Difference Between Acute and Chronic Asthma Exacerbation

A person with acute asthma exacerbation can have difficulty breathing, feel tightness in the chest, and may cough up mucous or even blood. Acute asthma exacerbation is a common problem in children.

A chronic asthma exacerbation is a severe asthma attack that requires immediate medical attention. It is the most dangerous type of asthma and can lead to death if not treated properly.

Comparison Table Between Acute and Chronic Asthma Exacerbation

Parameters of ComparisonAcute Asthma ExacerbationChronic Asthma Exacerbation
TypeSudden syndromeLong term syndrome
OccurssuddenlyDue Course time
Respiratory levelIncreaseIncreases after age of 30
Mood of the personAgitatedDrowsy or confused

What is Acute Asthma Exacerbation?

Acute asthma exacerbations occur when the airways react strongly to a trigger. The trigger can be anything from a virus to a cold or even exercise. In this article, we will focus on exercise-induced asthma attacks and how you can prevent them.

However, there are some other things that you can do in preparation for exercise that may help reduce your risk of attack. Acute asthma exacerbation is a sudden attack of airway obstruction, wheezing, and cough in patients with pre-existing asthma.

The severity of an acute asthma exacerbation ranges from mild to life-threatening. The most common symptoms are shortness of breath, wheezing, cough, chest tightness, and decreased activity level due to shortness of breath or fatigue.

Episodic acute asthma exacerbations often occur in the setting of viral respiratory infections, air pollution, or other triggers. Acute asthma can also be triggered by non-infectious factors such as stress, exercise, and cold air.

What is Chronic Asthma Exacerbation?

Chronic asthma exacerbation occurs when someone's asthma has been well-controlled for at least 3 months but then suddenly gets worse. Also known as acute asthma or an acute severe asthma attack (ASA).

The exacerbation leads to difficulty in breathing and may appear fatal in some. Chronic Asthma Exacerbation is a common disease in children and adults. It causes difficulty in breathing, wheezing, chest tightness, and coughing.

The most common types of treatments are inhalers, oral medications, steroids, and regular doctor visits. This article will explain how these treatments work and why they are so important for Asthmatic patients.

Most people think that this means going to the emergency room or doctor’s office for treatment. However, there are other treatments available for your relief from this condition.

Main Differences Between Acute and Chronic Asthma Exacerbation

  1. Acute can be treated back to normal, but Chronic is uncertain to recover back.
  2. Acute make the person agitated, but Chronic makes the person drowsy or confused.


An acute asthma exacerbation can lead to hospitalization if not managed properly. Treatments are aimed at relieving symptoms and preventing complications, which include pneumonia, heart failure, respiratory arrest, shock, respiratory distress syndrome, and cardiac arrhythmias.

Acute asthma exacerbation is a severe and sudden worsening of symptoms that requires urgent medical attention. Acute asthma attacks may be triggered by exposure to allergens (e.g., dust mites, pollen), respiratory infections, chemical irritants (e.g., cigarette smoke), or exercise.

The disease affects more than 5% of children and approximately 10% of adults. While there are medications that can help control symptoms, long-term management remains elusive for most patients.

The main goal of treatment with asthma medications is to increase the time between flare-ups, as there are no proven treatments that will completely protect against them. Medications used for this purpose include inhaled glucocorticoids and β2-adrenergic agonists.


  1. https://www.atsjournals.org/doi/abs/10.1164/ajrccm.163.6.2006069
  2. https://www.cochranelibrary.com/cdsr/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD003559.pub3/abstract
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