When you have asthma you know there is a constant threat on a new acute asthma attack. You probably are taking your prescribed medicines and these will help you fight most allergens, but not all. It is not easy to take in account that an attack might happen every minute of the day. In the United States alone, 3% of all children beneath 17 has a diagnosis with asthma and they fight to this dilemma everyday.
When your body is triggered by an asthma initiator we speak of an acute asthma attack. You can take medication against hay fever, wheat and other alike allergens but you can not take medication against non specific asthma initiators. An initiator increases the chance on an asthma attack. Common initiators are Sinusitis, colds, respiratory infections, bronchitis, smoking and some type of drugs. Even women having their period have a bigger chance on a new attack.
Besides these, there are more initiators you can not always control. Exercising in cold weather cases a dry throat and this is another initiator. Others are laughing, screaming, crying and stress.
Although there is good treatment for asthma, it still is a serious condition and sometimes the effects are underestimated. Most people know they have asthma and they have it under control because they are using medication like inhalers containing corticosteroids. However, not all people know they have asthma and the onset can be very traumatizing. When you have an acute asthma attack, your are triggered by one of the allergens or initiators mentioned. This causes the upper airway to contract and in sometimes this leads to severe breathing problems. Some very rare cases even report death.
However, most of the time the person himself is able to react on time and take his own medication. In other events a hospital is mostly nearby. In very rare cases the medication will not work properly to stop an attack. In that case you should always call for immediate help. Important symptoms of an acute asthma attack are:
*Shortness of breath
*Body parts are turning blue because of oxygen shortage
*You are not able to talk/stand/sit
Whenever you encounter someone with these symptoms, always ask if he has medication with him. If he is not able to answer than search his/her pockets for an inhaler. There is always a small change the inhaler will not work, in that case you need to call an ambulance.