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How To Help Someone With Asthma

What Steps Should Someone Take If Their Loved One Is Having An Asthma Attack

The first step is to calm the person down. If they get anxious, hyperventilate, it makes the situation only worse. If albuterol is available, bring it to the patient and have them take two inhalations and wait for it to work for 15-20 minutes. If there is not much improvement, give another two puffs and seek medical attention.

Not every asthma sufferer always has their inhaler available, unfortunately. We had a situation once during our dragon boat practice when one team member suffered an asthma attack while we were on the Schuylkill River – the inhaler was in her car on land! The best thing to do in this situation, is to have the person use his/her accessory muscles to help breathing by propping up the arms on the thighs in sitting position. Staying calm is very important.

But we highly recommend that for every person with asthma, a rescue inhaler/bronchodilator is available when exercising – and ideally at all times .

They Want You To Think About How Your Illness Could Impact Them

Having asthma means that a person is more susceptible to respiratory illnesses and when they do contract the illness, it can create significant health problems for them. As such, if you are ill with a cold or the flu, even though these appear to be non-serious conditions to the everyday person, they can actually be a life-threatening illness for asthmatics. If your illness could threaten their health, keep away.

What An Asthma Attack Feels Like

Inhale, exhale, repeat. Breathing is just that simple for most people. But for those with asthma, sudden symptoms focus their full attention on this otherwise intuitive reflex.

You notice your breathing more feel every breath, says Laurence Jones, a photographer from the United Kingdom who lives with the chronic respiratory disease. Its uncertain, troubling.

While Jones has had mild, well-managed since childhood, hes experienced a few severe asthma attacks in his life.

Thats really scary, he says. You breathe in, but the air doesnt fill your lungs, like you are drowning in the open air.

What Is Severe Asthma

Though patients with mild-to-moderate asthma can experience difficulty breathing, it is especially difficult for those with Severe Asthma where symptoms can be life-threatening. In either case, patients cant participate in daily activities if their disease is uncontrolled.

Similar to those with mildmoderate asthma, patients with Severe Asthma also have disease that is chronic. However, they have more difficulty achieving control of their disease, and need a greater number of medications and often at higher doses. They require more medical care than patients with mild-to-moderate disease.

Being Prepared For An Asthma Emergency

How to help someone with an Asthma Attack

An asthma attack can range from mild to severe. A severe attack, also called an exacerbation, can be a medical emergency. Having an asthma action plan is the key to recognizing and managing an asthma emergency.

Work with your doctor to come up with an asthma action plan. This plan shows when you are in the green zone , yellow zone or red zone . Your plan will also list instructions for what to do in each situation.

Which Sports Are Best For People With Asthma

Some sports and activities can be better choices for people with asthma. Golf, yoga, and gentle biking are less likely to trigger asthma flare-ups. Sports like baseball, football, gymnastics, and shorter track and field events can be good choices too.

Some sports may be more challenging for people with asthma. These include endurance sports like long-distance running or cycling or sports that demand a lot of energy without a lot of rest time . Cold-weather sports like cross-country skiing or ice hockey also can be difficult.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t do these sports if you truly enjoy them. Many athletes with asthma have found that with proper training and the right dose and use of medicine, they can play any sport they want.

They Dont Want You To Make Assumptions

Havent you heard of the saying, when you assume, you make an ass out of you and me? Assumptions about asthma or even about your loved ones journey with asthma can be risky, inaccurate and hurtful. Dont make assumptions about how your loved one thinks, how they feel and how they are coping with their situation. Although there are times where our assumptions are right, most of the time, they are incorrect and negative. Show your loved one some courtesy by asking them what they really feel instead of assuming or interpreting their actions or words through blurred vision. Negativity will hurt your relationship and we must strive to eliminate these potential obstacles wherever possible.

Diagnosing Asthma In Children Younger Than 6

It can be hard to tell whether a child under age 6 has asthma or another respiratory condition, because young children often cannot perform a pulmonary function test such as spirometry. After checking a childs history and symptoms, the doctor may try asthma medicines for a few months to see how well a child responds. About 40% of children who wheeze when they get colds or respiratory infections are eventually diagnosed with asthma.

Adding Yoga To An Asthma Treatment Plan

An asthma treatment plan, sometimes called an asthma action plan, is a tailored guide that can help people effectively manage their asthma. A doctor devises this plan and personalizes it to an individualâs needs.

It can include things to avoid, which medications to take, and what to do in case of an asthma attack.

Although medication is a key part of an asthma treatment plan, a healthcare professional may also comprise nondrug therapies, which can include home remedies, yoga, and more.

Adding regular yoga practice to an asthma treatment plan strengthens the muscles, increases flexibility, and builds a connection between the body and breath.

