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What To Do During An Asthma Attack

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What to do during an asthma attack
  • Don’t have written asthma action plan from your doctor
  • Use an inhaler, but don’t have a spacer
  • Miss more than 1 day of school per month for asthma
  • Asthma limits exercise or sports
  • Asthma attacks wake child up from sleep
  • Use more than 1 inhaler per month
  • No asthma check-up in more than 1 year
  • You have other questions or concerns

How Do Healthcare Providers Diagnose Asthma

Your healthcare provider will review your medical history, including information about your parents and siblings. Your provider will also ask you about your symptoms. Your provider will need to know any history of allergies, eczema and other lung diseases.

Your healthcare provider may order a chest X-ray, blood test or skin test. Your provider may order spirometry. This test measures airflow through your lungs.

Vaping And Lung Damage

  • Talk with your teen about the dangers of vaping.
  • Vaping can cause severe lung damage. It can become permanent.
  • Vaping can even cause death .
  • Vaping tobacco also causes nicotine addiction.
  • For these reasons, the legal age to purchase vaping products is 21 in the US.
  • Encourage your teen to not start vaping or to give it up.
  • Warning: home-made or street-purchased vaping solutions are the most dangerous.

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Common Asthma Attack Triggers

An asthma trigger is an irritant that causes the airways to become inflamed and constrict. Constriction of airways marks the start of an asthma attack and can cause other symptoms like wheezing.;

There isnt one single trigger of asthma. What triggers an asthma attack for one person might not be the same for another. Youll know what causes an asthma attack for you if youre exposed to an irritant and have shortness of breath or start wheezing. The most common triggers are:;;;;;

  • Allergies
  • Medications such as beta-blockers
  • Asthma What It Is And How To Help If Someone Is Having An Asthma Attack

    Asthma attacks

    by Emma Hammett | Aug 27, 2021 | Essential First Aid, First Aid Advice |

    We all know people who have asthma. However, very few of us would know what to do if someone close by started to have a serious asthma attack and was struggling to breathe. Read on to find out what asthma is, what may trigger it and how to help someone having an asthma attack.

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    What To Do During An Asthma Attack

    As a parent of a child who suffers from asthma, I can relate firsthand to the panic and fear which can occur when you or a loved one has an asthma attack. This is why it is crucial to know what to do when this happens.

    An asthma attack occurs when the muscles are tightened around your airways.

    The airways can become swollen, inflamed, and the mucus which is normally produced becomes thicker.

    When this tightening occurs in your airways it can cause coughing, wheezing, tightening of the chest, and an inability to move air out of the chest. It is particularly scary because you feel as though you cannot breathe or get enough air.

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    If you or someone around you is having an asthma attack, here are some immediate steps you should take.

    Developing An Asthma Crisis Plan

    If your child has asthma, you should be well trained by your pediatrician and prepared with the appropriate medications in case an asthma attack or flare-up occurs. Such a plan must be determined beforehand in your doctors office. Dont wait until your child has an attack and then call the doctors office for advice. Here is how you can determine the severity of an attack and what appropriate measures can be taken.


  • Remain calm. Calm your child down.
  • Evaluate the breathing. Take your childs shirt off and observe his chest:
  • Are there retractions ? Are the retractions barely visible or very deep and obvious?
  • Is your child breathing fast and heavy, using his shoulders to try to get deep enough breaths?
  • Count the number of breaths he takes in 15 seconds. Multiply this by four. This tells you how many breaths per minute. If it is over 60 in infants to age two, over 50 in young children to age eight, or over 40 in older children, this is too fast.
  • Is there audible wheezing? Is it very mild or very louder and tight sounding? Some children can even be so tight during an attack that not enough air is even moving in and out to make a wheezing noise.
  • Check the peak flow several times.;Dr. Sears suggest to color-code the wheezing:
  • Green Light; If it is 80% 100% of normal, that is a good sign.
  • Yellow Light; If it is 50% 80% of normal, then your child needs home treatments.
  • Has the breathing slowed down?
  • Has the wheezing improved?
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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.

