What Happens If An Asthma Attack Goes Untreated
Without immediate asthma medicine and asthma treatment, your breathing may become more labored, and wheezing may get louder. If you use a peak flow meter during an asthma attack, your reading will probably be less than your personal best.
As your lungs continue to tighten during the asthma attack, you may be unable to use the peak flow meter at all. Gradually, your lungs may tighten so much during the asthma attack that there is not enough air movement to produce wheezing. This is sometimes called the “silent chest,” and it is a dangerous sign. You need to be taken to a hospital immediately with a severe asthma attack. Call 911 for help. Unfortunately, some people interpret the disappearance of wheezing during the asthma attack as a sign of improvement and fail to get prompt emergency care.
If you do not receive adequate treatment for an asthma attack, you may eventually be unable to speak and can develop a bluish coloring around your lips. This color change, known as “cyanosis,” means you have less and less oxygen in your blood. Without immediate aggressive treatment in an emergency room or intensive care unit, you may lose consciousness and eventually die.
What Are Asthma Attack Symptoms
People with asthma are usually familiar with the symptoms of asthma attacks, which can include shortness of breath , chest pain, chest tightness, wheezing, coughing, fast heart rate, and a low score on the peak flow meter .
Severe asthma attacks are a medical emergency. You should call 911 or seek emergency medical attention from a medical professional if:
- you have severe shortness of breath
- your symptoms continue to worsen even after treatment
- you are unable to speak, or short sentences leave you breathless
- you need to strain your chest muscles to breathe
- your lips or face have a bluish tinge
- you are starting to feel drowsy or fatigued
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.
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How Do I Open My Airways
If you have asthma, the best way to keep your airways open is to use your asthma medications as directed by your doctor. These medications can open your airways using a variety of mechanisms, including relaxing airway muscles or reducing inflammation.
Long-term control medications can help prevent the airways from narrowing and leading to asthma symptoms. When asthma symptoms do occur, quick-relief medications like your rescue inhaler can help to quickly open your airways.
In addition to using your asthma medications as directed, some other things that may help to open your airways include practicing breathing exercises or trying steam inhalation.
What’s An Asthma Flare
An asthma flare-up is when asthma symptoms get worse, making someone wheeze, cough, or be short of breath. An asthma flare-up can happen even when asthma is controlled.
Asthma flare-ups are also called asthma attacks or exacerbations.
Triggers like allergies, respiratory infections , cigarette smoke, exercise, or even cold air can cause a flare-up and make asthma symptoms worse.
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Increase Your Vitamin C And D Intake
It is vital to consume a well-balanced diet with vegetables and fruits that are rich in flavonoids and antioxidants, such as vitamins C and D. These compounds also act as anti-inflammatory agents and aid relief.
How to use:
Include citrus foods such as orange and lemon, kiwi, potato, and vitamin D-rich foods such as milk, fish, egg, liver, cheese, and cereals in your diet. Use supplements only after consulting your doctor.
What Types Of Asthma Are There
Asthma is broken down into types based on the cause and the severity of symptoms. Healthcare providers identify asthma as:
- Intermittent: This type of asthma comes and goes so you can feel normal in between asthma flares.
- Persistent: Persistent asthma means you have symptoms much of the time. Symptoms can be mild, moderate or severe. Healthcare providers base asthma severity on how often you have symptoms. They also consider how well you can do things during an attack.
Asthma has multiple causes:
- Allergic: Some peoples allergies can cause an asthma attack. Allergens include things like molds, pollens and pet dander.
- Non-allergic: Outside factors can cause asthma to flare up. Exercise, stress, illness and weather may cause a flare.
Asthma can also be:
- Adult-onset: This type of asthma starts after the age of 18.
- Pediatric: Also called childhood asthma, this type of asthma often begins before the age of 5, and can occur in infants and toddlers. Children may outgrow asthma. You should make sure that you discuss it with your provider before you decide whether your child needs to have an inhaler available in case they have an asthma attack. Your childs healthcare provider can help you understand the risks.
In addition, there are these types of asthma:
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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.
How To Help Someone Having An Asthma Attack Without An Inhaler
Trying to help a person struggling through an asthma attack without an inhaler can be a frightening experience, but the most important thing you can do to help is to stay calm. Aside from breathing slowly, staying calm is crucial for the person experiencing an asthma attack and you dont want to add to the stress he is experiencing.
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How Do You Monitor Asthma Symptoms
You should keep track of your asthma symptom. Its an important piece of managing the disease. Your healthcare provider may ask to use a peak flow meter. This device measures how fast you can blow air out of your lungs. It can help your provider make adjustments to your medication. It also tells you if your symptoms are getting worse.
After An Asthma Attack: Changing Your Asthma Management Or Asthma Attack Treatment
After an asthma attack evaluation, your doctor may want to step up treatment, step down treatment, change treatment, or increase your doctor visits, said Bernstein.
Some signs that your treatment plan may need to change include:
- Frequent asthma attacks
- Needing to take more asthma medication than prescribed
- Waking up at night with asthma symptoms
- Daytime activity limited by asthma
- Continued cough, congestion, and mucous production
- Poor peak flow rates
Knowing what to do after an asthma attack is part of learning how to manage your asthma. Each asthma attack is a chance to learn more about your asthma triggers and your asthma medications. Sharing this information with your doctor gives you and your doctor the opportunity to make the right adjustments to your asthma action plan Ã¢ and that could mean fewer asthma attacks in your future.
