An asthma attack is a sudden worsening of asthma symptoms caused by a tightening of the muscles around your airways. But asthma attacks–also called asthma exacerbations–aren’t the same for everybody.
“People with asthma can have different levels of symptoms,” says Melinda Rathkopf, MD, a physician with the Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Center of Alaska. “What makes an attack for you may be different from me.”
Individual attacks may bring slightly different symptoms or severity of symptoms, but they all have one thing in common: a rapid change from your normal symptoms (which, with good management, may be zero).
“It’s sudden,” says Marilyn Li, MD, associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine. “It’s a distinct event.”
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