Asthma Flare-Upsenparentshttps://kidshealth.org/EN/images/headers/Asthma_Flare-Ups_enHD_1.jpgFind out how to deal with — and help prevent — asthma flare-ups ("attacks"), which is when asthma symptoms get worse.flare-up, asthma, asthma flare-up, flare-ups, asthma flare-up, asthma flare-ups, asthma flare, asthma flares, flares, flare, asthma attack, asthma attacks, attack, attacks, asthma episode, asthma episodes, exacerbation, exacerbations, asthma exacerbation, asthma exacerbation, when asthma gets worse, worsening asthma, worsening asthma symptoms, asthma and emergency, peak flow meter, asthma medication, asthma medicine, managing asthma09/30/200408/22/201808/22/2018Aledie Amariah Navas Nazario, MD08/15/20182018e264-fc69-4b92-a962-b6e8b650ba49https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/flare-up.html/<h3>What Are Asthma Flare-Ups?</h3> <p>An asthma flare-up is when <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/asthma-basics.html/">asthma</a> symptoms get worse, making kids wheeze, cough, or be short of breath. An asthma flare-up can happen even when asthma is controlled.</p> <p>Asthma flare-ups are also called asthma attacks or exacerbations.</p> <h3>What Happens in an Asthma Flare-Up?</h3> <p>Asthma is a disease of the breathing tubes that deliver air in and out of the <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/lungs.html/">lungs</a>. When someone has asthma, these airways (also called <strong>bronchial tubes</strong> and <strong>bronchioles</strong>) might be slightly inflamed or swollen, even when the person seems to be breathing fine.</p> <p>During a flare-up:</p> <p><a class="kh_anchor"></a></p> <ul class="kh_longline_list"> <li>The inflammation gets worse. Sticky mucus clogs the airways and their walls get more swollen.</li> <li>The muscles around the airways get tight, further narrowing them (this is called <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/bronchoconstriction.html/">bronchoconstriction</a>).</li> </ul> <p>These problems leave very little room in the airways for air to flow through — think of a straw that's being pinched.</p> <h3>What Causes Asthma Flare-Ups?</h3> <p>People with asthma have airways that are overly sensitive to some things (called <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/triggers.html/">triggers</a>). Being around triggers can bring on asthma symptoms.</p> <p>The most common trigger in kids are viral respiratory infections, such as <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/cold.html/">colds</a>. Other common triggers include:</p> <ul> <li><a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/triggers-irritants.html/">tobacco smoke</a></li> <li><a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/weather-asthma.html/">cold air</a></li> <li><a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/exercise-asthma.html/">exercise</a></li> <li><a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/asthma-pet.html/">animal dander</a></li> <li><a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/dealing-dust-mites.html/">dust mites</a></li> <li><a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/trigger-mold.html/">mold</a></li> <li><a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/triggers-cockroaches.html/">cockroaches</a></li> </ul> <p>Many people with asthma also have <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/allergy.html/">allergies</a>, which are another important flare-up trigger.</p> <p>If not treated, a flare-up can last for several hours or even days. <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/rescue.html/">Quick-relief medicines</a> (also called <strong>rescue medicines</strong> or <strong>fast-acting medicines</strong>) often stop the symptoms pretty quickly. A person should feel better once the flare-up ends, although this can take several days, especially if a viral infection was the trigger.</p> <h3>What Are the Signs of an Asthma Flare-Up?</h3> <p>Asthma flare-ups can vary in strength and length. They can happen without warning, causing sudden coughing, shortness of breath, and wheezing.</p> <p>Flare-ups should be treated right away. So it's important to know their early warning signs, including:</p> <ul> <li><a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/childs-cough.html/">coughing</a></li> <li>throat clearing</li> <li>fast or irregular breathing</li> <li>being very tired</li> <li>trouble doing everyday activities</li> <li>restless sleep or coughing that prevents sleep</li> <li>mild chest tightness or wheezing</li> </ul> <p>If the flare-up is severe, a kid might:</p> <ul> <li>struggle to breathe or have fast breathing even when sitting still</li> <li>be unable to speak more than a few words at a time without pausing</li> <li>have retractions (sucking in of muscles in the neck and chest) while breathing in</li> </ul> <p>Because they can be life-threatening, flare-ups demand attention. Your child might need to take quick-relief medicine (which acts quickly to relieve symptoms), visit the doctor, or even go to the hospital.