What Is An Asthma Attack
An asthma attack is an exacerbation;of asthma symptoms, during which a patients inflamed bronchial tubes prevent them from moving air in and out of their lungs. This episode may also be referred to as an asthma flareup. Regardless of what you call it, the symptoms are the same. Asthma attacks sometimes go on for several minutes at a time. If you have a more serious case of asthma or youve been consistently exposed to an asthma trigger, then the attack can continue for hours. At worst, some attacks can endure for days.
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You may have had asthma since childhood. Symptoms typically manifest in children five or younger. Sometimes laughing or crying can lead to an asthma attack in children, while other times its playing, excessive running, cold air and other weather shifts, scents such as perfume or smoke, and allergens such as pollen, dust mites or pet dander. Even being sick with a cold can cause asthma attacks.
In other instances, your job could trigger your feelings of breathlessness. This is known as occupational asthma, in which asthma attacks occur from breathing in dust, gases, fumes or other irritants. Allergic asthma can;be exacerbated by said allergen, be that pollen or pet dander.
How To Know If You Need An Inhaler
Since inhalers are prescribed for asthma, its important to get a background on what this health condition is.
Asthma is a respiratory condition in which a patients airways narrow and swell while producing extra mucus. The airways narrow for a number of reasons, for which the most common is the inflammation of the airways.
These effects of asthma cause breathing difficulties, trigger coughs, and produce a wheezing sound or sensation.
Sadly, asthma is not a medical condition that can be cured. For patients going through asthma, most treatment plans focus on keeping asthmatic symptoms under control.
Not all people go through severe asthmatic conditions. For some, asthma may be no more than a minor nuisance, whereas, for some, it can be a severe health condition that could potentially lead to life-threatening asthma attacks.
To understand if youre developing an asthma condition that might require you to need an inhaler, its essential to look for signs and symptoms of asthma.
What Is A Preventer Inhaler
A preventer inhaler is the main way to treat asthma. It contains a low dose of steroid medicine to keep down inflammation and swelling in your airways.
Giving the medicine through an inhaler means it can get to your airways more easily.
The steroids in your preventer inhaler are called corticosteroids, says Dr Andy Whittamore, Asthma UKs in-house GP. They are a copy of the steroids our bodies produce naturally. They are not the same as steroids used by bodybuilders.
Your preventer inhaler is not for asthma attacks
You need to use your reliever inhaler when symptoms come on. Your reliever inhaler acts quickly when you have an asthma attack, so keep it with you at all times.;
What Should I Do If I Have A Severe Asthma Attack
A severe asthma attack needs immediate medical care. The first step is your rescue inhaler. A rescue inhaler uses fast-acting medicines to open up your airways. Its different than your normal maintenance inhaler, which you use every day. You should only use the rescue inhaler in an emergency.
If your rescue inhaler doesnt help or you dont have it with you, go to the emergency department if you have:
- Anxiety or panic.
- Bluish fingernails, bluish lips or gray or whitish lips or gums .
- Chest pain or pressure.
Albuterol Inhalation May Cause Side Effects Tell Your Doctor If Any Of These Symptoms Are Severe Or Do Not Go Away:
- uncontrollable shaking of a part of the body
- difficulty swallowing
Albuterol inhalation may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while using this medication.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online or by phone .
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Knowing Your Asthma Action Plan Is Step One
For most people with asthma, managing the chronic condition involves a multi-pronged approach tailored to your symptoms and lifestyle.
Step one for everyone, however, is having a firm grasp of your asthma action plan.
Work with your doctor to create an asthma action plan that covers how to:
- Take your medication properly
- Quit smoking, if you do
In addition, monitor your symptoms carefully. Keep track of what they are, when they occur, and their severity.
Journal of Asthma and Allergy,
- In cold, dry air
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Rules For Asthma Inhaler Colours
While blue and brown are commonly used colours, inhalers are manufactured by many different pharmaceutical brands and are used by patients across the globe. There are no rules to restrict what colours are chosen by the manufacturers for the different types of inhaler; they are free to use whichever colour they see fit.
Over the years the two main types of inhaler have, for the most part, stuck to the convention of brown and blue.
There have been calls from groups of asthma specialists and healthcare professionals for a regulated colour-coded system to be implemented; and particularly so for relievers as these need to be identified quickly when used in an emergency.
