Are you having trouble breathing, and there is a whistling sound (wheezing) when you breathe? The chances are that you have asthma. It is a common respiratory condition that is known to narrow your airways, thus making breathing difficult.
To some people, it causes minor irritations that can be ignored, but others experience life-threatening symptoms and need to be rushed to an urgent care near you. Asthma is a severe disease and has affected nearly 25 million Americans.
It is responsible for about two million visits to ERs each year. Asthma is a condition that has no cure, but the symptoms can be managed. With proper management, you can live an enjoyable life.
Symptoms of Asthma
Before you get an asthma attack, there are warning signs that show a few moments before or at the beginning of the attack. These symptoms typically show before you get the common asthma symptoms and indicate that your asthma is worsening.
These symptoms could be severe enough to interrupt your daily activities. Recognizing them will help you prevent or stop an attack. The early signs may include:
- Shortness of breath or easily losing your breath
- Frequent cough, mostly at night
- Coughing or wheezing after exercise
- Trouble sleeping
- Signs of allergies or cold, like sore throat, headache, runny nose, sneezing, and nasal congestion
- Feeling tired, grouchy, easily upset or moody
- Feeling weak or tired when sleeping
When exposed to certain triggers, you might get an asthma attack. This is when the muscles surrounding your airways tighten. Then, the lining of the airways starts swelling. When this happens, you might experience the following symptoms:
- Coughing that won’t stop
- Very fast breathing
- Severe wheezing when you breathe
- Chest pressure or pain
- Difficulty talking
- Blue lips or fingernails
- Feelings of panic or anxiety
- Tightened chest and neck muscles
These symptoms are known to escalate rapidly, so when you experience them, call our healthcare professionals at Alamo Urgent Care in Marbach.
It is also essential to note that the symptoms of asthma in children because they can develop asthma as early as five years. Watch out for the following symptoms:
- Shallow or fast breathing
- Coughing when playing, laughing or at night
- Wheezing when breathing
- Seesaw movement on their chest because of breathing difficulty
- Pausing to catch their breath or less energy when playing
At times, the only symptom that can show will be chronic coughing, so it is best to contact our doctors at Alamo City Urgent Care in Shaenfield when you notice the above symptoms.
Causes of Asthma
Sadly enough, we still do not know the exact cause of asthma. What is known is that the causes differ from person to person. Possibly, asthma can be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors.
When exposed to certain triggers, it can trigger allergies, which can exhibit asthma symptoms. The triggers include:
- Physical activity
- Airborne allergens like dust mites, spores, mold, pollen, cockroach waste or pet dander
- Cold air
- Respiratory infections like the common cold
- Air irritants and pollutants like smoke
- Strong stress and emotions
- GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease)
- Certain medications like beta-blockers
Treatment for Asthma Attack
When you get to our urgent care in San Antonio, our doctor must run some tests to ascertain whether you have asthma and the severity of your condition.
Lung function tests will be conducted to examine how your lungs are working. The lung (pulmonary) function tests include:
- Pulse oximetry
- Nitric oxide measurement
- Peak flow
When you have a treatment plan, then it is advisable that you follow the treatment plan that your doctor created for you. The treatment might involve taking roughly two to six puffs of the inhaler to expand your airways.
For small children, inhalers are a bit tricky; therefore, you can use nebulizers instead. If necessary, you can repeat using the nebulizer after 20 minutes.
If you try this and there is still shortness of breath, you need to visit our Urgent Care in San Antonio. When you get to the urgent care near you, expect the following treatment:
- Oral corticosteroids
- Short-acting beta-agonists
- Intubation to aid in breathing
When Should You Go to an Urgent Care Center for an Asthma Attack?
As a rule of thumb, if you try to treat the symptoms at home and are not getting better, you need to get to our Alamo City Urgent Care in Shaenfield. However, you need to make your way to the hospital if you experience the following:
- Straining chest muscles
- Intense shortness of breath
- Difficulty speaking
- Collapsing or fainting
- Very rapid breathing
Asthma attacks are known to be life-threatening, so you need to seek medical assistance from our professionals at Alamo Urgent Care in Marbach when you exhibit the symptoms.