Know The Signs Of An Asthma Attack
Youre having an asthma attack if:
- your blue reliever isnât helping, or you need to use it more than every four hours
- youâre wheezing a lot, have a very tight chest, or youâre coughing a lot
- youâre breathless and find it difficult to walk or talk
- your breathing is getting faster and it feels like you canât get your breath in properly
You may have all of these signs and symptoms. Or you may have just some of them. For example, you may not wheeze.
Know your early warning signs
An asthma attack happens when your symptoms get much worse. This can happen quite suddenly or can build up gradually over a few days.
You can stop an asthma attack before it happens, or make it less serious so you dont end up in hospital, by recognising when your symptoms are getting worse.
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Advice For Friends And Family
It’s important that your friends and family know how to help in an emergency.
It can be useful to make copies of your personal asthma action plan and share it with others who may need to know what to do when you have an attack.
You can photocopy your existing plan, or you could download a blank personal asthma action plan from Asthma UK and fill it in for anyone who might need a copy.
Or you could take a photo of your action plan on your phone, so you can show or send it to others easily.
Page last reviewed: 19 April 2021 Next review due: 19 April 2024
How To Tell If You Have Asthma
When something triggers your asthma symptoms, the membrane lining your airways swells, the muscles around the tubes constrict, and the airways fill with mucus. As these tubes narrow it becomes more difficult to breathe, causing symptoms such as wheezing and coughing, congestion, shortness of breath, and chest tightness or pain. If you have asthma, performing normal daily activities can be strenuous, and it may take longer to recover from a respiratory infection, such as a cold or flu.
An asthma attack or flare-up is a sudden worsening of these symptoms, including severe wheezing, uncontrollable coughing, rapid breathing, sweating, and anxiety. These symptoms require immediate medical attention.
But not everyone experiences asthma in the same way. Symptoms vary from person to person, can change with age, differ between attacks and may intensify during exercise, with a cold, or under periods of elevated stress.
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Leave The House Clean:
Change the air conditioner and furnace filter every month to prevent recirculation of dust. If you decide to latex pillows rather than feather pillows. In addition, dust-proof covers on mattresses and furniture use. Keep your home neat and clean, with the probability of an asthma attack to minimize.
What Should I Do If I Think I’m Having An Asthma Attack
Stay calm and use your inhaler with the spacer. If you can, check your peak flow to see how bad the attack is. If you have a nebulizer, use this instead of an inhaler. If your breathing gets easier after using your medicine, you may still want to call your doctor to discuss follow-up or other treatments. Make sure your family knows what to do if you have an asthma attack.
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Know The 4 Steps Of Asthma First Aid
Its important for everyone in the community to know the 4 steps of asthma first aid.
One of the most common reliever medications in Australia is salbutamol, often known as your blue puffer. These are available over the counter from a chemist.
If you are not sure if someone is having an asthma attack, you can still use blue reliever medication because it is unlikely to cause harm.Call triple zero immediately if:
- the person is not breathing
- their asthma suddenly becomes worse or is not improving
- the person is having an asthma attack and theres no reliever medication available
- the person is unsure if it is asthma
- the person is known to have anaphylaxis. If this is the case, ALWAYS GIVE ADRENALINE AUTOINJECTOR FIRST, and then reliever, even if there are no skin symptoms.
What To Do First
Every persons asthma action plan can be a bit different, but its likely that general steps are similar.
If you are having symptoms of a severe asthma emergency:
- Take 4 to 6 puffs of your rescue inhaler or use your nebulizer.
- Go to the hospital or call 911 for an ambulance.
If you have a severe or worsening asthma attack and dont have your inhaler or nebulizer:
- Try not to panic. Panic makes asthma worse.
- Sit up straight and take slow deep breaths.
If you are having warning symptoms of a possible asthma emergency:
- Take 2 to 6 puffs of your rescue inhaler or use your nebulizer.
- Sit upright, loosen any tight clothing.
- Try to stay calm. Take slow, steady breaths.
- Repeat the 2 to 6 puffs or nebulizer treatment after 20 minutes.
- If you still have symptoms, call 911 or get to urgent care.
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How Can I Open My Airways Naturally
The most effective way to breathe easier is to use a neti pot to flush out the nasal passages. This is a common procedure in Ayurvedic medicine. There are many neti pots on the market, but I prefer the Netti Pot from Yogi Tea. It comes with complete instructions. All you have to do is use warm water and follow their suggested procedure. A neti pot clears the nasal passages and opens up the airways. The salts in the water are very effective at ridding you of allergies and killing any bacteria or viruses that may have taken up residence in the nasal passages. This is what you want to be sure you breathe in and out of your body. Try this once a day first thing in the morning. Youll feel better, I promise..
