How do you know you are having an asthma attack?

Asthma attacks may start suddenly, or may take days to develop. Attacks range from mild, moderate to severe.

Mild-to-moderate attacks - are more common. There is a feeling of tightness in your chest and you may start coughing and spitting out mucus or phlegm. You may also feel restless or irritable and have difficulty sleeping. You oftentimes make a whistling or wheezing sound when you are breathing air in and out, which may be due to narrowed air tubes.

Several Attacks - during severe attacks you may become breathless and may have difficulty talking. Your neck muscles become tight as you breathe. Your lips and fingernails may have a grayish and bluish color. Your breathing becomes more forceful, usually accompanied by the upward movements of your chest.