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What To Do After An Asthma Attack
During an asthma attack or exacerbation, your airways narrow, making it harder to breathe and get enough oxygen to your lungs. You may also have symptoms like chest pain, coughing, and wheezing. Your air passages can become so inflamed that you need urgent care at a hospital.
An asthma attack can be a frightening experience. It can take days or even weeks to fully recover.
If youve ever had an attack, the thought of having another one can be frightening. Taking some time for yourself after an asthma attack can help you recover and possibly lower your risk of having another one.
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What Is An Asthma Attack
An asthma attack occurs when the muscles surrounding the airways tighten and your airways become too narrow for you to breathe effectively.
An attack can happen suddenly if your asthma is not under control and you are exposed to one of your triggers. Or it can build up slowly, over hours, days or even weeks.
It is important to learn to recognize the symptoms of worsening asthma and know what to do if you have an asthma attack.
What Are The Symptoms Of An Asthma Attack
The most common symptoms include:
Mild to Severe
- Disrupted sleep due to asthma symptoms & breathing difficulty
- Daytime symptoms 2 or more times per week
- Inability to exercise normally without breathing issues
- Getting a cold/flu
If you experience any of the above symptoms, book an urgent appointment with your healthcare provider. An asthma attack could be on its way. The timely help can prevent dangerous consequences.
- Excessive cough, wheeze and chest tightness
- Difficulty speaking due to asthma
- Experiencing shortness of breath at rest
- Lips or nail beds turning blue
- Reliever medication isnt helping
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How Can I Prevent Asthma Flare
Asthma flare-ups can be handled, but its even better if you can prevent them from happening. To do that:
- Take asthma medicines as directed. If your doctor prescribed a long-term control medicine, take it each day, even when you feel fine. It needs to be taken exactly as your doctor tells you to keep protecting you against flare-ups.
- Get a flu shot each year before flu season starts.
- Avoid triggers. By knowing and avoiding your triggers, you might be able to prevent some flare-ups.
Its important to plan ahead and know what to do. Work with your doctor to build and update your asthma action plan. That way, you know what to do if a flare-up happens and youre in control if things get serious.
How Is Asthma Treated
Take your medicine exactly as your doctor tells you and stay away from things that can trigger an attack to control your asthma.
Everyone with asthma does not take the same medicine.
You can breathe in some medicines and take other medicines as a pill. Asthma medicines come in two typesquick-relief and long-term control. Quick-relief medicines control the symptoms of an asthma attack. If you need to use your quick-relief medicines more and more, visit your doctor to see if you need a different medicine. Long-term control medicines help you have fewer and milder attacks, but they dont help you while you are having an asthma attack.
Asthma medicines can have side effects, but most side effects are mild and soon go away. Ask your doctor about the side effects of your medicines.
Remember you can control your asthma. With your doctors help, make your own asthma action plan. Decide who should have a copy of your plan and where he or she should keep it. Take your long-term control medicine even when you dont have symptoms.
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When To Go To The Er For Asthma
If you or someone you know are experiencing a severe asthma attack, seek medical attention immediately. Ideally, you should have already talked with your doctor to develop an asthma action plan in the case of an emergency. Otherwise, here are some common signs that indicate you should seek medical help:
- Minimal/no improvement with quick-relief inhaler use
- Abnormal shortness of breath during minimal physical exertion
- Rapid decline in breathing or wheezing
- Blue lips or fingernails
Monitoring Asthma At Home
Some people use a handheld peak flow meter to evaluate their breathing and determine when they need intervention, before their symptoms become severe. People who experience frequent, severe asthma attacks should know how to reach help quickly.
Peak expiratory flow can be measured using a small handheld device called a peak flow meter. This test can be used at home to monitor the severity of asthma. Usually, peak flow rates are lowest between 4 AM and 6 AM and highest at 4 PM. However, more than a 30% difference in rates at these times is considered evidence of moderate to severe asthma. People with moderate to severe asthma, particularly those who need daily treatment to control symptoms, often use a peak flow meter to take measurements and compare them to their personal best to help identify signs of worsening asthma or the onset of an asthma attack.
All people with asthma should have a written treatment action plan that was devised in collaboration with their doctor. Such a plan allows them to take control of their own treatment and has been shown to decrease the number of times people need to seek care for asthma in the emergency department.
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What Are Triggers For Asthma
What are Triggers for Asthma? Asthma can be triggered by allergies or by exercise , and most commonly where there is a high degree of particulate smog, cigarette smoke, dust, pollen, pet dander , exposure to household or environmental chemicals, mold and very commonly taking prescription medicines. Asthma can be caused or triggered by your body fighting off a cold or flu. Or even if you are suffering with an autoimmune condition or have immune system issues. These, along with your asthma symptoms can be helped by the recommendations at the bottom of this article.
Your immune system is already activated against an allergen or a viral infection so it is on high alert. It then causes an overreaction that your body sees as an attack against an incoming invader and attempts to attack it and it causes histamine release, inflammation and swelling of the bronchial tubes. The effects of this histamine release and inflammation is lots of mucus and phlegm rushing to the area. That really just makes the problem worse, and clogs up your breathing tubes so it can cut off your breathing completely! It can be a medical emergency if youre not prepared.
Tips For When You Dont Have An Inhaler
Mild to moderate asthma attacks can occur at inopportune times. You may be able to manage your asthma more effectively with these tips. If these dont work CALL AN AMBULANCE.
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