It is not only important to know and recognize signs of early asthma but also be able to recognize worsening signs of this disorder in order to be prepared to deal with it effectively. The symptoms of asthma range from almost unnoticeable to life threatening emergencies that require immediate medical attention and a wide spectrum in between these two categories. In order to be able to treat and act on your asthma control it is important that you have a good knowledge of all the symptoms. This understanding will go a long way in controlling your asthma. Another helpful aid in treating your asthma is monitoring your symptoms and attacks over time keeping notes of any information you deem important or connected to your own particular symptoms. When an asthmatic can easily recognize the onset of mild symptoms may well have a better chance of preventing an attack. If you do not know the signs of a severe attack you might delay taking necessary medications leading to a risk of a major asthma attack and possible hospitalization.
There are often some small symptoms or indicators preceding the classical signs of asthma attack which could include: allergy like symptoms such as an irritating itchy throat or persistent runny nose, an increased coughing at night, during physical activity such as exercise a pronounced wheezing or coughing, fatigue when carrying on normal activities you usually have no problem with, a decrease in peak expiratory flow rate, restless sleep or waking up still tired, other increased allergy symptoms such as dark circles around eyes or itchy inflamed skin. When you are diagnosed with diabetes your doctor will help you plan and implement an asthma care plan. This is a working plan in writing which will guide you through living with asthma and also help you recognize your own symptoms so when they occur or worsen you will be prepared to deal with them calmly and effectively.
If the early signs of asthma are not recognized the more classical signs will appear including such symptoms as: chest tightness, chronic coughing, a shortness of breath and wheezing. These are signs that your airways are narrowing and getting more serious, possibly enabling you from completing normal activities you may be engaged in. As this happens you may also experience: the feeling of hearing yourself wheeze, more shortness of breath, a nagging cough that won’t go away that bothers you day and night. You may have sleeping problems such as difficulty falling asleep or getting a full night’s sleep. Your PEFRS hover in the yellow range and the quick relief medications fail to have any positive affect. Your asthma care plan will advise you now to get in touch with your family doctor and decide what more you should do.
When should you go to a hospital or emergency center? When your asthma is extreme enough that can not perform your regular activities. You will then be in the red zone of your asthma care plan and this is when you require prompt medical care before it develops into a more advanced life threatening situation. Red zone emergency symptoms of asthma will include: severe wheezing while inhaling and exhaling, accelerated breathing, dramatic shortness of breath and difficulty in communicating, feeling of impending doom, heavy sweating, inability to perform PEFR and blue coloration around fingertips or mouth known as cyanosis.
Although early detection and warning of asthma attacks are beneficial and possibly life saving, they are not always easy to see. There are some things though that will help in keeping your asthma under control such as monitoring all your symptoms and sticking to the asthma action plan, identifying and avoid the triggers that induce your attacks, keep note of and track your various symptoms, follow your treatment plan and go over it with your doctor regularly and make sure you keep in touch with your doctor when things change with your asthma.