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Asthma Attack

Just wondered, as I'm newly diagnosed, how would I know if I was having an asthma attack as opposed to just having my usual symptoms (Heavy/tight chest, slight shortness of breath).

On a few occasions I've had my symptoms and I've had to have about 8 puffs of ventolin to make it go away. But its never got where I cant talk or anything, in fact anyone else would just think I was fine as I dont wheeze, its not that obvious I'm breathing more rapidly and of course only you know your chest is tight. My doc said an asthma attack isn't always like you see on telly where you're gasping for breath. But ive never seen anyone have one.

5 Replies

an asthma attack, is the tightest feeling like the worst kinda episode you'll have, it'll take alot to shift and take like10 and it'll be bad again in afew hours for me,everyone's is different, have yo been given a peek flow and asthma plan? if you're not sure refer to that, if you're lips go blue- sign of lack of oxygen. even though you're not sure howit's going to be, you'll know when you get one. you just will x


Hi, thanks for your reply. Yeah I have a peak flow meter but it doesn't always relate to how I'm feeling and rarely dips below 80% of my personal best even when its at its worst. I dont have a plan, should I? What would it tell me? (Sorry if its really obvious, just not something I've heard of)


hi- it took me ages to get my head around the fact that even small 'episodes' where any of the symptoms mean you are having an attack. i kept saying im ok cos ive been like this for weeks when i was eventually hospitalised after visiting my gp nurse for a completely unrelated problem and being sent directly to jail (well ok hospital!)and when there the staff kept saying yep youve been having constant acute asthma attacks for weeks!

i will say though - and i hope you never experience this- but you will know when you are having a serious attack as it can feel like you are dying (and sadly in some cases as i was told when i tried to leave hospital, they do).it isnt always like on the telly but sometimes it will get to grips with what needs an inhaler and what needs a visit to a + e-honestly x


A severe attack for me means the inhalers no longer work. My shoulders and chest expand like a pigeon....I wheeze, sweat and shake. I can't speak nor walk very well. Very little air goes in or out of my lungs and I begin to feel dizzy. My lungs feel like solid cement. I feel sick and panicky. I grab hold of anything solid in front of me....I try anything to expand my chest/lungs further; to get more air in. I get so exhausted that I worry I won't be able to keep awake and have to fight to keep my eyes open.


Thanks everyone for your replies, I feel a lot more informed now and will hopefully be prepared should I ever experience and attack.

Hope you're all keeping well.


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