Acute asthma is defined as an acute exacerbation of wheezing, showing lack of responsiveness to effective therapy and necessitating emergency care.
Acute asthma is characterized as airway narrowing and inflammation, hyperinflation, impairment of pulmonary function, alveolar ventilation alterations and hypoxaemia.
In acute asthma, your diaphragm and chest walls become exhausted and the ability to adequately ventilate the air sacs in the lungs fall.
Enough oxygen does not get into the blood and therefore excess carbon dioxide cannot be removed.
Acute asthma symptoms:
Symptoms are similar to usual attack like wheezing, coughing, and shortness of breath. In acute asthma, symptoms persist and can even change in nature. Acute asthma attack can be frightening to you and the persons around you.
You become quiet and calm and focus on the struggle to breathe. Breathing becomes labored. Wheeze becomes louder, expiration is longer and inspiration is a short harsh gulp. The symptoms continue after using reliever medications or returns quickly after using it.
You may not be able to use peak flow and trying it under these circumstances can often make asthma worse. When situation worsens, your airways become clogged and air movement lessens.
Wheezing ceases at this point. It is called silent chest type asthma and it indicates that the airways are extremely narrow and very little air is moving in and out. You need immediate medical attention at this stage.
Tests and diagnosis for acute asthma:
When you are hospitalized, laboratory tests, electrocardiogram and chest x-ray are performed to determine lung function, oxygen levels and other indications to rule out the causes [Asthma test].
If you have severe asthma, you have low blood oxygen levels. The doctor checks the level of oxygen either by using sensing motor or by taking a sample of blood from an artery.
The doctor also checks pulmonary function with a spirometer or peak flow meter. Chest x-ray is required for severe asthma attacks.
Treatment for acute asthma:
Asthma Inhaler is used to deliver a dose of short acting beta agonist by the doctor. Corticosteroids are given if you do not respond to beta 2 agonist treatment. These drugs can be given intravenously or orally. If you are suspected with lung function, antibiotics are needed [Asthma Drugs].
Taking reliever medications are not recommended unless you actually have symptoms. Discuss with your doctor about taking medications. Drink lots of fluids as part of your recovery as this will help to prevent dehydration and make the excessive mucus easier remove.
When you have attack, remain calm and try to slow down your breathing as much as you can. It not only helps you relax, but also conserves your strength.
Acute asthma is less frightening and dangerous when you follow asthma action plan. The plan includes removing or reducing the exposure to asthma triggers that are contributing to attack.
Asthma action plan includes all the symptoms you face at different times, medications you take during the attack and emergency phone numbers to call emergency care.