</p> <p>Following the instructions in your child's <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/action-plan.html/">asthma action plan</a> can help you know <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/asthma-flare-sheet.html/">what to do</a> when a flare-up happens.</p> <h3>How Can We Help Prevent Asthma Flare-Ups?</h3> <p>To help prevent flare-ups:</p> <ul class="kh_longline_list"> <li>Make sure your child always has quick-relief medicine and the <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/spacer.html/">spacer</a> available.</li> <li>Teach your child how to avoid asthma triggers.</li> <li>Make sure your child takes the <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/controller.html/">long-term control medicine</a> (also called <strong>controller medicine</strong> or <strong>maintenance medicine</strong>) as the doctor directed. Even when your child feels well, it's important not to skip it.</li> <li>Make sure your child gets a yearly <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/flu-vaccine-good.html/">flu vaccine</a>, and washes his or her hands well and often to avoiding germs that lead to colds and other illnesses.</li> <li>Work with the doctor on an effective asthma action plan.</li> </ul>Crisis asmáticas Si su hijo es asmático, puede que haya días que no tenga ningún problema respiratorio. Pero cuando los síntomas del asma, como los resuellos (sibilancias), la tos o la falta de aliento, se agravan, se hacen más frecuentes, o ambas cosas, se habla de crisis asmática (también denominada ataque, episodio o exacerbación).https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/es/parents/flare-up-esp.html/49c63b71-38b6-412b-8c0f-3863c5256e28
AsthmaAsthma is a lung condition that makes it hard to breathe. Learn all about asthma here. https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/asthma.html/fdec47a5-6cd6-4e9d-bd40-d8f4a3e7dc08
Asthma CenterVisit our Asthma Center for information and advice on managing and living with asthma.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/center/asthma-center.html/fcf87d3b-2976-44ee-843e-5d897168cc59
Asthma MedicinesAsthma medicine comes in two main types: quick-relief and long-term control medicines. Even if a child takes a long-term control medicine regularly, quick-relief medicine is still needed to handle flare-ups.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/rescue-controller.html/aba24870-8ec7-4853-b988-e48b83a7fe01
Asthma-Safe HomesHere's steps to remove or minimize triggers at home that cause asthma flare-ups.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/asthma-homes.html/b3a43bd7-a584-4f82-bd4d-105c72f56e4b
Dealing With Asthma TriggersFind out what can make your asthma worse, and what to do about it.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/asthma-triggers.html/f02e3036-b0eb-4e8c-bd24-4d9ee73d5f95
Dealing With an Asthma Flare-UpAsthma flare-ups, or attacks, can be handled, but it's even better if you can prevent them from happening. Find out how to deal with flare-ups.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/asthma-flare-up.html/2e8420d7-f9f8-49da-ae1b-7e4a0250bc21
First Aid: Asthma Flare-UpsDuring a flare-up or attack, it's hard to breathe. While some flare-ups are mild, others can be life threatening, so it's important to deal with them right away.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/asthma-flare-sheet.html/512da67f-1e8f-4038-95d0-03beffb9ad64
Handling an Asthma Flare-UpHow can you prepare for an asthma flare-up? Find out in this article for kids.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/kids/asthma-flare-up.html/299f548c-fa21-4edd-8681-ede63bc903f8
How Do Asthma Medicines Work?Two different types of medicines are used to treat asthma: long-term control medicines and quick-relief medicines. Read about how they work, and why people might need to take them.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/asthma-medicines.html/d38d996f-715b-475b-876a-87677b3e5c82
Managing AsthmaAsthma control can take a little time and energy to master, but it's worth the effort. Learn more about ways to manage your child's asthma.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/asthma-mgmt.html/16fdd0ed-abfc-4f6e-9ecd-df6bbde41d3b
What's an Asthma Action Plan?Find out how this written plan can help you care for your child with asthma.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/action-plan.html/ec73af74-16c8-44bb-9215-0b11a1d698c7
When to Go to the ER if Your Child Has AsthmaIf your child has asthma, find out when you need to go to the ER.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/er-asthma.html/36d00458-c85c-480b-8cb8-99a70ef6c47b
kh:age-allAgesOrAgeAgnostickh:clinicalDesignation-allergykh:genre-articlekh:primaryClinicalDesignation-pulmonologyAsthmahttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/medical/asthma/38b75bab-a2d3-45f2-ab08-3ea24d139eb0Asthma Basicshttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/asthma-center/asthma-basics/65fc67f0-4e75-482e-a22e-e8daae2d417eAsthma Q&Ahttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/asthma-center/q-a/0ce2ee98-a644-4adb-a3c3-f22f2cd9d5aa