Aditi DasguptaPublished at: Jan 25, 2012
Signs and Symptoms of Acute Asthma Attack

Are you finding it difficult to breathe at night and still wondering whether you have developed asthma symptoms or not? Asthma is of two types: intrinsic asthma (that happens during childhood) and extrinsic asthma (that triggers all of a sudden in your adulthood due to external factors). Here is how you can recognise each of them:

  • Wheezing: Asthma patients start wheezing heavily before breathlessness overtakes them. Wheezing, generally, constitutes a whooshing sound coming out from the mouth of the person, who is likely to get an attack within the next couple of minutes. Wheezing should alert you right away as it is the primary indication of an asthma attack. Some people also complain of an itchy nose or eczema around the nasal area, which happens when you are exposed to highly allergic pollen or dust.
  • Most people feel anxious and sweaty just before an asthma attack. Sweaty forehead, neck, back and palms along with restlessness in the chest are signs that you must look out for.
  • Formation of phlegm despite of you not having cold or viral is also a sign and symptom of an acute asthma attack. Asthma attacks usually happen when the chest congestion restricts the airway from a smooth breathing pattern leading to shorter and quicker breaths. Most often, symptoms such as cough and wheezing are more prominent at night. This is also called Nocturnal Asthma.
  • During an asthma attack, the respiratory system undergoes an internal inflammation leading to the narrowing of the airway passage. During this time, another recognisable sign of an asthma attack is the formation of mucous in the mouth. It is usually thick and the cause of a dry throat.
  • Chest pain and dropping of pressure is another symptom along with tightening of chest and neck muscles. These are called retractions.
  • You will feel a difficulty in talking as every time you try to open your mouth, you will want to take a breath of air to release the discomfort that is being suppressed inside you.
  • Look out for your finger nails! If they are blue, your blood vessels are not getting the sufficient amount of oxygen supply. This suggests the need for an urgent medical attention.
  • Your lips will feel dry and turn blue. Shaking hands and getting cold feet are other symptoms of asthma that you must watch out for.

Prevent an asthma emergency in the middle of the night or while you are walking on the road. The sooner you recognise the symptoms and signs of asthma, the sooner your medication will be effective in healing. Keep your doctor’s number handy and start working on your asthma action plan!


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