The severity of an asthma attack varies in individuals. Symptoms can last from hours to days or weeks and months before medical advice is sought.
Asthma attacks can be mild, moderate or severe.
Mild –person can speak normally but may have a slight wheeze or mild cough – especially when excited or running.
Moderate – person may speak in half sentences; their breathing will be difficult and you may hear them wheezing; and they may have a persistent cough.
Severe – the person may speak in single words; they could struggle to breathe; you may be able to see in-drawing (sucking in) of the muscles between their ribs but they may sound quiet (because of reduced air movement, there may be no wheeze). Their chest may feel tight and they’ll probably look pale.
The right treatment for asthma attacks comes down to good planning and being prepared. Talk to your doctor about the best way to manage your asthma.
See http://www.health.govt.nz/your-health/conditions-and-treatments/diseases-and-illnesses/asthma for more information on asthma attacks.