Asthma UK community forum

The different between a Panic attack and an asthma attack

I have only had a panic attack once in my whole life and that was many many years ago. The memory is still vivid and his was a decade before my initial diagnosis of asthma.

On Monday night I had an asthma attack just after I gone to bed. I had had a tight chest 7 hours before which I treated with 4 puffs of ventolin. The tightness had responsed to it and had gone away.

On the Monday night the tightness had come on slowly and I sat calmly in bed trying to analyse what was going on.

I did my ventolin up to 10 puffs and it was still there. Consquencely I followed my asthma plan to the T.

Being in the middle of the countryside I decided an ambulance was required I knew where to take myself to be looked at but that was 30 min drive away and I was the driver.

I call 999 and a family friend as ambulance was going to be up to 4 hours with more life emergencies.

I wasn't breathless but still had tight chest and a irritation to my throat plus small cough.

The ambulance crew did come in 30 mins by that point I still had tightness to my chest and had 4 more puffs,

I checked out fine except blood pressure was a bit high something that happened twice in an ambulance. I had checked out at doctors. I am going to do it again next week when I see a GP who wants to see me. As this attack was on prednisolone and reducing dose (25mg).

I was under some strain with my dad in hospital but also was staying at my parents in a very dusty atmosphere. (house dust mite allergy confirmed).

The upshot was the paramedic asking if it could be a panic attack instead?

7 Replies

Could it have been, no. You just said you were staying in a very dusty atmosphere. That will have been making your asthma steadily worse. You gotta avoid these triggers.


Not easy done when staying this week with parents my dad was in hospital added to the strain of things.

Replacement of my parents vacuum cleaner to a better model wasn't on top priority.

Plan of moving forward is going back to see one of my GPs on Tuesday. Still waiting for consultant appointment in hopefully good time,


After rereading your long essay. Can just say my actual asthma attacks are a slow decline, where as a panic one is a quick onslaught, did you take ten inhalations one after another, because that might indicate a degree of panic ( nearly two in the morning cant sleep)


Hi M-D-F hope this message gets to you in the morning.I am awake due to blocked nose. In answer to your question not it wasn't 10 straight off the bat but 10 with slow considered thought. I.e started with 2 and work up to 10 in 15 mins sitting calmly in bed.

Asthma started to decline at 3:30 pm with initial tight chest. Being in an unfamiliar place and nighttime doesn't always help granted.

Paramedic decided initial symptoms in the afternoon was the asthma attack. Symptoms of tight chest was a nagging symptom

I'm not an anxious person per say and can usually keep a calm head in first aid suitations. (First aid trained).

I did wait to see if symptoms of tight chest did go away after treatment before calling 999.

A degree of panic can always be a factor in these situations.


Hi Hope you're feeling better.

Asthma UK have an article on this i.e. asthma and / or panic attacks, which is quite helpful.

As I have allergies I alwasy carry antihistamines and use an air filter and ioniser when away from home aswell as asthma meds. Check with GP for a plan for if this happens again.


I am going to see my GP on Tuesday and have this conversation about good vacuum cleaners.

What portable air filter and ionizer do you use?


Hope your appointment went well. When buying a good vacuum cleaner ensure it has a HEPA filter and carbon filter. Healthy House have lots of information but are not the cheapest on-line shop around.

The air filter I use at home is Prem-i-Air and I find it works well. You need a new filter for it about once a year. The Premi-i-Air is effective for dust mite and pollens and moulds and not hugely expensive, so would be good for having at your parents house.

The personal Ioniser I use is a "Mini-Mate" when out. (You can place around your neck). And then when I'm away from home e.g. staying in a hotel, I use a Sonic Ionoturbo Clean Air Ioniser. It isn't as effective as the HEPA air filter but you can pack it in a small bag and it certainly helps. If we go away by car I take my own bedding with me to minimise reactions. It's tough but better to be well. You spend a lot of time asleep it needs to be a safe as possible.

1 like

You may also like...