Asthma Attacks

Attacks can be severe, moderate or mild.

Take your asthma medicine as prescribed. Usually then, 
the air tubes in your lungs open up in minutes.

Severe Attacks
When these happen, you may become breathless. As you're less and less able to breathe, you may have trouble talking. Your neck muscles may become tight as you breathe. Your lips and fingernails might have a grayish or bluish color. The skin around the ribs of your chest might be sucked in.
Moderate and Mild Attacks
These attacks are more common. You may start to feel tight in your chest. You might start coughing or spit up mucus. You may feel restless or have trouble sleeping. You might make a wheezing or whistling sound when you breathe. This can happen as you breathe air in and out of your narrowed air tubes.
What should you do in the case of a moderate or mild asthma attack?
Take your asthma medicine as prescribed. Usually then the air tubes in your lungs open up in minutes. Sometimes, though, it can take several hours. Ask your doctor how long it takes for the medicine to work.
The Second Wave
In some cases, your asthma attack may seem to ease up. But, changes may take place in your air tubes that cause another attack or second wave. This can be more severe and more dangerous than the first attack.
In the second wave, the air tubes continue to swell. This may happen even when you're not having asthma symptoms. At this time, you might find it harder to breathe. The second wave may last for days or even weeks after the first attack. Your lungs become more sensitive to other irritants. This can trigger more attacks. During the second wave, you may have to be admitted to a hospital. Doctors need to take care of your asthma and give you medicines that will reduce the swelling in your air tubes and relax the tightened muscles.

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