When Should Someone Go to the ER for an Asthma Attack?

Asthma attacks occur when the airways become inflamed or swollen, making it difficult to breathe comfortably. While asthma attacks range in severity, serious asthma episodes may require emergency care at a hospital to resolve. Asthma flare-ups can occur anywhere and at any time; knowing the signs that an individual needs medical care to handle an asthma attack will help you act quickly in a serious situation.

Severe Symptoms

Asthma attacks are associated with several symptoms, depending on the cause for the attack, the age of the individual, and their general health. The most common symptoms of an asthma attack include wheezing, persistent coughing, rapid breathing, a sensation of pressure or tightness in the chest, and feelings of anxiety or panic. Individuals suffering an asthma attack may also appear pale, have difficulty talking, and develop a blue tinge to their lips or fingernails. In cases where asthma symptoms appear severe and significantly hinder breathing, it’s essential to seek emergency care quickly. Additionally, when asthma medication is not acting as it should or does not significantly reduce symptoms, visiting the ER allows patients to receive the fast and effective help they need.

Prolonged Symptoms

Prolonged asthma symptoms that don’t respond to normal treatment at home should always prompt a visit to the ER. It’s important to take action if breathing does not get easier over time, even if symptoms such as wheezing seem to disappear. Children and older individuals especially should not continue home treatment if asthma attack symptoms do not abate quickly or return soon after treatment, even with the use of a rescue inhaler or other medication. Additionally, if medication is not available to treat the asthma attack right away, visiting the ER will provide the individual with the right treatment to address symptoms immediately.

At West Hills Hospital , our goal is to provide you with the information you need to know when it’s time to seek emergency care in West Hills. You can find more helpful health articles on our website, or receive personalized health assistance by phone at (818) 676-4321.

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