However, it is crucial to note that this activity is not a medically proven treatment for asthma and cannot relieve acute symptoms. With this in mind, a person experiencing worsening asthma symptoms should consult their asthma action plan.

In addition to helping people with asthma, yoga offers various physical and mental benefits.

Will Medicine Help Me Sleep Better

Yes, if you have nighttime asthma symptoms. Many people wake up with asthma symptoms such as coughing or wheezing. You can control nighttime symptoms by taking asthma medicines as directed by your doctor. 

Removing triggers where you sleep may help you sleep better. Many people are allergic to dust mites and mold found in bedding materials. Using mattress or pillow encasements can help contain those allergens. Dehumidifiers can also be helpful to reduce the humidity in your home that dust mites and mold need to exist. Using air cleaners in your bedroom may also help reduce your exposure to allergens and irritants . 

Asthma And Breathing Exercises

Exercising can be more challenging when you have asthma, especially if youre worried it might set off an asthma attack. But exercise is beneficial for your overall health and your asthma. In fact, having regular exercise could result in improving your asthma symptoms, as increasing your heart rate helps improve your lung power, boost stamina and reduce breathlessness.

In addition, regular exercise can help you maintain a healthy weight and reduce the risk of an asthma attack. Exercising also releases chemicals in your brain called endorphins, which can raise your mood and help you feel better.

The best types to do if you have asthma are:

  • Swimming the warm moist air in a swimming pool is asthma-friendly. Swimming is a good low-impact cardiovascular workout that helps the whole of your body and especially the muscles you use for breathing.
  • Walking   walking is a great way to improve your fitness, especially if you need to build up slowly.
  • Cycling   steady cycling can improve movement and endurance levels, without overstraining the lungs.
  • Jogging jogging can help strengthen the muscles you use for breathing, as well as improve your fitness as a whole.
  • Team sports team sports that involve short bursts of physical activity, such as netball, volleyball, football or athletics can be good choices to try.

Whats An Asthma Attack

When you breathe normally, muscles around your airways are relaxed, letting air move easily. During an asthma attack, three things can happen:

  • Bronchospasm: The muscles around the airways constrict . When they tighten, it makes the airways narrow. Air cannot flow freely through constricted airways.
  • Inflammation: The airway linings become swollen. Swollen airways dont let as much air in or out of the lungs.
  • Mucus production: During the attack, your body creates more mucus. This thick mucus clogs airways.

Will I Have To Take Medicine All The Time

FIRST AID: How to help someone having an asthma attack ...

Maybe not. Asthma is a chronic condition that is controllable. Unfortunately, there is no cure for asthma. For that reason, you may have asthma symptoms when exposed to triggers. This is the case even if you dont have symptoms very often. Your triggers can change over time, and your treatment will depend on two things: how severe your asthma is, and how often you have symptoms. If your asthma is controlled, your treatment will focus on managing symptoms and treatment of episodes when they happen. 

If your symptoms happen at certain times and you know what caused them, you and your doctor can use this information to determine the best treatment. If, for example, you have seasonal asthma because of a specific pollen allergy, you may take medicines only when that pollen is in the air. But asthma that specific is not common. Many people with asthma take some form of medicine most or all of the time. 

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.

Caffeinated Tea Or Coffee

The caffeine in black or green tea and coffee is believed to help treat asthma. It works similarly to the popular asthma medication theophylline, which opens up the airways.

A 2010 research review, the most recent available, found that caffeine may slightly improve breathing function in people with asthma for up to 4hours.

Still, there isnt enough evidence to show whether caffeine can improve asthma symptoms.

They Want To Be Kept Away From Smoke

Smoke is hazardous to everybody, but even more so for asthmatics. Avoid smoking or putting your loved one in situations where they are exposed to second hand smoke. Research has suggested that passive smoking may actually be more harmful than the act of smoking itself. The smoke that is produced at the end of the cigarette is created from far more harmful substances than the chemicals in the smoke inhaled at the front of the cigarette. For asthmatics, second hand smoke can trigger symptoms like wheezing, coughing and shortness of breath which are incredibly painful experiences.

What Is An Asthma Attack

Asthma is a chronic disease that affects the lungs. During an asthma attack, the airways become narrower than normal and can cause difficulty breathing.

The severity of an asthma attack can range from mild to very serious. Some asthma attacks may require prompt medical attention.

The preferred way of treating an asthma attack is to use a rescue inhaler, which contains medication that expands your airways.

But what if youre having an asthma attack and dont have your rescue inhaler available? There are several things that you can do while you wait for your symptoms to subside or for medical attention. Read on to learn more.

You Can Control Your Asthma

You can control your asthma! When you control your asthma, you will breathe easier, be as active as you would like, sleep well, stay out of the hospital, and be free from coughing and wheezing. Learn about controlling your asthma at CDCs asthma site.

