An asthma attack is an acute deterioration in the course of this disease, which is accompanied by asphyxiation, coughing and shortness of breath. Its development indicates the ineffectiveness of basic therapy. After its relief, it is important to promptly consult a specialist for the correction of the treatment regimen.
Causes of development and clinical picture
An asthmatic attack develops for various reasons. The main ones are as follows:
- Insufficient efficacy of basic therapy drugs.
- Acute diseases of the respiratory system.
- Contact with the allergen.
- Excessive physical exertion.
- Serious stress.
In some cases, an attack of bronchial asthma can develop without a visible provocative factor.
An attack of difficulty breathing may begin unexpectedly. Sometimes so-called precursors of an attack occur in patients before suffocation. Most often they develop with allergic bronchial asthma:
- frequent sneezing;
- nasal discharge;
- discomfort in the throat;
The asthma attack in case of bronchial asthma of non-allergic origin will foreshadow the following signs:
- anxiety state;
- severe weakness;
It is very important for every patient with asthma to know what precursors are and how an exacerbation can begin.
With such knowledge, a person will be able to prevent the development of an attack of asthma before it even starts. Most often after the appearance of precursors, an attack begins within 3-5 minutes.
Clinic of bronchial asthma attack includes several very characteristic symptoms:
- state of psycho-emotional arousal;
- forced posture of the patient.
Dyspnea develops in a patient with difficulty breathing out. Coughing up at the same time will be almost impossible. In rare cases, when a patient produces a large amount of mucus, this can lead to the development of asphyxia.
On the background of hypoxia, the patient feels some psycho-emotional arousal, as well as weakness. Forcing the patient during an attack of bronchial asthma helps him to somewhat reduce the severity of symptoms. Such a posture implies a certain inclination of the body forward, supported by a table or headboard. In addition, an attack of asthma can be accompanied by the development of strong coughing and sneezing. The patient sometimes rises in body temperature to subfibril numbers.
Frequency and features of development
An asthma attack can be repeated with different frequency. This indicator is one of the main in determining the severity of bronchial asthma.
Mild intermittent flow is characterized by an asthma attack less than 1 time per week.
If it occurs weekly, but not every day, shortness of breath appears, but not suffocation, then they talk about a mild persistent course of bronchial asthma. With daily single attacks, the doctors diagnose “Persistent bronchial asthma of moderate severity.” In cases where bouts of bronchial asthma develop daily several times, we are talking about a severe course of the disease.
Of considerable importance is the time of an attack of bronchial asthma. Their appearance at night is considered more threatening than during the day. With a mild intermittent course of the disease, nightly asthma attacks do not bother the patient more than 2 times a month. If they appear weekly, but not daily, then they talk about a mild persistent course. Persistent bronchial asthma of moderate severity is characterized by daily single nightly bouts. If a patient has several such exacerbations every night, this indicates a severe course of asthma.
Determination of the frequency of asthma attacks is necessary for the further appointment of rational basic therapy. If the drugs and their dosages are prescribed correctly, then this can generally save the patient from episodes of asphyxiation and reduce shortness of breath.
On the severity of the condition
Asthma attack in bronchial asthma can occur in completely different ways. To date, a classification has been created that divides all such manifestations into several degrees:
A mild patient attack is accompanied by the following clinical picture:
- ability to speak fully preserved;
- there is some psycho-emotional arousal;
- the patient remains in physical activity;
- dyspnea practically absent or insignificant;
- the auxiliary muscles are not involved in the act of breathing;
- the patient may slightly increase body temperature;
- heart rate increased slightly.
Most often, the difficulty of breathing of this severity passes quickly and independently, without the use of drugs for its relief.
An attack of moderate severity causes the development of the following symptoms:
- the patient speaks in separate phrases, as he does not have enough air for a longer speech fragment;
- his physical activity is limited, but he is able to perform a certain amount of work;
- participation of auxiliary muscles during respiration is observed;
- the patient has a clear psycho-emotional arousal;
- there is noticeable shortness of breath;
- due to insufficient blood saturation with oxygen, the heart rate increases.
