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Can a motor vehicle accident trigger an asthma attack?

On Behalf of | Feb 11, 2022 | Injuries, Motor Vehicle Accidents |

If you have asthma, you may feel you are constantly struggling to breathe normally. Even if you are on a long-term treatment plan, you also recognize the risks that come with an asthma attack. After all, a serious asthma attack can lead to catastrophic medical complications and even death.

According to the Mayo Clinic, asthma causes both a narrowing of your airways and the production of excess mucus. This combination may make it virtually impossible for you to breathe. Regrettably, a motor vehicle accident can trigger an asthma attack.

Airbag deployment

Because they save lives, frontal airbags are standard equipment on all vehicles with model years after 1998. When your car’s airbags deploy, though, they release gases and chemicals. If you breathe these substances into your lungs, they may irritate your airways. Remember, even brief exposure may exacerbate your asthma.


Even though car accidents happen with alarming regularity, you have probably not been through too many of them. Therefore, you can expect your accident to be a stressful event. This is especially true if you have suffered physical injuries in the crash.

Your body’s stress response may cause your airways to restrict involuntarily. If you do not have ready access to medication, the stress of a car accident may contribute to a potentially deadly asthma attack.

Warning signs

As you know, asthma attacks can come on rapidly and with little notice. Still, if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms after a car accident, it is critical for you to obtain medical treatment immediately:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Tightening in your chest
  • Coughing, wheezing or gasping for air
  • Dizziness or sleepiness

If you receive prompt medical attention, your accident-related asthma attack is probably treatable. Ultimately, though, you may need to pursue financial compensation from the driver who is responsible for the crash to ensure you can obtain appropriate and ongoing medical care.