Risks Of Otc Asthma Medication
OTC asthma inhalers are quick-relief medications that a person should use as soon as asthma symptoms develop. A doctor may also prescribe them for people with exercise-induced asthma who will need to take the medication before working out.
Inhalers send medication directly to the inflamed airways, but it is important to make sure that it reaches the lower lungs.
As with other quick-relief medications, people should only use OTC asthma inhalers occasionally. According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, if people feel the need to use an inhaler more than twice within a week or on 2 or more nights a month, they should contact their doctor because their asthma treatment plan is not working as it should.
As asthma is different in every individual, some experts recommend against any kind of OTC treatment, emphasizing the importance of individualized treatment plans.
Practicing Buteyko Breathing Technique
This is also a system of breathing exercises. Buteyko Breathing Technique focuses on breathing out through the nose and not the mouth. Breathing out through the mouth can dry up the mouth and the airways very fast resulting in more problems. Practising and using BBT also makes you less prone to suffering from respiratory infections. Buteyko Breathing Technique can also be instrumental in decreasing your asthma symptoms with the help of slow and gentle breathing through the nose.
Keep Medications In A Cool Dry Place
A person should store inhalers at a controlled room temperature of about 77°F , though a range of 5986°F is usually safe.
Leaving medication in a car or another environment likely to experience extreme temperature changes can reduce its effectiveness.
If this happens, consult a doctor or pharmacist. They may recommend replacing the product.
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What To Do In An Asthma Attach
This is an emergency – act now.
1. Stay calm. Sit up straight – do not lie down.
2. Take slow steady breaths.
3. Take one puff of your reliever inhaler every minute.
Use a spacer if available.
People over 6 years can take up to 10 puffs in 10 minutes.
Children under 6 can take up to 6 puffs in 10 minutes.
4. Call 112 or 999 if your symptoms do not improve after 10 minutes.
5 Repeat step 3 if an ambulance has not arrived in 10 minutes.
Remember if someone is having an asthma attack:
Do not leave them on their own.
Extra puffs of reliever inhaler are safe.
If you are admitted to hospital or an accident and emergency department because of your asthma, take details of your treatment with you. Bring your asthma management plan if you have one to the hospital. You should also make an appointment with your doctor or nurse after you are discharged from hospital, so that you can review your asthma treatment to avoid the situation arising again.
Your Gp Or Asthma Nurse Can Help Your Asthma Symptoms
Theres a lot your GP or asthma nurse can do to help stop symptoms building up to an asthma attack. Book an appointment now to get the support you need to lower your risk.
Your GP/asthma nurse can:
- Talk to you about why your asthma symptoms have got worse
- Check youre taking your preventer medicine every day. If you havent been taking it regularly, they can suggest ways to get into a good routine with it so its easier to remember.
- Look at your inhaler technique to make sure youre getting the medicine you need
- Suggest a higher dose, or more puffs, of your preventer inhaler for a while
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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.
What Is An Inhaler And How Does It Work
Inhalers are the most common device for taking medications for asthma. There are a few different types of inhalers, and well go through each of them in this guide. Using your inhaler properly ensures the medication is delivered where it is needed the lungs. Other devices, like spacers and nebulizers, can also help.
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How To Survive An Asthma Attack Without An Inhaler
Richard Firshein, DO, director and founder of Firshein Center for Integrative Medicine in New York City, and author of several books, including , , and . .
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If you have asthma, then you know how scary it can be when you have an attack and have trouble breathing for anywhere from a few minutes to a few days, depending on its severity.
So youre probably careful to keep your rescue inhaler with you at all timesin case of an emergency.
But what happens if an attack starts and you discover that your inhaler is empty or you dont actually have it??
How can you lessen the severity of an asthma attack and/or stop it altogether without your trusty inhaler?
