What is an asthma attack?


In bronchial asthma there is a permanent hypersensitivity of the bronchial mucosa. The bronchial mucosa is the innermost layer in the area of the airways. Although bronchial asthma is a chronic disease, the typical symptoms do not usually occur permanently, but typically in attacks.

One then speaks of an acute asthma attack. An acute asthma attack can be triggered by a variety of triggers. An acute irritation of the bronchial mucosa occurs.

The mucous membrane thickens and swells. This leads to an acute narrowing of the airways. This leads to attacks of shortness of breath.

In addition, the bronchial mucosa often forms a lot of mucus during an acute attack. This leads to coughing with a thick mucus that can only be coughed up with difficulty. Due to the narrowing of the airways and the significantly increased production of mucus, the asthma-typical breathing sounds, the so-called gulling and humming, also occur.

First aid for an asthma attack

In the case of an acute asthma attack, the timely application of an emergency spray is absolutely crucial. Relatives of patients with asthma should therefore always know where an emergency spray is kept. The spray should always be carried along.

If a stranger meets a person with an acute asthma attack and the patient is still responsive, the spray should be asked for immediately. If the patient can no longer use it himself, but is still awake, the stranger should push the mouthpiece into the patient’s mouth, give a stroke and instruct the patient to inhale deeply. The best position for an awake patient with an asthma attack is a sitting position with the arms resting on the thighs.

In any case, if no asthma inhaler is available or the spray does not provide relief, the emergency services should be called immediately. An asthma attack can be potentially life-threatening. Read more about asthma inhaler:

  • Asthma inhaler – What you must pay attention to! – Emergency spray for asthma

The duration of an asthma attack

The duration of an asthma attack is very variable. It can last a few minutes or even several hours. If an asthma attack occurs, the emergency spray prescribed by the doctor should be used as soon as possible.

If one stroke is not sufficient, a second stroke can be inhaled after a few minutes. After using the emergency spray, the symptoms should disappear significantly within a few minutes and the attack should end within a short time. In some cases, the use of an emergency spray is not sufficient to stop a seizure. In such cases, the rescue service should be informed promptly or the patient should be taken to a clinic immediately.