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Asthma Attacks and Treatment - Legacy ER

  • Category: Treatment
  • Posted On:
  • Written By: Jay Woody

Did you know that almost one in 13 Americans have been diagnosed with asthma? Because it is such a common ailment, it is easy to forget how dangerous it can be. However, an average of 10 Americans die from the condition each day, and a large portion of these deaths could have been avoided had the individuals received proper treatment. Learn more about asthma attack symptoms and treatment options. Also, find out when you should visit the emergency room for immediate assistance.

Common Symptoms

Asthma is a chronic condition, and the symptoms can change from one attack to the next.


However, you will likely experience at least one or two of the common symptoms, such as:

When to Go to the ER for an Asthma Attack

If you are being treated for asthma, you can manage most attacks at home. However, you need to call 911 or visit the emergency room if your symptoms include:

  • Extreme anxiety or panic
  • Bluish fingernails and lips or whitish or gray gums and lips
  • Chest pressure and pain
  • Persistent coughing
  • Severe wheezing when inhaling air
  • Problems talking
  • Paleness
  • Excessive sweating
  • Rapid breathing

Diagnosing Asthma

Before you can begin treatment, your provider must get a proper diagnosis to make sure you have asthma and not another condition. First, the provider will ask you questions about your medical history and symptoms before conducting a physical exam.

Then, you will need to undergo diagnostic testing to confirm the diagnosis. The physician might order a lung function test, chest x-ray, or sinus x-ray for the diagnostic workup. After reviewing the results, the doctor can confirm the diagnosis and the severity of the condition. This is necessary for developing a treatment plan.

The 4 levels of asthma are:

  1. Intermittent
  2. Mild persistent
  3. Moderate persistent
  4. Severe persistent

The diagnosis is based on the severity of your symptoms at the time of the diagnosis. Fortunately, treatment can actually lessen the condition. Thus, you might present with severe persistent asthma that’s downgraded to moderate or mild persistent at a later visit.

Treatment Options for Asthma Attacks

While there is no cure for asthma, the proper treatment protocol will control your symptoms and reduce the occurrence and severity of attacks. Then, the symptoms won’t impact your life to the degree they do when left untreated.

First, your doctor will likely prescribe quick-relief medications that you can use at the first sign of symptoms. These medications work fast to provide immediate relief, so you will be less likely to have a life-threatening attack.

Controller medications are also an important component of asthma treatment. You might take a single-controller medication or a combination of them to address the changes in your airways that result from asthma.

If you have severe persistent asthma, you also might receive an infusion or injection of biologics. This treatment reduces symptoms by preventing swelling in your airways. Thus, it will be much easier to breathe.

Don’t Delay Seeking Treatment

Fast action is needed if you have life-threatening symptoms. Thus, call 911 or immediately visit one of Legacy ER & Urgent Care’s six North Texas locations. We have a full-service emergency room and urgent care facility under one roof, so we can also help you if you’re experiencing mild to moderate symptoms.

Legacy ER

Are you worried about seeking care because you are uninsured or underinsured? You can sign up for a Legacy Select® plan. There are two affordable payment options when buying the plan. You can pay a small monthly fee or save 20% by paying for the year at once. One plan covers the entire family and includes emergency room and urgent care discounts, making getting the level of care you need easier.