How to Deal with Asthma Attacks

asthma inhaler
Asthma is the most common respiratory illness today in the U.S., where the symptoms and treatment should be taken seriously. Knowing if your asthma attack is minor or severe will determine how to deal with the asthma attack. Severe cases can be life-threatening. Read on to find out more on how to deal with asthma attacks, and how to get help.

Common Symptoms of an Asthma Attack

Knowing if your symptoms are common or mild can help you determine what kind of treatment you will need. Everyone is different and may need to consult a doctor for the best assistance. Before an asthma attack, you may feel tired, have allergy-type symptoms, or become more tired than usual after an activity.
Common symptoms include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Tightening of the chest
  • Difficulty talking
  • Wheezing or coughing

A minor attack should not be taken lightly, as it can become severe without proper treatment. If you experience the following signs, your asthma may be worsening:

  • Confusion
  • Lips that are turning blue
  • Not enough airflow to wheeze
  • Low blood pressure
  • Slow heart rate

Seek immediate medical attention if an asthma attack becomes severe.

Common Triggers

Depending on the person, triggers can differ. They include:

  • Allergens such as pollen, dust, pet dander
  • Chemical fumes, strong odors, smoke; irritants to the lungs
  • Respiratory infections
  • The strenuous exercise
  • Dry air
  • Humidity
  • Stress and intense emotions
  • Gastroesophageal reflux

Action Plan

Your doctor, more than likely, has created an action plan for you. It is the steps to take when an asthma attack is occurring. It will ensure you are accepting all the right steps to get through the asthma attack and give yourself proper treatment.
The plan should include:

  • Steps to take for a severe attack
  • Information to identify symptoms that signal the offense is getting worse
  • Medication to take
  • How much medicine to take


Follow your action plan to treat your symptoms properly. You may use a peak flow meter to measure your peak expiratory flow (PEF) reading. Your doctor uses this to determine if your treatment options are working or not. Your text should be between 100 to 80 percent. If it’s 50 to 80 percent, it means you’re having an asthma attack. If it’s below 50 percent, it is categorized as severe and needs emergency medical attention. For milder symptoms, a nebulizer can be used, especially for kids. Repeat the treatment until symptoms subside. The same goes for an inhaler.

Emergency Care

If your symptoms are so severe that you cannot speak, shortness of breath, low PEF reading, and no relief from your nebulizer or inhaler, go to an emergency room.

Need Help? Contact Us!

We hope you found this article informative on how to deal with asthma attacks. Never take your symptoms too lightly, and follow the treatment action plan your doctor outlines for you. If you need help or would like to talk to a professional about how to deal with asthma attacks, contact us today!