What Are Some Early Warning Signs of Asthma?
What Is Asthma?
Asthma is a disease of the respiratory system. Asthma causes your airways to become inflamed and narrower. In some cases, your lungs produce extra mucus, which causes more narrowing.
Some people have more severe symptoms than others. But although asthma can’t be cured, it can be controlled.
Asthma has many causes. The most common “triggers” for asthma are:
- Allergies: Some allergies, like pollen and pet allergies, can trigger asthma.
- Medication: Certain medicines such as aspirin can make asthma worse.
- Respiratory infections: Colds, influenza, and other seasonal viruses may trigger asthma symptoms.
- Smoking: Tobacco smoke can irritate the lungs and throat, triggering asthma.
The trigger for your asthma dictates your asthma treatment. So, you should be evaluated by a health professional if you think you have asthma.
Early Warning Signs of Asthma
If you’re new to asthma, you might not know how to recognize the condition. Early signs of asthma include:
- Chest pain or tightness
- Feeling breathless during exercise
- Frequent coughing
- SWheezing (especially in children)
You may also notice that your symptoms get worse when you have a respiratory infection. This is because your respiratory system is already inflamed and irritated. And in some cases, you might notice that respiratory infections last for much longer than expected.
If you think you might have Asthma, contact Asthmaniac for an evaluation.
Early Warning Signs of an Asthma Attack
People with asthma should know how to spot the signs of an asthma attack so they can manage the situation. The early symptoms of an asthma attack are:
- Changes in peak expiratory flow readings: Drops in peak expiratory flow (PEF) readings should be reviewed with your doctor as they might suggest an attack is imminent.
- Using rescue inhaler more often: If you need your rescue inhaler more than usual, you may need a medication review to prevent an asthma attack.
- Shortness of breath: Shortness of breath and more frequent coughing both suggest your asthma isn’t under control.
- Increased fatigue: If you’re more tired than normal, or you’re struggling with your daily activities, this may be a red flag that an attack is imminent.
- Scratchy or irritated throat: Although a scratchy throat can be a sign of a respiratory infection, it can also be an early sign of an asthma attack.
Other warning signs of an asthma attack include chest tightness, wheezing more than normal, and trouble sleeping due to symptoms. If you’re at all concerned about asthma symptoms, book a consultation with Asthmaniac.
Emergency Signs of an Asthma Attack
All asthma attacks can be serious. However, you need to seek immediate medical attention if you develop the following symptoms.
- You can’t get any relief from your rescue inhaler.
- Your fingernails or lips turn blue (cyanosis).
- You are struggling to talk, walk, or perform minimal activities.
- Your shoulders are hunched over or your chest constricts.
Call 911 if you or your child is having an asthma attack and you can’t bring it under control.
How to Control Asthma to Prevent Asthma Attacks
To help prevent asthma attacks, you need an asthma action plan.
Your asthma action plan is a guide to help you manage your symptoms and spot when your asthma might be getting worse. The quicker you spot the warning signs of worsening asthma, the easier it is to prevent asthma attacks.
An asthma action plan is tailored to you and your medical needs. But at a minimum, it should include:
- Asthma triggers
- Your current asthma medications
- Peak flow readings (if you use these)
- Your symptoms when your asthma is under control
- Warning signs which suggest you need to take action
- Emergency steps to take if you have an attack
Asthmaniac can review your current asthma action plan or create one for you.
Asthma Consultation With Asthmaniac
People with asthma need to know how to manage their condition to prevent it from getting worse.
That’s where Asthmaniac, your online asthma doctor, can help. At Asthmaniac, we offer virtual appointments to help you understand your diagnosis and prevent asthma attacks. We can evaluate your current medication, write prescriptions if needed, and update your action plan.
Whether you’re a new asthma patient or you’re struggling with your asthma controla, we’re here for you. Learn the early warning signs of asthma – book a consultation now to get started.
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