During an asthma attack, a person’s airways may become inflamed, narrow and swollen, which makes it difficult to breathe. However, severe asthma attacks are more serious. Here’s why:
1. You can’t breathe. The lining of your airways are inflamed and beginning to swell, causing obstruction of your airways.
2. You can’t speak in full sentences. As the lining swells, your air path is constricted, and mucus is being secreted making it even more difficult to talk.
3. Your lips begin to turn blue. The airway through which your body gets oxygen is blocked, causing reduced oxygen in your blood stream. Blood with low oxygen content causes the nails and lips to have a blue tint.
4. Your neck and abdominal muscles strain. Your airways are tightening and becoming narrower, and the full body reacts to push air through the narrowed airways to breathe.
5. You have the sensation of a closed chest. Straining and struggling to breathe is exhausting, and can feel like a tight and heavy chest.