How can I tell if someone is having an asthma attack?

The signs of an asthma attack are important to know if you or someone you know has asthma, as it is important to identify them early to prevent complications. It's important to know if the person in question has a diagnosis of asthma. Once that is established, you would look for sudden worsening of the symptoms associated with asthma. These include wheezing, rapid breathing, increased cough, chest tightness, or, in severe cases, confusion and altered mental status.
American Red Cross
A person having an asthma attack makes a hoarse whistling or wheezing sound while exhaling. This occurs because air becomes trapped in the lungs. Other signals include trouble breathing, shortness of breath, tightness in the chest and coughing after exercise. 

Continue Learning about Asthma



Asthma can be mild or severe, and is classified by how your breathing is affected. Most alarming are asthma attacks, episodes of severe coughing or wheezing where it is very hard to catch your breath; but asthma can also be a chro...

nic condition. Treatment is by anti-inflammatories and bronchodilators.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.