The UK Inhaler Group carried out a recent survey which found that 95 percent of surveyed healthcare professionals felt that the blue colour convention was important when referring to reliever inhalers.
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How Do Preventers Help Asthma
Preventers;are the mainstay of asthma treatment because they treat the underlying cause of the symptoms. They contain a corticosteroid which works by making the airways less sensitive, reduce redness and swelling and help to dry up mucus.;
You need to take your preventer every day for it to work;properly, to;preventsymptomsand reduce the likelihood ofasthma attacks. It may take two to four weeks before they reach their full effect.;Preventers have also been found to improve asthma-related quality of life.;
Combination preventers contain two or more medicines in one inhaler. They are the next step up in asthma treatment. Read more here:Combination Preventers;
How To Use Your Inhaler
Your salbutamol inhaler works quickly to make your breathing easier.
Inhalers can be difficult to use and mistakes in the technique can mean very little of the medicine gets into your lungs where you need it. Before using your inhaler, read the manufacturer’s printed information leaflet from inside the pack. This leaflet gives you information and diagrams to show you how to use the inhaler, how to keep it clean, and how long to use it before getting a replacement.
It’s very important that you use your inhaler properly. This is so you get the right amount of salbutamol into your lungs and the most benefit from it.
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What To Do If You Have An Asthma Attack And Dont Have Your Rescue Inhaler
As a person with asthma, I do my best to ensure I have my rescue inhaler with me at all times because having an asthma attack and no inhaler can be problematic. In fact, I have a rescue inhaler stashed in several places in my car, in my purse, at my house. This way if I have an asthma attack, my inhaler is generally within reach. Theoretically.
However, we all know that things happen. Life happens. When I was working as a floor nurse, a cleaning product being used by the housekeeper sent me into an asthma attack.
My inhaler was in my purse, which was in my locker. You would think that working on a nursing unit, Id have an albuterol inhaler readily available, but that was not the case.
It was a very busy night and I thought to myself, Ill answer one more call right before grabbing my inhaler., Ill give one more medication.
Before I knew it, my wheezing was so severe that my manager could hear me from her office and she wheeled me to the ER. I spent the remainder of my shift there before the physician sent me home, prednisone prescription in hand.
I learned my lesson that night I need a back-up plan for when my inhaler is not readily available.
What Is Good Asthma Care
Your doctor or nurse will tailor your asthma treatment to your symptoms. Sometimes you may need to be on higher levels of medication than at others.
You should be offered:
- care at your GP surgery provided by doctors and nurses trained in asthma management
- full information about your condition and how to control it
- involvement in making decisions about your treatment
- regular checks to ensure your asthma is under control and your treatment is right for you
- a written personal asthma action plan agreed with your doctor or nurse
It is also important that your GP or pharmacist teaches you how to properly use your inhaler, as this is an important part of good asthma care.
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How To Use An Mdi Inhaler With A Spacer
- Put the inhaler into the spacer.
- Shake it for 5 seconds.
- Hold the inhaler up with your index finger on top and your thumb underneath to support it. Use the other hand to hold the spacer if you need to.
- Breathe out.
- Put the mouthpiece between your teeth, and close your lips tightly around the spacer.
- Press the top down and breathe in until your lungs fill completely — about 3-5 seconds.
- Hold the medicine in your lungs as long as you can , then breathe out.
- If you donât get enough air in the first breath, wait 15-30 seconds and try again. Shake the inhaler again before the second puff. Donât fill the chamber with two puffs of medicine at once.
- Recap the mouthpiece.
- If your medicine has a steroid in it, rinse your mouth and gargle with water after you use the inhaler. Spit out the water.
Aim For A Healthy Body Weight
People with obesity tend to have more severe asthma and more frequent symptoms.
People who are overweight and obese are also more likely to have obstructive sleep apnea . This is a condition that causes a person to stop breathing for short periods during sleep. People with OSA get very tired during the day. If they also have asthma, their asthma symptoms get worse, too.
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Do You Need An Inhaler How To Tell And What Type You Might Need
Many of us see or come across people using inhalers for several reasons, and were all familiar with asthma as a common health condition for which many people use inhalers.;If you observe a person using an inhaler, youll possibly notice its because theyre having difficulty breathing. Using an inhaler helps individuals obtain quick relief from breathing problems.