How To Handle An Asthma Attack
Breathing is essential to survival, and its pretty much automaticmost of us rarely ever think about the air that we inhale and exhale thousands of times a day. So when you suddenly start wheezing, coughing, sweating, feeling tightness in your chest, and struggling to breathe, the signs of distress can be frightening, both to you and others around you. These are classic symptoms of an asthma attack, which is caused by a tightening of the muscles around your airways, known to medical professionals as a bronchospasm. People who have been diagnosed with asthma often carry a rescue inhaler, also called a bronchodilator, which is a device that allows them to breathe in medication that will expand their airways during an asthma attack.
But how do you handle an asthma attack if youre caught without a rescue inhaler or the medication isnt working?
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Is It Possible To Stop Asthma Attack Without An Inhaler
As per the World Health Organization, asthma can be defined as a chronic condition “characterized by recurrent attacks of breathlessness and wheezing, which vary in severity and frequency from person to person.
Symptoms may occur several times in a day or week in affected individuals, and for some people become worse during physical activity or at night.”
During an asthma attack, the lining of the individual’s bronchial tubes swell. This causes the airways of the individual to narrow and reduces the flow of the air that travels in and out of the lungs.
An asthma attack can range from mild to severe depending on the severity of the condition. The most reliable way to deal with an asthma attack is to use a rescuer inhaler . An asthmatic must always carry an inhaler and use the medication as recommended by their doctor. In addition to that, few steps mentioned below can be considered for added advantage.
1. Adjust The Position
Different positions and postures can influence the opening and narrowing of the airways. It is important that the individual either sits up straight or stands up straight as this will open up the airways and help alleviate some of the asthma symptoms. Do note that under no circumstances should the individual lie down as this could worsen their symptoms.
2. Take A Deep Breath
3. Identify The Trigger
4. Making an Effort to be Calm
5. Look Up The Nearest Hospital/Emergency Room
Yoga And Practising Mindfulness
The benefits of yoga are manifold. If you want to get relief from your asthma symptoms, make sure you do yoga every single day. Yoga incorporates breathing and stretching exercises. It will help to increase your flexibility and also boost your overall fitness. Some yoga poses that can help open your throat and chest are the bound angle pose, bow pose, bridge pose, camel pose, cat pose, cobra pose, cow pose, and cat pose among many others. Meditate every day and increase focus on your mind and body. The focus on breath and stress control from yoga and meditation will help you a lot in breathing easily.
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Learn First Aid For Someone Who Is Having An Asthma Attack
1. Help the person sit in a comfortable position and take their inhaler.
When someone has an asthma attack, their airways narrow, making it difficult for them to breathe. An inhaler relaxes the muscles, allowing the airways to expand and ease their breathing.
2. Reassure the person. If the attack becomes severe, or they don’t have their inhaler, call 999 as soon as possible.
A mild attack should ease within a few minutes. If it doesnt, they can continue to take their inhaler. You should call 999 if they they dont have their inhaler, their inhaler has no effect, they are becoming worse or they become unable to talk. Do not leave them, in case the attack becomes severe quickly. If you cant call 999, get someone else to do it.
Favorite Blogs About Living With Asthma
The Asthma Allergies Children blog is the work of two physicians, both trained in allergies and immunology. The blog covers topics like medication adherence, cost of care, doctors pet peeves, integrative medicine, new research, and other news. For timely takes on noteworthy topics, check it out.
Stephen Gaudet was born with severe asthma more than 60 years ago and started his blog back in 2004. The blog chronicles the trials and tribulations asthma has caused him, as well as the victories. To date, Gaudet has completed 21 races and nine marathons . Read more about his debilitating diagnosis and how he has overcome it.
Additional reporting bySari Harrar.
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Move Away From Triggers
The presence of asthma triggers wont only cause an attack, they can also make your symptoms worse. Be sure to try to get away from things that may be triggering your asthma attack.
For example, if youre in an area where people are smoking cigarettes, you should move away promptly.
Its also important to know your triggers. Common triggers include:
- , such as pet dander, pollen, or certain foods
You should always be sure to seek immediate emergency medical treatment if you experience any of the following symptoms during an asthma attack:
- your symptoms continue to get worse even after treatment
- you cant speak except in short words or phrases
- youre straining your chest muscles in an effort to breathe
- your shortness of breath or wheezing is severe, particularly in the early morning or late-night hours
- you begin to feel drowsy or tired
- your lips or face appear blue when youre not coughing
Symptoms that indicate that you could be experiencing an asthma attack include:
- severe shortness of breath
Top Home Remedies For Asthma
Roughly 34 million Americans now have asthma, about 7 million to 8 million of which are children. Asthma is behind 12.8 million missed school days and 10.1 million missed work days in the U.S every single year. In addition, asthma costs the U.S. about $14.7 billion a year in medical costs, prescription drugs and lost productivity leading many people to search for home remedies for asthma.
