Setting your location helps us to show you nearby providers and locations based on your healthcare needs.
Your Location is set to Change My Location
Cone Health wants to help you get well and stay well. This section provides tools and information to achieve good health and maintain your well-being.
Learn what community resources are available to help you get well and stay well.
View health and wellness news you can use from Cone Health providers on
View Advanced Search OptionsView All Doctors
View All Locations
Home > Patient & Family Resources > Health Library > Asthma Attack
COVID-19 Info: Vaccines | Testing | Visitor Guidelines | Stats | More
IMPORTANT NOTICE: COVID-19 testing appointments are not available at Cone Health emergency departments or urgent care locations. Click here for testing options.
An asthma attack (also called an acute asthma episode, flare-up, or exacerbation) is a sudden increase in the symptoms of asthma, including:
The symptoms may be mild, moderate, or severe, depending on how much the airflow to the lungs is reduced. Attacks can be brief (about an hour) or last for several days. They may be seasonal (similar to hay fever) or occur during any season.
Asthma symptoms may start suddenly or up to several hours after you or your child has been exposed to triggers, such as tobacco smoke or animal dander. In some cases (such as with asthma that happens during your job), symptoms may not occur until 4 to 12 hours after contact. Although severe attacks may seem to occur suddenly, they usually occur after several days of increasing symptoms.
Asthma attacks are caused by:
Although attacks can be serious, they can usually be treated at home. Many people have an asthma action plan, which is a written plan that tells you what medicine you need to use, based on the severity of the attack, and when you should call a doctor or seek emergency treatment. You and your doctor create the action plan.
The best strategy for avoiding and treating asthma attacks is being able to recognize an attack and know what to do. When creating an asthma action plan, be sure to talk to your doctor about:
Current as of: July 6, 2021
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: John Pope MD - PediatricsAdam Husney MD - Family MedicineElizabeth T. Russo MD - Internal Medicine
Current as of: July 6, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:John Pope MD - Pediatrics & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Elizabeth T. Russo MD - Internal Medicine
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2021 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Subscribe to our Wellness Matters e-newsletter, a monthly snapshot of the some of great wellness content from Cone Health providers.