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A car accident may trigger an asthma attack

According to the Mayo Clinic, an asthma attack occurs when airways inside the lungs become inflamed. During an exacerbation, the body also usually produces extra mucus. This combination typically makes breathing difficult or impossible for asthma sufferers. 

If you have asthma, you may know what triggers a flare-up for you. You may not, however, realize that a car accident may trigger an asthma attack. Here are three reasons you may experience asthma symptoms during or after a car wreck: 

1. Aerosol compounds 

From seat belts to crumple zones, modern vehicles have a variety of safety features that protect you during automobile accidents. While your car’s airbag may save your life, its design may initiate an asthma attack. That is, to deploy quickly and effectively, airbags use aerosol compounds that can be hazardous for individuals with asthma. Further, the powder that keeps airbags lubricated may also cause sudden breathing problems. 

2. Smoke inhalation 

The Federal Emergency Management Agency reports that between 2014 and 2016, there were more than 170,000 vehicle fires on U.S. roadways. This makes sense, as most cars, trucks and SUVs have internal combustion engines that run on a flammable mixture of gasoline and air. Unfortunately, though, for many asthmatics, smoke is an asthma trigger. If your vehicle bursts into flames after a collision, even inhaling a small amount of smoke may cause you to have an asthma attack. 

3. Stress 

Car accidents can be tremendously stressful events. Because stress can trigger an asthma attack, you must watch for shortness of breath and other symptoms in the immediate aftermath of a crash. If you are having difficulty breathing, seek emergency medical treatment immediately. 

In any automobile accident, you may suffer a variety of life-altering injuries. If you have asthma, though, you may experience a potentially deadly asthma attack. To help you manage an attack, you should always keep a rescue inhaler near you when you drive. You should also inform emergency responders of your medical condition to ensure they treat you properly.

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