The chronic disease of asthma is very serious and the death of sufferers is not unknown.
The tubes that pass air in and out of your lungs, are known as your airways, it is these that become inflamed during an attack.
The swelling of the airways is extremely sensitive and they will react to someone’s existing allergies with potentially serious consequences.
Airways constrict and therefore far less air can get to the tissues of the lungs.
Cells in the airways are prone to producing much more mucus than is normal, this can make narrowing even more acute.
The result is wheezing, which is the description given to the whistling sound that can be heard while an individual is struggling to breathe. Also tightening of the chest and coughing can occur.
A patient can become panicked which will exasperate the whole situation. The severity of an asthma attack can vary greatly.
Most sufferers use asthma inhalers which can help them with their breathing. They must ensure that it is always carried about them. Spare refills for the inhaler should also be safely stored away, just in case.
During a very severe attack insufficient air will get to a patient’s vital organs. At this point emergency medical intervention will be required.
Asthma attacks over 17 million people in America alone and it is on the rise amongst children. The elderly and the very young can avail of breathing machines known as nebulisers. Steroids and other drugs are commonly used for adults.