Environmental triggers include:
- Allergens like dust mites, pollen, mold, or pet dander
- Irritants such as tobacco smoke, fumes, air pollution, chemicals, or odors
- Weather conditions such as cold air changes in temperature or humidity
Intrinsic factors include:
- Infections like colds, viruses, flu, sinus or upper respiratory infections.
- Strong emotions such as anxiety, fear, or stress.
- Exercise-induced asthma is also very common.
Having an asthma attack can be one of the most frightening things you ever experience. Seeing it happen to someone else can also be very scary.
Some Signs & Symptoms of Asthma Attack Include:
- Severe wheezing
- Rapid breathing
- Coughing that won’t stop
- Tightened neck or chest muscles
- Difficult speaking
- Anxiety or panic attack
- Pale, sweaty face
- Blue lips or fingernails
If You Are Having The Asthma Attack
If you are having an asthma attack, you should do your best to remain calm. Getting worked up will make the symptoms worse. You should use your inhaler or medication for asthma immediately. You should follow your asthma action plan, and if your symptoms do not improve shortly after, you should go directly to the hospital or call 911 for more assistance. An asthma attack can escalate very quickly, so it’s important to take it seriously.
If a Friend or Family Member is Having the Asthma Attack
The first step is to remain calm, even if this seems scary to you. You should then take the person away from any triggers such as perfume or cigarette smoke, keep them calm, and have them use their inhaler. The person should sit up straight and not lie down during an asthma attack.
If your friend can speak, you should ask about their asthma action plan.
If they are unable to speak, offer them an inhaler if they have it and help them use it. If they don’t have an inhaler or the inhaler is not working to treat the symptoms, call 911 (or 000 in Australia).