Acute Exacerbation of Asthma

What is Acute Exacerbation of Asthma?

Asthma is a chronic lung disease that causes inflammation and narrowing of the airways, leading to wheezing, coughing, chest tightness, and difficulty breathing. Acute exacerbation of asthma is an acute worsening of asthma symptoms—often due to an environmental trigger such as pollen, exercise, or respiratory infection.

Signs and Symptoms of Acute Exacerbation of Asthma

Symptoms of acute exacerbation of asthma can vary feverishly, ranging from mild to severe. Most commonly, symptoms may include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Chest tightness or feeling of heaviness
  • Rapid breathing, or hyperventilation
  • Increased peak expiratory flow at home
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Increased use of quick relief medications (i.e. short-acting beta agonists, anti-cholinergics)

Treatment of Acute Exacerbation of Asthma

Treatment for acute exacerbation of asthma typically includes medications such as short-acting beta agonists, anti-cholinergics, systemic corticosteroids, and sometimes oral corticosteroids. Other treatments, such as inhaled corticosteroids, may be recommended for ongoing management of asthma. Treatment and management plans should be discussed with your healthcare provider to find the best plan for you.

Prevention of Acute Exacerbation of Asthma

The best way to prevent acute exacerbation of asthma is to properly manage the condition. This includes:

  • Identifying and avoiding triggers such as pollen or animal dander.
  • Creating an action plan for handling episodes.
  • Taking regular medications as prescribed.
  • Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and body weight.
  • Receiving regular checkups from your healthcare provider.

It is important to speak with your healthcare provider about possible treatments and management plan for asthma. With proper management, you can help prevent episodes of acute exacerbation.