Heres something that might surprise you: Although asthma medications can help control symptoms in the case of an emergency attack, they can actually sometimes make asthma symptomseven worse long term. Most asthma medications also have a host of side effects due to how they affect the endocrine system and the immune system. Research shows some asthma drugs might contribute to problems including mood changes, acne, yeast growth and weight gain plus over time they might hinder normal immune functions that make allergic and asthmatic reactions more frequent.
What are some effective, holistic ways of treating asthma that can help prevent attacks instead? Home remedies for asthma that dont require taking prescription medications or even using inhalers include limiting irritant exposure, reducing food allergies, improving gut health, supplementing with vitamin D or getting more naturally from the sun, and maintaining a healthy weight.
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How Do You Decide What Treatment Is Right For Your Asthma
Patients want to have a say in their care and treatment choices. We call it . This is where your asthma specialist discusses with you the pros and cons of a specific test or treatment. You then work together to decide what is best for you. These decisions will guide the development of your Asthma Action Plan.
Studies show when patients and healthcare providers partner on decisions, it improves health outcomes. Shared Decision-Making helps improve patients knowledge of their condition. They are also more likely to follow their treatment plans and go to follow-up appointments.
The Importance Of Self
Asthma is a chronic condition, which means that there is no cure. However, people can often manage the condition with a combination of daily and rescue medications.
Moreover, self-care is important for people with asthma. Individual responsibility and action are essential for the prevention of asthma attacks.
In combination with a medically sound asthma action plan, home remedies for asthma can be very helpful and play an important role in keeping the condition under control.
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Get Help From Your Healthcare Provider For Your Breathing Problems
Make sure to see your healthcare provider as soon as you start having symptoms. Asthma can be controlled but requires two things limiting or avoiding exposure to asthma triggers and using asthma medicines as prescribed by your doctor. An asthma action plan can help!
It is important to keep track of your symptoms. It can be a challenge to remember everything you need to share with your healthcare provider at your upcoming visit. Here are some tools that will help you give your doctor all the information he or she needs to properly link your workplace to your asthma symptoms.
- Keep a log or diary of your symptoms and bring it to your physician.
- Make sure to tell your provider about new symptoms and where you work. Download the Getting Ready for Your Office Visit form and complete the sections to improve the time that you have together.
Can Home Remedies Help With Asthma
Asthma is a serious illness, affecting over 25 million Americans. It can range in severity from mildly inconvenient to completely disabling and, rarely, can end in death.
Even moderate asthma can have a big impact on your life, limiting your ability to work, take care of your family, or enjoy your hobbies.
It makes sense that people are looking for any way to help manage their asthma, including using home remedies.
There is no cure for asthma so when we talk about home remedies, were really talking about lifestyle changes you can make to prevent triggering an attack and to manage asthma symptoms when it does flare up, says Anthony Gerber, MD, a pulmonologist and professor of pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine at National Jewish Health and an associate professor of medicine at the University of Colorado Denver.
Before you make any changes, however, you should have a talk with your doctor about your medical treatment plan. Most asthma is managed with a combination of medications and lifestyle changes, and either one alone isnt as effective, Dr. Gerber says.
Medications, including oral and inhaled steroids, are an important and life-saving part of treating asthma. There are no home substitutes for your asthma medications, and you should follow your doctors instructions for how and when to take them.
The goal is to get your asthma under daily control, Dr. Gerber says, adding that you should always carry your rescue inhaler in case of an acute attack.
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Conditions Related To Asthma
Asthma can be associated with several other conditions and health problems. In some cases, asthma can increase the likelihood of certain illnesses, like:
Additionally, there are some illnesses and health conditions that appear to be linked to asthma in that people with one are more likely to have the other, like:
Learn about common asthma symptoms and treatments and a lot more from one of the countrys preeminent medical institutions. You can also connect with Mayo Clinic doctors and clinicians for treatment options.
What Asthma Treatment Options Are There
You have options to help manage your asthma. Your healthcare provider may prescribe medications to control symptoms. These include:
- Anti-inflammatory medicines: These medicines reduce swelling and mucus production in your airways. They make it easier for air to enter and exit your lungs. Your healthcare provider may prescribe them to take every day to control or prevent your symptoms.
- Bronchodilators: These medicines relax the muscles around your airways. The relaxed muscles let the airways move air. They also let mucus move more easily through the airways. These medicines relieve your symptoms when they happen.
- Biologic therapies for asthma when symptoms persist despite being on proper inhaler therapy.
You can take asthma medicines in several different ways. You may breathe in the medicines using a metered-dose inhaler, nebulizer or other inhaler. Your healthcare provider may prescribe oral medications that you swallow.
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