To find out, I called Richard Firshein, DO, director and founder of The Firshein Center for Integrative Medicine in New York City and author of Reversing Asthma: Breathe Easier with This Revolutionary New Program. And he had some very interesting advice
DO YOU NEED TO GO TO THE ER?
HOW TO BREATHE EASIER
Change your location. Asthma is typically triggered by an irritanteither an allergen or toxinthat inflames the airways. So remove yourself from the environment that contains the trigger as fast as you can. If youre reacting to dust, pets, mold or smoke, for example, get away from itor at the very least, breathe through a sleeve, a scarf or your jacket collar to reduce your exposure.
Why Asthma Management Is Important
Medication is essential to manage asthma well. Good asthma care also involves treating other conditions that can affect asthma, such as hay fever.
A healthy lifestyle can help you stay in control of your asthma symptoms and feel well.With good asthma management, you can lead a normal, active life. Following your personal written asthma action plan, developed with your doctor, is the best way to keep your asthma under control.
An action plan provides simple instructions for routinely managing your asthma, plus advice on what to do if your asthma symptoms flare up.The main aims of asthma treatment are to:
- keep symptoms under control
- keep lungs as healthy as possible
- stop asthma from interfering with school or work
- help you or your child enjoy a full and active life.
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What Are Natural Remedies For Asthma
With all the studies on alternative medicine and natural remedies, you may wonder if thereâs a natural cure for asthma. Unfortunately, there is no cure for asthma at this point. In fact, you should avoid any treatment or product natural or otherwise that claims to be a cure for .
Some natural therapies may help you manage symptoms of asthma. For instance, a negative response to emotional can cause an asthma attack. Some natural relaxation remedies like deep , progressive muscle relaxation, guided imagery, and can help relieve stress.
Other findings suggest that plays a role in easing asthma symptoms. For example, omega-3 fatty acids found naturally in high-fat like , mackerel, and cod may help your body fight . Whether this may help people who have is still unproven.
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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
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Can You Treat Asthma Without An Inhaler
Unfortunately, there is no other effective first aid treatment for asthma. Placing the victim in a comfortable position to aid their breathing and keeping them calm will help, but these first aid measures will not stop the swelling and inflammation of the small airways. The victim will require treatment to improve their breathing.
During An Asthma Attack
In a sudden asthma attack you can use your inhaler more and take up to 10 puffs. Wait 30 seconds and always shake the inhaler between doses. You can repeat this dose 10 minutes later.
Immediate action required: Call 999 or go to A& E now if you or your child:
- are struggling to breathe
- have asthma symptoms that are not getting better
Asthma attacks can get worse very quickly.
For treating severe asthma attacks, salbutamol can be given through a nebuliser. A nebuliser is a machine that delivers the medicine as a mist inhaled through a face mask. This will probably be given to you by your doctor.
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Humidifiers And Air Filters
Wheezing can be triggered and exacerbated by low humidity and airborne particles that cause constriction of the bronchioles. A humidifier adds moisture to the air, particularly during winter months, and can aid with sleep by reducing mouth and nasal dryness .
Some humidifiers are equipped with HEPA filters that can remove pollen, dust, and other irritants from the air. Alternatively, you can buy a separate multifilter air purifier equipped with both a HEPA filter and an activated charcoal filter.
Choose an air purifier thats the appropriate size for the room it will be used in and has a fine particle rating of 2.5 , meaning it can remove some of the finest airborne particles.
What Are Common Asthma Attack Triggers
An asthma attack happens when someone comes in contact with substances that irritate them. Healthcare providers call these substances triggers. Knowing what triggers your asthma makes it easier to avoid asthma attacks.
For some people, a trigger can bring on an attack right away. Sometimes, an attack may start hours or days later.
Triggers can be different for each person. But some common triggers include:
- Air pollution: Many things outside can cause an asthma attack. Air pollution includes factory emissions, car exhaust, wildfire smoke and more.
- Dust mites: You cant see these bugs, but they are in many homes. If you have a dust mite allergy, they can cause an asthma attack.