Asthma is one of the most common lifelong chronic diseases. One in 13 Americans lives with asthma, a disease affecting the lungs and causing repeated episodes of wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness, and coughing.

Although asthma cannot be cured, you can control your asthma successfully to reduce and to prevent asthma attacks, also called episodes. Successful asthma management includes knowing the warning signs of an attack, avoiding things that may trigger an attack, and working with your doctor to develop your personal Asthma Action Plan. CDCs National Asthma Control Program has worked to help millions of people with asthma in the United States gain control over their disease since 1999. CCARE, Controlling Childhood Asthma and Reducing Emergencies, is the programs new objective of preventing 500,000 Emergency Department visits and hospitalizations due to asthma by August 31, 2024.

Asthma deaths have decreased over time and varied by demographic characteristics. The rate of asthma deaths decreased from 15 per million in 2001 to 10 per million in 2018. Deaths due to asthma are rare and are thought to be largely preventable, particularly among children and young adults.

Asthma deaths have decreased over time.

What Are The Differences Between Mild

Patients who have mild-to-moderate asthma can generally control their disease with commonly prescribed medications. But patients with more severe illness, who are on high doses of medications including oral corticosteroids, still may find themselves visiting hospital emergency rooms because of an asthma attack and unable to control their disease. They may find that they have to typically adjust their daily lives, be it missing work, missing school, or not participating in physical activities. The asthma attacks experienced by patients with Severe Asthma may even result in death.

Patients with Severe Asthma are more reliant on their asthma medications. A cross-Canada survey conducted by Asthma Canada looking at the impact of Severe Asthma found that the majority of respondents said they use their controller medication once a day, and about seven out of every 10 said they use it at least twice a day. A significant portion of respondents with Severe Asthma said they use their reliever medication once a day, and 28.8% said they use it at least twice daily.

One of the other differences between mild-to-moderate asthma and Severe Asthma is that patients with severe disease are more likely to have co-morbidities or co-existing medical conditions. These include obesity, obstructive sleep apnea, and gastroesophageal reflux disease .

What Causes An Asthma Attack

An asthma attack can happen when you are exposed to asthma triggers. Your asthma triggers can be very different from someone elses asthma triggers. Know your triggers and learn how to avoid them. Watch out for an attack when you cant avoid your triggers. Some of the most common triggers are tobacco smoke, dust mites, outdoor air pollution, cockroach allergen, pets, mold, smoke from burning wood or grass, and infections like flu.

Symptoms Of An Asthma Attack

Help Someone During an Asthma Attack

Signs that you may be having an asthma attack include:

  • your symptoms are getting worse
  • your reliever inhaler is not helping
  • you’re too breathless to speak, eat or sleep
  • your breathing is getting faster and it feels like you cannot catch your breath
  • your peak flow score is lower than normal
  • children may also complain of a tummy or chest ache

The symptoms will not necessarily occur suddenly. In fact, they often come on slowly over a few hours or days.

Overall How Can Someone Best Support Their Loved One With Asthma

It is very important to take asthma seriously. For most asthma sufferers there are treatments available to completely control their asthma. Nobody should be allowed to make fun of somebody taking medication or voicing concerns over situations that cause symptoms for them. It’s important to remind loved ones of regular doctor visits, getting refills for their medications in time, and taking their medications according to directions from the physician.

What To Do When Someone Is Having A Severe Asthma Attack

A severe asthma attack can be dangerous and an alarming situation for both the victim and those around them. Do you know what to do if you find yourself needing to assist someone during an asthma attack? Emergency room physician Dr. Troy Madsen walks through step-by-step what you should do to assess the situation and best help during someone else’s asthma attack.

Whats The Connection Between Coronavirus And Asthma

COVID-19 is a respiratory disease caused by a coronavirus. That means it can affect your lungs, throat, and nose. For people who have asthma, infection with the virus could lead to an asthma attack, pneumonia, or other serious lung disease.

One small study shows that asthma doesnât raise your chances of getting infected with the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. But if you do get sick, your symptoms could be worse than other peopleâs because you already have trouble breathing. People with conditions such as asthma are encouraged to get the COVID-19 vaccine when it is available to them.

Thereâs no treatment for COVID-19. But there are steps you can take to protect yourself and your loved ones including getting vaccinated.

Are There More Advanced Treatments For Severe Uncontrolled Asthma Symptoms

Advanced asthma treatments include medicines called , which are made from natural substances. These drugs help by reducing your bodys reaction to asthma triggers and controlling inflammation.

If your asthma is not controlled with steroids or other methods, bronchial thermoplasty may be an option. Doctors use an electrode to heat the inside of your airways. This procedure helps relax the airways to help you breathe easier.

When in doubt, its always best to ask for help. When left untreated, uncontrolled asthma can cause long-term damage to your lungs that can make it even more difficult to breathe.

