Individuals with a diagnosis of asthma are very aware that at any time they run the risk of an asthma attack. There are three different stages of the asthma attack as there are asthma guidelines to help alleviate this from happing most of the time. The three stages of the asthma attack are:
- Moderate and mild asthma attacks.
- Asthma attacks that become severe.
- Second Wave of asthma attacks.
Moderate and mild asthma attacks are the most common of chronic asthma and it begins by a tightness within the chest cavity, before coughing up mucus. Restlessness and having difficulty sleeping during the night is another symptom of asthma and at these times the individual might prop up a few pillows and try going back to sleep in a semi-sitting position. Breathing is unusually laboring with wheezing and or a whistling sound when the individual is exhaling.
Individuals suffering from a severe asthma attack may become breathless and have difficulty even trying to talk. The individual’s neck muscles will become tight and hardened. The individual’s lips and fingernails may turn a grayish or bluish color from the lack of oxygen traveling through the body. This is a very dangerous time and can very easily become life threatening. The skin around the rib cage will slowly appear to be sucking in and the individual’s overall health will begin to deteriorate very rapidly.
Individuals in this severe asthma attack stage will be best to get emergency assistance as soon as possible. The paramedics are well equipped with oxygen and they will know how to assist the individual back into a healthier state of breathing before too much body oxygen is gone. The paramedics will stay with the individual all the way to the closest hospital and the staff at the hospital will already receive the alert of the individual’s estimated time of arrival.
Individuals who are not able to avoid allergens or those individuals whose symptoms of asthma are uncontrollable there are beta-2 agonists, but they also have side effects that the individual needs to be aware of. Some of these side effects as a cause and effect of beta-2 agonists are fast heart rate, anxiety, tremors, palpitations, and lowering of blood potassium, which is correctable by eating a banana once a day to replenish the lost potassium.
Symptoms of asthma are sometimes difficult to control with beta-2 agonists, and in these cases corticosteroids are an addition. Corticosteroids can improve lung function and reduce the airway obstruction over a shorter period of time. To decrease the deposition of medications on the throat from asthma inhalers, and increase the amount reaching the airways, spacers can be a helpful aid. These spacers are tube like chambers attached to the outlet of the MDI inhaler canister.
Symptoms of asthma also include the combination inhaler therapy which is new on the market today. The medications included with this combination inhaler are Advair and Symbicort which is a big improvement in the release of certain chemicals in the lungs like the family of histamine. This is with the additive of cromolyn sodium which works to prevent asthma attacks but has a very limited effect once acute asthma begins.
Individuals suffering an asthma attack or experiencing the causes of asthma turning severe experience the tightening up of the air passages in the lungs as the passageway becomes more narrow than under normal conditions. Breathing becomes very laboring and the lining of the lungs become very swollen and inflammatory. The coughing becomes incessant , wheezing is very strong, and the individual by this point is experiencing much pain in, around the chest area, and in the throat and neck area.