Medical reports indicate that approximately 20 million Americans suffer from asthma. 10% of American children and 5% of the adult population cope with this condition. Asthma is recognized as a serious medical ailment that although it cannot be cured, it can be managed with appropriate medical care and treatment.
Asthma is a condition that affects the main bronchial tubes in the lungs. There is a constant flow of air that goes in and out of airways, during the course of an asthma attack the chest tightens up; the bronchial tubes inflame making it more difficult to breathe. During this time, breathing begins to sound more like wheezing, as the mucous begins to fill bronchial tubes. As symptoms worsen, so do the sounds of the persons breathing. Breathing may become hoarser, even squeekish.
Some of the most common identifiers of asthma flare up are coughing, breathlessness, wheezing, tightening in the chest area, quickening of the heart rate. The patient also experiences stress and anxiety during the flare up.
Asthma attacks range from mild to severe. Severe attacks can be life threatening. Some may last only a few minutes or hours and some may last for days. It is critical to assess and monitor the patient’s condition continuously once an asthma attack has begun. Begin preventing progression of the attack promptly in accordance with your doctor’s plans.
Mild flare-ups are noticeable when a person begins to show slight difficulty walking, talking, exercising, and breathing. A breath PEAK flow reading show range between 80% -100%, mild flare ups can be managed by slowing down, relaxing and taking any preventative medications that the physician has prescribed.
Moderate flare-ups are indicative when a person struggles to talk and breathing becomes complicated. A noticeable loud wheezing emits during breathing, checking to assure that the patients breath PEAK flow rate is between 50%-80% is advised continue to monitor this as needed. Taking fast-acting medications prescribed by the patient’s physician is recommended.
Severe Flare-ups are obvious. The patient is breathless in any position, walking, standing or sitting. They are unable to talk due to the breathlessness and have a PEAK flow reading of 50% or less. When a PEAK flow reading is at this phase, it is critical to seek emergency medical treatment. Other noticeable identifying symptoms of extreme danger are a drop in patients pulse, lips or fingernails turn a tint of blue, there is obvious difficulty intaking air as nostrils flare. If the patient displays any of these symptoms call 911 for immediate assistance.