When To See Your Doctor about Asthma

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 for 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: June 7, 2024

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