Because there is a reduced amount of air received by the lungs, asthmatics will experience a multitude of symptoms.
In addition to the above symptoms, mid-range symptoms can be categorized with ashmatics feeling a shortness of breath. Also, there is more frequent wheezing and coughing.
The worst stages of asthma include extreme shortness of breath, heavy coughing and wheezing, and potentially even a bluish color to the face. The pulse is expected to rise rapidly and as such anxiety may increase tremendously. It is also interesting to note that even extreme drowsiness could be one of the side effects of asthma.
In short, an asthma attack is when conditions rapidly deteriorate, going from bad to worse. This could be going from just coughing a few times to feeling acute chest pain all in a matter of minutes, even seconds. In instances like this it is urgently advised that you seek immediate medical attention.
As conditions begin to deteriorate, the bronchospasm, or the muscles around the patient's airways, tighten. In addition, a large amount of mucus fills the airways. Very little air is able to get through under these conditions. Therefore, inhalers are used in conjunction with heavy breathing to both soften and destroy the mucus and to then treat the bronchi along with calming the muscles.
Depending on the severity of the attack, it can be fatal. This can occur if the most important organs in your body do not receive enough oxygen.
If you are diagnosed with asthma, you should work with a doctor to prepare for the potential of asthma attacks.
If you think you are experiencing an asthma attack, you should do the following:
- Stop all activity and seek assistance from an adult if possible.
- Sit down in a comfortable position.
- Take necessary medication.
If symptoms seem to worsen, seek emergency assistance.
Factors of Asthma (and their associated symptoms)
Asthma is most prominent amongst children under the age of 15 as compared to adults. Many of the factors that contribute to asthma are found locally in everyday life. As such, the first group of factors focuses on the interaction of the person along with the environment. By definition, allergens are substances that cause a reaction, known as an allergy. Examples of such allergens include pollen, dander, dust, smoke, tobacco smoke (and secondhand smoke), and mold.
Similarly, air pollution affects the respiratory system in ways that are almost unimaginable. Some examples of air pollutants are smog and the burning of fossil fuels. The impact of microorganisms and viruses can also potentially affect the health of an asthmatic. A cold or flu can further damage compromised lungs, due to the buildup of mucus and congestion. Lastly, inhaling cold air can worsen the symptoms of asthma as the lungs need to work harder to produce warmer air to circulate throughout the body.
Lifestyle related choices play an active role in determining the condition of one's health. The asthmatic's ability to handle emotional stress can determine the severity of an asthma attack. If the asthmatic deals with emotional stress well, then their chances of having a serious attack plummet. However, if they lack the ability to control stress, their blood pressure will rise rapidly in the instance of high stress, along with chances of having a severe asthma attack. Another lifestyle choice that can affect the health of a person suffering from asthma is exercise. Doctors recommend that each patient exercises regularly in order to build up the muscle surrounding the lungs. Additionally, various occupations would allow a higher or lower tolerance for asthma. Occupations that would allow only a low tolerance for asthma include sanitation department, home movers, and firefighting industries. Asthmatics should refrain from constant movement or lifting heavy objects.
Likewise, the asthmatic's consumption can potentially determine how much or how little asthma affects their life. Foods that contain additives and preservatives may disrupt the body's normal function. Such foods may include sulfiting agents as well food allergens such as dairy products and eggs. The asthmatic's best way to reduce the possibilities of an attack is to carefully examine food labels and compare the data with triggers that affect him/her personally. In addition to controlling the food one eats, the choice to refrain from recreational drug use can greatly decrease the odds of suffering from asthma.