COVID-19 Resources: Keeping you safe | Vaccine Information | Visitor Policy and Hours
View All Services
Find a New Primary Care Provider
Search by Specialty
View All Locations
Discover classes, events, tours, and groups that fit your interests.
Home > Be Healthy > Health Library > Asthma attack
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 days.
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.
Current as of: October 26, 2020
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Rohit K Katial MD - Allergy and Immunology
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.