An asthma attack (also called an acute asthma episode, flare-up, or
exacerbation) is a sudden worsening of asthma symptoms, including shortness of
breath, chest tightness, wheezing, and coughing.
Although asthma attacks may seem to occur suddenly, they can
occur after several days of symptoms getting worse. Symptoms may be mild,
moderate, or severe. Episodes can be brief (about an hour) or can last for several
Asthma attacks can be serious. But they can usually be
treated at home by using quick-relief medicine and an increased dose of
controller medicine. For severe asthma attacks, you may need to contact a
doctor or seek emergency care.
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Rohit K Katial, MD - Allergy and Immunology
The Health Encyclopedia contains general health information. Not all treatments or services described are covered benefits for Kaiser Permanente members or offered as services by Kaiser Permanente. For a list of covered benefits, please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or Summary Plan Description. For recommended treatments, please consult with your health care provider.