People living with asthma should see their healthcare provider about their asthma at least once a year and more often if having symptoms. Even well-managed asthma can sometimes get out of control. Here are some guidelines when to get extra help.
Call a healthcare provider right away when:
- You feel faint, dizzy or weak
- You have trouble doing a routine activity, such as cooking dinner, cleaning or taking out the trash
- You have a cough that won't go away
- You're wheezing when you breathe in or out, especially if this is different from your usual breathing pattern
- Your wheezing gets worse even after you have given your medicine time to start working (most quick-relief medicines work within 15 minutes)
Go to urgent care, go to the emergency room or call 911 right away when:
- Your lips or nails are turning blue
- Your nostrils are flaring each time you breathe in
- The skin between your ribs or at the base of your throat appears stretched every time you breathe in
- You are taking 30 or more breaths per minute
- Talking or walking at a normal pace is difficult
Reviewed and approved by the American Lung Association Scientific and Medical Editorial Review Panel.
Page last updated: October 23, 2020