Asthma Warning Signs

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Download the Asthma Warning Signs – What You Need to Know PDF.

Asthma warning signs are the symptoms you feel when your airways are narrowing and your body is receiving less oxygen. Asthma warning signs are different for everyone. It is important to know your warning signs so you can take the right steps to stop the asthma episode from getting worse. Your asthma warning signs and how to respond to them are included in your Asthma Action Plan.

    LEVEL 1

Early Warning Signs

  • Shortness of breath
  • Coughing
  • Feeling tired or weak
  • Watery eyes
  • Stomachache

How to Respond

  • Move away from any triggers
  • Take your quick-relief medication
  • Monitor your warning signs


    LEVEL 2

More Serious Warning Signs

  • Medications are not working or do not last
  • Increase in coughing or chest tightness
  • Wheezing
  • Inability to do normal activities

How to Respond

  • Take the same steps as Level 1: move away from triggers, take quick-relief medication and monitor your warning signs
  • If signs get worse or are not better within 15 minutes of using medication, follow your Asthma Action Plan and call 911


    LEVEL 3

Severe Warning Signs

  • Severe shortness of breath
  • Difficulty walking or talking
  • Skin sucking in at ribs and neck
  • Paling, blue or gray lips and nail beds

How to Respond

  • Call 911! Any ONE of these symptoms needs immediate medical help
  • If you have not already, take your quick-relief medication