The most dangerous stages
With this severity of the attack, the patient already has to resort to the use of special medicines in light and medium doses.
For severe attacks of bronchial asthma, the following clinical picture is typical:
- the patient tries not to make unnecessary movements;
- he is in a forced posture, leaning forward and leaning on something with his hands;
- the patient is able to pronounce only single words;
- the person is in a frightened state;
- auxiliary muscles are very actively involved in breathing;
- heart rate may increase to 110-120 per minute;
- shortness of breath is pronounced (the frequency of respiratory movements is 25-30 per minute);
- sometimes the patient has a slightly lower temperature.
To relieve such severe asthma attacks, it is necessary to use drugs in high doses.
A severe attack that develops during bronchial asthma can lead to the formation of an asthmatic status. It is a much more threatening condition.
If the so-called asthmatic status develops, this will be accompanied by the following symptoms:
- a person is not able to talk;
- the patient practically does not show physical activity;
- there is confusion or coma;
- the patient has signs of dyspnea (shortness of breath or often uneven breathing);
- when breathing, pronounced participation of auxiliary muscles is observed;
- the work of auxiliary muscles may be uneven;
- costal intervals may fall;
- heart rate is reduced (less than 60 per minute).
The relief of asthmatic status is carried out at once with several high-dose preparations. Treatment of this condition, if possible, is carried out in the intensive care unit and intensive care.
What to do during an attack and how to prevent it?
In an asthma attack, the symptoms are fairly easy to distinguish. It is important for each patient to know what to do in this condition. For its relief, it is necessary to use an inhaler with a drug prescribed by the attending physician (Salbutamol, Budesonide). If bouts of coughing with breathlessness have arisen for the first time, then the procedure should be as follows:
- Call the ambulance brigade.
- Remove all clothing that impedes chest movement and restricts breathing (tie, shirt, jacket, etc.).
- Windows should be opened to improve air access to the room.
- Bend forward and rest on some surface to improve the work of the auxiliary muscles.
- You must try to calm down.
- You need to start breathing smoothly.
- If dyspnea does not diminish, and the ambulance team has not arrived yet, you need to ask someone to pour hot water into the basin. The patient should place the feet there.
Most often, this set of measures helps to relieve breathing difficulties of mild severity.
After the ambulance team arrives, it is necessary to inform the specialists about the measures taken. If an inhaler was used, it should be shown to physicians.
To determine the necessary treatment, specialists specify the patient’s respiratory status. After that, they can enter the following drugs:
- Remedy Prednisolone (or Dexamethasone) in combination with the drug Eufillin.
- Drug adrenaline.
- Means Ephedrine in combination with the drug Atropine.
The patient is usually offered hospitalization to relieve the exacerbation of bronchial asthma. During the time the ambulance crews are in the car, they usually put a special mask on their face through which air with a high oxygen content enters the body. At the same time, dyspnea significantly decreases, and the general condition improves.
If you follow all the recommendations of specialists aimed at preventing the development of seizures, then the patient may not be faced with sudden suffocation. Prevention of attacks is carried out through the following activities:
- The correct and timely use of drugs of basic therapy prescribed by the attending physician.
- Timely and fully necessary to treat diseases such as pharyngitis, laryngitis, bronchitis and other pathologies of the respiratory system.
- Avoid factors that are accompanied by the development of an attack (the effects of an allergen, hypothermia, excessive insolation, dusty rooms, tobacco smoke).
- Avoid serious psycho-emotional overstrain.
- Avoid unnecessary physical exertion.
Currently, almost 5% of the population of the planet has bronchial asthma. Attacks in this disease can be very dangerous. It is proper prevention will make them much more rare, or even get rid of this manifestation of bronchial asthma.