If your asthma symptoms are not improving, schedule an appointment with a pulmonary specialist at the Temple Lung Center.

Yoga Breathing Exercises For Asthma

Yoga breathing or yogasana for asthma stems from the practice of yoga. As a form of exercise, yoga incorporates the need to breathe steadily in a controlled fashion whilst moving, stretching and balancing.

Some studies have shown encouraging results and an improvement in asthma symptoms after yoga breathing techniques have been practised. Yoga is also good for helping to relieve stress and, as stress can be a trigger for asthma, it may be good to try both yoga breathing exercises and yoga movements.

How To Help Someone Suffering An Asthma Attack

Aug 13, 2018

Asthma is still a huge issue in Australia and around the globe. Around 2.5 million Aussies are affected by the condition, which kills more than 400 people each year and hospitalises a further 39,5000.

Worryingly, symptoms can occur at any time. Its caused by inflammations in the lungs, specifically in the bronchial tubes, that cause muscles around the tube to tighten up and obstruct lung function making it even more difficult for people to breathe in and out.

Particularly in the transition from winter to spring, dust mites, cats, pollen from plants and certain foods can cause allergic reactions and increase the severity of asthma. Despite the breathing problem impacting so many people around the world, leading pharmacist and CEO of Pharmacy 4 Less Feras Karem claims many people are unaware how to practice asthma first-aid in the event of a serious incident.

Of course, its always important to contact 000 first if a loved one is experiencing a severe or life-threatening asthma attack. However, Karem now offers the essential steps to take to assist someone having an attack.

Watch How To Help Someone Who Is Having An Asthma Attack


What is asthma?

Asthma is a medical condition that affects the airways the tubes that carry air in and out of the lungs. When someone has an asthma attack, these tubes become narrowed, making it difficult to breathe in and out.


How can I tell if someone is having an asthma attack?

People with asthma should be able to let you know if they are having an attack.

Someone having an asthma attack will have difficulty breathing and speaking, and may cough and wheeze. They may be very anxious and distressed as they struggle to breathe.In some cases, their lips, earlobes and nail beds may turn greyish-blue because there isnt enough oxygen in their body.


What sort of medication will someone with asthma use?

Someone who has asthma will normally have an inhaler that their doctor has prescribed. They may also have a spacer, which makes the inhaler more effective.

If someone is having an asthma attack they should know how to use their inhaler and spacer but they may need your help in finding them.


What does an inhaler look like?

Inhalers can come in many different sizes and shapes. Inhalers to relieve asthma attacks are usually blue. Inhalers that prevent asthma attacks may be brown or white.

How do you use an inhaler?

If a person has asthma they should know how to use their inhaler, they may need your help getting it for them. They should take it as normal. If that doesnt help they can take one or two puffs every 30 or 60 seconds until theyve had 10 puffs.  



Occupational Asthma Is Triggered By An Irritant Youre Exposed To At Work

How to Help Someone Experiencing an Asthma Attack

If your asthma started when you changed jobs, improves when youre away from your work environment, or is triggered by chemicals that make it difficult to breathe, then you may be suffering from occupational asthma.

Occupational factors are associated with up to 15 percent of disabling asthma cases in the United States. An estimated 11 million workers in a wide range of industries are exposed to at least one of the numerous agents known to be associated with occupational asthma. 

More than 250 manufacturing substances have been known to exacerbate occupational asthma, such as:

  • Paints

Are There Any Common Items In The Home That Can Help Someone During An Asthma Attack

Asthma attacks can be triggered by hot or cold air, by smoke, certain smells or exposures, and more. The best is to remove the person from the trigger – that means going outside to catch your breath, coming into the warmth , drinking some water if the throat irritation triggered the attack. Sometimes drinking something warm can help a little. Of course the albuterol/bronchodilator is the most effective way to treat an asthma attack, but Primatene Mist can also help. Caffeine has a similar effect, but then strength and onset of action is probably not fast enough during an acute asthma episode.

Move To Another Location

Asthma patients suffer an attack in case of a trigger. If you know the possible triggers of the victim, you should get him or her moved to another location to get them away from the trigger. An asthma attack can occur due to pollen, dust, animal dander, mold, dirt, gases, and many other reasons. Some people even suffer an attack when they get excited. You should ask the person, if possible, about the possible trigger and move them to a safe location.

Consider taking a CPR online and first aid class to learn about skills that can help save the life of the asthma victim. In a CPR online class,  you will learn about the steps to provide assistance to a victim who is not breathing. With the online class, you can go beyond the basic first aid skills and learn about important lifesaving skills.

Make sure that you select the right CPR online class to learn about lifesaving skills. Apart from helping an asthma patient, you can assist people in different emergency situations when you know CPR and basic first aid. The skills learned in the CPR online class will allow you to help drowning, choking, and heart attack victims.


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