Cold, Flu or Asthma Attack?

Asthma is a scary disorder. It can happen at any point in time though usually a veteran asthmatic will know instantly what will cause or has caused an attack. The problem is for those who haven’t had a lot of experience. In minor attacks some of the first symptoms can look like other conditions.

Colds: If you work around others or attend school you will probably know precisely who gave you a cold. Some call it the “office cold.” They don’t last all that longâÂ?¦seven to ten daysâÂ?¦but they are very uncomfortable.

If it’s a chest cold you may find yourself coughing a lot. Your chest may feel a bit tight. Both of these are also symptoms of an asthma attack. One way to tell the difference is to look at other symptoms. Do you have a slight fever? Is your nose runny? Are your symptoms like those of everyone else? It may be just the office cold.

Flu: Chances are pretty good that you will know who gave you the flu as well. However, remember that the flu virus can live for quite some time on surfaces. You could pick up the flu from that shopping cart at the grocery store�hence the wipes courteously provided.

The flu is usually fairly easy to distinguish from an asthma attack simply because there are so many other symptoms. Headache, body aches, high fevers, all of these are part of the flu virus. If you have asthma how you react to the flu, both symptom wise and what you do should be quite different. This is a time when you need to see a doctor. If you can get in to see the doctor within the first 48 hours, you may be able to prevent all kinds of nasty complications.

Asthma: Most asthma attacks have a trigger, and very few asthmatics have the exact same list of triggers. The first thing you need to do is find out what yours are so you can avoid them if possible. Don’t be surprised if that list lengthens over time. It can and probably will.

Asthma causes swelling in the respiratory system, particularly in the lungs. Some people have more of a wheezing problem and others tend to cough. Sometimes both will occur. If you don’t find relief from properly using your rescue inhaler or find yourself using it more than twice a week it’s time to see the doctor. That means your asthma is out of control.

For Those who don’t have Asthma: If you are talking to an asthmatic and a trigger is present, you may find the person politely trying to get away from it. It may not be you; someone may be using a particularly scented cleaner or you may be near a flower/tree that causes problems. It could also be something you are unintentionally doing or wearing. Two of my triggers are strong perfumes and tobacco smoke (of any sort). If one of us asks you to not smoke we aren’t trying to be rudeâÂ?¦we’re trying to breathe.

This is the most important thing anyone with asthma should take from this article. If your lungs are affected in any way by a virus, infection or asthma attack you need to be careful. If there is little to no response from prescribed treatments it’s time for help. If your doctor’s office or urgent care is open, go there. If they aren’t, go to the emergency room. Waiting could kill you.

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