Schedule Your Vaccine

Asthma Exacerbation: Causes, Symptoms, and When to Visit Urgent Care?

Asthma Exacerbation: Causes, Symptoms, and When to Visit Urgent Care?

July 1, 2021

Asthma is a persistent lung condition that restricts air passageways affecting your airflow. It causes swelling and increases the amount of mucus produced. This may make breathing difficult and initiate a bout of coughing, shortness of breath, and difficulty doing menial tasks.

Asthma symptoms appear periodically. A flare-up of the symptoms is known as attacks or an exacerbation. During an exacerbation, your airway lining becomes inflamed. The bronchial tubes contract and normal breathing becomes laborious. This disease can be life threatening; hence, it is advisable to seek proper urgent care for an asthma attack.

What Causes an Acute Exacerbation?

Individuals with asthma may not experience symptoms for an extended period. Different asthma triggers cause it in combination. They vary for every person. They are:

  • Cold and dry air
  • Stress
  • Respiratory infections
  • Exercise
  • Allergens like dust, mold, or pollen
  • Pet dander from cats and dogs
  • Smoking
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease

What Are the Symptoms of an Asthma Exacerbation?

Being able to identify the signs of an attack is critical to enforce immediate intervention. They range from mild to severe and include:

  • Coughing
  • Whistling sound
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Painful chest tightening
  • Feelings of panic
  • Sweating
  • Blue fingernails and lips
  • Rapid breathing
  • Difficulty talking
  • Increased heart rate

Mild exacerbation is more likely to occur and last for a few hours after administering asthma exacerbation treatment or by itself. Severe episodes are less common and hold out for a longer time. They are characterized by failure to respond to a rescue inhaler. Recognizing mild symptoms early help to control the occurrence of severe attacks. Early warning signs include:

  • Chronic cough mostly at night
  • Fatigue
  • Being easily irritated and experiencing mood swings
  • Decreasing peak flow meter reading
  • Losing your breath
  • Sneezing
  • Nasal congestion
  • Headaches
  • Sore throat
  • Insomnia
  • Running nose
  • Wheezing during tasking activities

These symptoms take place before you get an exacerbation and may not hinder your daily activities. They serve to indicate your condition is becoming worse.

What Do I Do If I Get An Asthma Exacerbation?

The proper response to an asthma attack is recognizing and treating an asthma episode promptly. Enforce the treatment plan you laid out with the physician. Your treatment plan should cater to what to do when your asthma symptoms become unbearable and how to deal with an asthma exacerbation episode.

Use your quick-acting (rescue) inhaler, and if the symptoms improve, home interventions are enough. Persistent symptoms present even after administering medication per your plan may indicate the need to seek walk-in urgent care for a breathing treatment. They include:

  • Straining chest muscles to breath
  • Low peak readings on a peak flow meter
  • Severe breathlessness

People around you may give you First Aid if you do not have a set plan. The steps are as follows:

  1. Sit in an upright position and unfasten tight clothes.
  2. Administer asthma medication like an inhaler.
  3. Avoid using another person’s inhaler. If the patient doesn’t have one, utilize the one in a first aid kit.
  4. Shake the inhaler
  5. Ask them to breathe out and place their mouth tightly on the mouthpiece.
  6. Push the inhaler once for a puff
  7. Ask the patient to breathe in slowly by their mouth and hold it for 10 seconds.
  8. Administer four puffs in intervals of one minute. Wait for four minutes and give another round of breaths.

Asthma changes over time, meaning you’ll have to attend scheduled sessions with your doctor to adjust your treatment plan periodically. Controlled symptoms minimize the chance of an asthma exacerbation. While a treatment plan cannot cure asthma forever, it may contain it into a virtual cure.

Are There Any Risk Factors Of an Asthma Exacerbation?

Everyone who has asthma is at risk of experiencing an acute attack. Chances are more significant if you had had one before, especially if it was severe enough to warrant urgent care near you. Other risk factors may be:

  • Utilizing more than two rescue inhalers in one month
  • Having unexpected asthma exacerbations
  • Presence of other chronic health conditions
  • Smoking
  • Non-adherence to asthma medication as directed
  • A cold, flu, or any other respiratory Diseases

Consider Sunrise Urgent Care for your breathing treatment in Richmond, TX. We are well equipped to handle emergencies efficiently.

Call Now Book Now