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The Feeling of an Asthma Attack

am i having an asthma attack

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Wide is good and narrow not so good when anything has to pass through from one space to another, and if you need an example of that think of the Suez Canal. Ships have to pass through it, but it is the furthest thing from an expansive waterway. The incident where a 400m long container ship got stuck sideways in the canal shows how too tight spaces can be a big problem. Let’s switch from shipping to breathing, and the airways into your lungs need enough width too. Asthma narrows them to make it difficult the same way, and people may wonder am I having an asthma attack? Know the signs.

Shortness of breath is the standard way Asthma is described in as far as what the person will experience. So if you are short of breath and the struggle doesn’t go away quickly then you may be becoming an asthmatic and starting to get an understanding of what does asthma feel like. There is more to it than that though, and that’s what we’ll look at here for all of you wondering am I having an asthma attack. As we all know, breathing is an absolute necessity for life and when people start having difficulty with that for the first time it can be quite worrying.

The real concern is with asthmatic exacerbations, which is when asthma symptoms worsen and this is where people start being at really serious risk due to inability to get enough oxygen into the body. Not only are people more short of breath when asthma becomes worse this way, but usually when people ask am I having an asthma attack they are usually going through this for the first time. Most people don’t have severe asthma when they first start to have it, but over time they can have it start to exacerbate.

Identify Symptoms

There aren’t any other medical conditions that will cause you to have prolonged worsening with breath shortness. However, if you have extreme breath shortness come on suddenly that has to be sounding alarms and you should go to a hospital as soon as possible. You may be experiencing heart failure and this is more common for older men than it is for older women. Here you won’t be asking am I having an asthma attack, and it may be that you’re actually having a minor heart attack. Serious stuff, and you need to get to a hospital as soon as possible before beginning to work with a cardiologist too.

Not a whole lot more to say on that, but the best way to know am I having an asthma attack is to know the symptoms, and in addition to short breath they include:

  • Chest tightness or pain
  • Wheezing when exhaling
  • Sleeping troubles related to shortness of breath, wheezing, or coughing
  • Coughing or wheezing intensifying because of an accompanying respiratory infection

Wheezing when exhaling is more common in children, and early onset asthma does affect some people this way. Instead of asking am I having an asthma attack, you may be asking the same thing but for your child. The good news there is that children tend to have better outcomes with asthma treatment approaches and reducing the severity of asthma attacks.

Inhalers to the Rescue

There are two types of asthma inhalers, and once you know an asthma attack is incoming you are going to start to want to have a rescue inhaler in your hand. The Ventolin inhaler is an example of a very common rescue inhaler that people who have asthma may keep with them during the day. It’s a wise thing to do, as what these medications do is counter the airway constriction that is making it hard for you to breathe.

Maintenance inhalers are different, and they are ones you use on an ongoing basis to make your asthma attacks less intense. Many people with asthma will use both, and if you’re asking am I having an asthma attack it’s likely you haven’t purchased either – yet. If you’re not having one though you may want to look into what was causing you to be short of breath. COPD is also a bronchial disorder like and the symptoms of a COPD attack are very similar to that of asthma.

Am I having an asthma attack? You may well be, and it is best to know the symptoms.


IMPORTANT NOTE: The above information is intended to increase awareness of health information and does not suggest treatment or diagnosis. This information is not a substitute for individual medical attention and should not be construed to indicate that use of the drug is safe, appropriate, or effective for you. See your health care professional for medical advice and treatment.


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