If you’re prone to asthma, it’s important that you learn to recognize signs that an asthma attack is worsening. Without prompt medical treatment, a severe asthma attack can lead to serious health complications and premature death.
At Houston Family MD office in Cypress, Texas, Dr. Ranjit Grewal offers comprehensive asthma-management services for people with chronic asthma. We also provide urgent care services for people experiencing medical emergencies due to an asthma attack.
Because we offer treatment exclusively through telemedicine and home visits, you can get reliable care for your asthma symptoms when you need it most.
Why you have asthma
Asthma is a chronic respiratory disease that causes sudden inflammation in your airways, the tubes that carry air into your lungs. The inflammation narrows your airways and makes it difficult for you to move air in and out of your lungs.
During an asthma attack, your lungs also produce excess mucus that further complicates your breathing and triggers symptoms like:
- Chest tightness
- Persistent coughing
- Shortness of breath
While it’s not clear why some people get asthma, there is a connection between asthma and allergies. You may also be at increased risk for asthma because of your family history.
Causes of asthma attacks
Exposure to allergens or irritants in your environment can cause an asthma attack. You may also experience an attack because of:
- Physical activity
- Exposure to cold air
- Use of certain medications
Asthma symptoms can worsen if you have an upper respiratory infection or if you have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a chronic condition in which stomach acids flow back up into your esophagus.
When to seek emergency medical care for an asthma attack
People with mild to moderate symptoms are often able to control asthma with fast-acting inhalers. There are also medications that prevent an asthma attack from developing.
However, if you have a new asthma diagnosis or notice changes in your asthma symptoms even with treatment, you may need to schedule an urgent care appointment or visit the nearest hospital emergency room if you have:
- Worsening breathing difficulties
- Shortness of breath with minimal activity
- Persistent wheezing
- Persistent coughiing
- Chest pain
- Rapid breathing
You also need immediate medical care if you can’t speak in full sentences, feel agitated or confused, or notice changes in the color of your skin on your lips, face, and fingernails.
Treatment options for severe asthma symptoms
To prevent complications of asthma, we can provide stronger medications to reduce airway inflammation. You may also need supplemental oxygen or inhaled steroids to improve the flow of air through your airways.
We can also perform follow-up testing to check your blood oxygen levels and evaluate your overall lung function after your treatment. We may prescribe a stronger medication to control your asthma symptoms during an attack.
If your asthma is triggered by known allergens or other substances, you need to make changes to your life and diet to prevent another attack.
If you need urgent care for severe symptoms of an asthma attack, call our office, or book your appointment online today to schedule an evaluation.