If your child suffers from asthma, it is important for you, them, and any authority in their life to be aware of an attack’s warning signs. Not everyone realizes that asthma manifests itself in a variety of ways, not just the inability to breathe. Make sure you learn to identify and watch for these 6 asthma warning signs.
6 Signs an Asthma Attack is About to Occur
Keep in mind that not all of the following signs are cookie-cutter symptoms. They tend to vary in severity and in how often they occur. That said, some common warning signs of an asthma attack include the following.
1. Tight Neck or Chest
As your child’s airways constrict, they might notice a sudden tightening in their neck and chest muscles. This usually acts as an early indicator of an asthma attack. As the muscles constrict and oxygen intake is reduced, it will be difficult for your child to get anything more than a shallow breath.
2. Severe Wheezing or Coughing
Of course, an asthma attack typically includes coughing attacks that take over the whole body. Particularly in individuals who suffer from exercise-induced asthma, wheezing is common after physical activity. While oxygen can still enter the body even when coughing or wheezing, the attack may worsen over a short period of time.
3. Blue Lips
Blue lips or fingernails indicate when there is a lack of oxygen in the blood. Fatigue or brain fog may follow, but ultimately, blue lips indicate an oncoming asthma attack.
4. Sudden Anxiety
Another common (but rarely considered) asthma attack warning sign is anxiety. However, it is important here to distinguish between a symptom and a warning sign. Sudden panic is not typically a symptom of asthma (unless the individual has lost all ability to breathe). Rather, asthma is often physically triggered by anxiety or panic. In other words, if your child suddenly finds themself feeling anxious, they should consider that an asthma attack may soon occur as a result.
5. Pale Face and Sweating
The body often breaks out into a cold sweat when an asthma attack is about to occur. This can stem from the difficult breathing, anxiety, or strain on the body to take in oxygen. Likewise, a pale face and sweating often go hand in hand.
6. Difficulty Speaking
When the airways constrict and prevent oxygen from entering the body, it often messes with other basic functions. The brain becomes clouded, which makes it difficult to formulate thoughts and speak. Shortness of breath also causes difficulty speaking.
The Importance of Monitoring Lung Health
One of the best ways to guard against asthma attacks is to monitor your child’s lung health. Carefully keeping track of triggers, symptoms, warning signs, and attacks provides important data for both you and your health care provider. Additionally, using an at-home spirometry test to monitor your child’s daily lung function indicates increased and decreased lung capacity.
Empower your child to maintain their asthma by teaching them about their lung health. Knowledge is the best tool for a healthy lifestyle.