Physical stress on the lungs may bring on an asthma attack including cold-induced asthma. The severity of the symptoms may not be apparent to the onlooker at first until looking into the victim's face and realizing what he is experiencing. Time is of the essence as if the attack is allowed to continue, the cold-induced asthma attack may asphyxiate the victim.
When a victim is struck down with an asthma attack, narrowing of the airways follows severely restricting air flow. Gasping for air may become apparent along with exhaling a breath for long periods of time. The victim may not be able to speak; only communicate through the eyes. The victim may get coughing spasms where he is unable to catch his breath or talk.
Symptoms of cold-induced asthma include cyanosis, a condition that makes the skin and the lips turn blue through lack of oxygen. The victim should be asked whether he has an inhaler at this point or be taken to the ER for treatment.
Confusion and loss of consciousness is a major symptom of cold-induced asthma and an ambulance should be called immediately to save the victim's life. The brain, at this point, is starved of oxygen and requires immediate treatment by health professionals.
To prevent cold-induced asthma it is vital that asthmatics refrain from exercising outside during the winter months nor in unheated rooms. Lungs stress easily and cold-induced asthma takes seconds to begin in a cold atmosphere. When walking out in cold weather wrap a woolen scarf around your mouth and head to keep breathing warm air. Exercise moderately in a heated space, and always make sure you have your inhaler handy to take puffs at the first sign of cold-induced asthma or asthma caused by over-exercising.
Visiting your health professional to discuss your asthma symptoms and an effective treatment to lessen the severity of attacks, will often result in a prescription for an inhaler. Government benefits may be collected for asthma and other common ailments in babies, children and adults.