There are times where we can all feel short of breath, find difficulty in breathing, and so on. So, does that mean we also need an inhaler?
This article will provide a walkthrough to answer the question do you need an inhaler? How to decide if you do need an inhaler, the types of inhalers that are available, and much more.;
But first, heres the quick reference answer to get you some much-needed info, then well get into more of the details around the topic.
Do You Need An Inhaler?;Not all asthma symptoms require an inhaler as there is a risk it can cause psychological dependence. The following are some severe asthma signs that may need the use of an inhaler-
- Frequent bothersome asthma symptoms
- Breathing complications, making it difficult to sleep;
- Asthma symptoms that cause frequent doctor visits
But how do you know if you need an inhaler or not? What signs should you be looking out for? Lets explore this aspect further.
How Should This Medicine Be Used
Albuterol comes as a solution to inhale by mouth using a special jet nebulizer and as an aerosol or powder to inhale by mouth using an inhaler. When the inhalation aerosol or powder for oral inhalation is used to treat or prevent symptoms of lung disease, it is usually used every 4 to 6 hours as needed. When the inhalation aerosol or powder for oral inhalation is used to prevent breathing difficulty during exercise, it is usually used 15 to 30 minutes before exercise. The nebulizer solution is usually used three or four times a day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Use albuterol exactly as directed. Do not use more or less of it or use it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Albuterol controls symptoms of asthma and other lung diseases but does not cure them. Do not stop using albuterol without talking to your doctor.
Your inhaler may come with an attached counter that keeps track of the number of inhalations you have used. The counter also tells you when to call your doctor or pharmacist to refill your prescription and when there are no inhalations left in the inhaler. Read the manufacturer’s instructions to learn how to use the counter. If you have this type of inhaler, you should not try to change the numbers or remove the counter from the inhaler.
Be careful not to get albuterol inhalation into your eyes.
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Can Yoga Help With Asthma
It can, yes. In studies, the deep breathing in yoga was shown to reduce hyperventilation and improve symptoms and outcomes, especially during attacks. It may be possible to teach your child these breathing exercises and some basic yoga. Reach out to us here at Olivero Pediatrics if youd like to learn more about yoga for your childs asthma.
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Is It Safe To Fly Or Travel Right Now And If I Need To What Precautions Should I Take
Only travel if absolutely necessary, and wear a mask with a face shield if you do, Meadows advises. Delay recreational trips.
Flying should be avoided whenever possible. If you have to fly, wear a mask and keep it on during the entire flight, and have a good supply of hand sanitizer to use frequently, Meadows adds.
Check airline seating policies, too, because many airlines are limiting ticket sales right now to try to keep passengers seated at a safe distance from each other. If you can choose your seat, opt for the window because this minimizes contact with passengers going up and down the aisle during the flight, Meadows says.
With additional reporting by Lisa Rapaport.
Misuse Of Asthma Inhalers Signs Symptoms And Treatment
Misuse of asthma medication can be classified in two ways- improper dosage and administration of the medication, or use by an individual other than the whom the medication has been prescribed to. The focus here will be on the latter; as intentional misuse of asthma inhalers has not been extensively examined.
Use of someone elses prescription asthma medication may not necessarily take place with the intention of getting high; a survey of Detroit middle school students reported using someone elses inhaler for reasons such as help with breathing, increased lung capacity during exercise, or increased concentration and alertness.
Misuse may occur by students with or without asthma, with the second group being of particular concern. Use of someone elses inhaler medication to relieve acute asthmatic symptoms may not be problematic, but use of inhaler medication in the absence of asthma may be related to future substance use.
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Personal Asthma Action Plan
As part of your initial assessment, you should be encouraged to draw up a personal asthma action plan with your GP or asthma nurse.
If you’ve been admitted to hospital because of an asthma attack, you should be offered an action plan before you go home.
The action plan should include information about your asthma medicines, and will help you recognise when your symptoms are getting worse and what steps to take. You should also be given information about what to do if you have an asthma attack.
Your personal asthma action plan should be reviewed with your GP or asthma nurse at least once a year, or more frequently if your symptoms are severe.
As part of your asthma plan, you may be given a peak flow meter. This will give you another way of monitoring your asthma, rather than relying only on symptoms, so you can recognise deterioration earlier and take appropriate steps.
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