- Exercise: For some people, exercising can cause an attack.
- Mold: Damp places can spawn mold. It can cause problems for people with asthma. You dont even have to be allergic to mold to have an attack.
- Pests: Cockroaches, mice and other household pests can cause asthma attacks.
- Pets: Your pets can cause asthma attacks. If youre allergic to pet dander , breathing in the dander can irritate your airways.
- Tobacco smoke: If you or someone in your home smokes, you have a higher risk of developing asthma. The best solution is to quit smoking.
- Strong chemicals or smells.
With asthma, you may not have all of these symptoms. You may have different signs at different times. And symptoms can change between asthma attacks.
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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.
Which Is The Best Inhaler Device To Use
This depends on various factors such as:
- Convenience. Some inhalers are small, can go easily in a pocket, and are quick to use. For example, the standard MDI inhaler.
- Your age. Children under the age of 6 years generally cannot use dry powder inhalers. This is because such a strong breath is needed to inhale the medicine within the inhaler. Children aged under 12 years generally cannot use standard MDI inhalers without a spacer. Some elderly people find the MDI inhalers difficult to use.
- Your co-ordination. Some devices need more co-ordination than others.
- Side-effects. Some of the inhaler medicine hits the back of the throat. Sometimes this can cause problems such as thrush in the mouth. This tends to be more of a problem with higher doses of steroid inhalers. Less medicine hits the throat when using a spacer device. Therefore, a spacer device may be advised if you get throat problems, or need a high dose of inhaled steroid.
Often the choice of inhaler is just personal preference. Most GPs and practice nurses have a range of devices to demonstrate, and let you get a feel for them. If you are unhappy with the one you are using then ask your GP or practice nurse if you can try a different type.
How to use the Yellow Card Scheme
If you think you have had a side-effect to one of your medicines you can report this on the Yellow Card Scheme. You can do this online at www.mhra.gov.uk/yellowcard.
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What Are The Different Types Of Asthma Medicines And Treatments
There are four types of asthma medicines and treatments:
The difference between these asthma treatments can be confusing. It is important to understand what each treatment does and how they help your asthma. Learning how to use each correctly can you help keep your asthma well-controlled. Always take your medicines as directed by your doctor and follow your Asthma Action Plan.
How To Help Someone With An Asthma Attack Without An Inhaler
Asthma is a very common condition with around one in 13 of us affected. Its been increasing since the 1980s and affects people of all ages and backgrounds. Theres currently no cure for asthma, but typically with the right treatment plan and lifestyle changes, most people diagnosed with asthma are able to live normally without severe symptoms.
However, very occasionally, a person with asthma may be caught off guard. They might find themselves facing an attack without an inhaler to help them. Fortunately, this doesnt need to be as bad as it might sound. With the right assistance, they could get through an attack using some simple coping techniques.
If you know someone with asthma, learning more about their condition, as well as what you can do to help them, can be valuable.
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What Is An Asthma Action Plan
Your healthcare provider will work with you to develop an asthma action plan. This plan tells you how and when to use your medicines. It also tells you what to do if your asthma gets worse and when to seek emergency care. Understand the plan and ask your healthcare provider about anything you dont understand.
Who Can Get Asthma
Anyone can develop asthma at any age. People with allergies or people exposed to tobacco smoke and secondhand smoke are more likely to develop asthma.
Statistics show women tend to have asthma more than men, and asthma affects Black Americans more frequently than other races.
When a child develops asthma, healthcare providers call it childhood asthma. If it develops later in life, its adult-onset asthma.
Children do not outgrow asthma. They may have fewer symptoms as they get older, but they could still have an asthma attack. Your childs healthcare provider can help you understand the risks.
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How Do You Monitor Asthma Symptoms
Monitoring your asthma symptoms is an essential piece of managing the disease. Your healthcare provider may have you 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.