Symptoms of an asthma attack
Signs you may be having an asthma attack include:
- Your symptoms are getting worse (cough, breathlessness, wheezing or tight chest)
- Your reliever inhaler (usually blue) isn’t helping
- You’re too breathless to speak, eat or sleep
- Your breathing is getting faster and it feels like you can’t catch your breath
- Your peak flow score is lower than normal
Children may also complain of a tummy or chest ache
What to do if you think you’re having an asthma attack
If you think you’re having an asthma attack, the NHS says you should:
1. Sit upright (don’t lie down) and try to take slow, steady breaths. Try to remain calm, as panicking will make things worse.
2. Take 1 puff of your reliever inhaler (usually blue) every 30 to 60 seconds, up to a maximum of 10 puffs.
3. Call 999 for an ambulance if you don’t have your inhaler with you, you feel worse despite using your inhaler, you don’t feel better after taking 10 puffs or you’re worried at any point.
4. If the ambulance hasn’t arrived within 15 minutes, repeat step 2.