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Asthma is a medical condition in which the airways in the lungs are swollen (inflamed) and become puffy. In an asthma patient, the airway passages of the lungs are narrowed, and the person cannot breathe easily. During asthma flare-ups or asthma attacks, these symptoms worsen either within a few minutes, hours, days or weeks, thereby increasing the need for reliever medicines. Flare-ups need immediate medical attention as they can be life-threatening. The severity of flare-ups can range from mild to severe.
The following symptoms may be experienced during an asthma flare-up:
In case of severe flare-ups call the doctor right away. The symptoms of severe flare-ups include:
The flare-ups can occur in anyone with asthma, but it is more likely to develop in patients with poorly-controlled asthma. Children are more likely to develop asthma flare-ups when compared to adults. The following risk factors can trigger asthma:
The doctor diagnoses flare-ups based on the symptoms and their severity. The family history and personal history of respiratory problems and allergies are collected.
Further, the following tests may be performed to diagnose the condition:
If medications are not effective, then the doctor might use breathing aids, such as mechanical ventilator for a temporary purpose. The breathing aids are removed once the symptoms of asthma flare-ups subside.
The following measures reduce the risk of flare-ups:
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