    How To Help Someone With An Asthma Attack Without An Inhaler

    How To Treat An Asthma Attack | What To Do During An Asthma Attack | Inhaler Treatment At Home

    Asthma is a very common condition with around one in 13 of us affected. It’s been increasing since the 1980s and affects people of all ages and backgrounds. There’s 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 doesn’t 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.;

    Recommended Reading: How To Prevent Asthma Attacks

    Why Might Someone With Asthma Be Without An Inhaler

    However, this doesn’t mean that everyone with asthma has an inhaler with them at all times. Often when someone has been living without symptoms for a long time, they may assume that their asthma has gone, and so get out of the habit of carrying one. Some people might develop symptoms suddenly for the first time as an adult, with no preparation. Others might just sometimes forget. Unfortunately, not having an inhaler won’t stop an attack.;

    Test And Trace Service

    If you havent already and your smartphone supports it, you should download the free NHS COVID-19 app. This app is a vital part of the NHS Test and Trace services in England and Wales.

    If you test positive for COVID-19, youll be contacted by a test and trace service. Youll be asked where youve been recently and who youve been in close contact with.

    Close contact includes people in your household, people with whom you have had direct contact, or people you have been within two metres for more than 15 minutes.

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    How Do You Completely Cure Asthma

    Long-term control medications such as inhaled corticosteroids are the most important medications used to keep asthma under control. These preventive medications treat the airway inflammation that leads to asthma symptoms. Used on a daily basis, these medications can reduce or eliminate asthma flare-ups.

    How Do You Monitor Asthma Symptoms

    Understanding Asthma

    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.

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    When Disaster Strikes What To Do During An Asthma Attack

    Asthma attacks are scary and can escalate in severity very quickly. Last week we discussed the importance of having an Asthma Action Plan, and this week we want to talk about what to do if an asthma attack occurs. It is important to remember that during an emergency seeking medical attention as soon as possible can save lives.;

    Learn To Recognize The Emergency

    It may seem obvious, but recognizing the severity of your asthma attack is an important step in getting things under control quickly and easily. Many asthmatics may figure they can ride out the discomfort, or are too shy to ask or demand help from those around them.

    However, if you have any of the following symptoms, its time to take the episode seriously:

    • Youre too out of breath to finish a sentence, eat, or walk
    • Your inhaler isnt helping
    • The wheezing and tightness in your chest is getting worse
    • Your breathing is speeding up and its difficult to control
    • Your lips are beginning to turn blue

    Sometimes a bit of breathlessness can make you very anxious, which will make your breathing worse and likely frighten you a fair bit. The most important thing to do is stay calm the more anxious you get, the worse it will be for your airways.

    Some slow, controlled breathing and a bit of comforting visualization can bring your respiration back to a reasonable range and distract your mind from negative thoughts. Rest assured that there are plenty of people who are able to help you get through the attack, and the ambulance is only a call away, if it should come to that.

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    Recover Your Breath And Restore Control

    Asthma affects millions of people, and although there are plenty of treatments to manage common daily symptoms, asthma attacks claim many lives each year. One major issue is the confusion surrounding what qualifies as an emergency, and what to do during an asthma attack: asthma sufferers are used to dealing with some respiratory discomfort, so when symptoms are on the rise, many people ignore the problem. Thats a dangerous decision.

    Whether youve experienced a severe asthma attack or not, its important to know how to get the oxygen your body needs, and help you to avoid more serious complications.

    What Is An Asthma Action Plan

    What happens during an asthma attack

    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.

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    Care Advice For Asthma Attack

  • What You Should Know About Asthma:
  • Over 10% of children have asthma.
  • Your child’s asthma can flare up at any time.
  • When you are away from your home, always take your child’s medicines with you.
  • The sooner you start treatment, the faster your child will feel better.
  • Here is some care advice that should help.
  • Asthma Quick-Relief Medicine:
  • Your child’s quick-relief medicine is albuterol or xopenex.
  • Start it at the first sign of any wheezing, shortness of breath or hard coughing.
  • Give by inhaler with a spacer or use a neb machine.
  • Repeat it every 4 hours if your child is having any asthma symptoms.
  • Never give it more often than 4 hours without talking with your child’s doctor.
  • Coughing. The best “cough med” for a child with asthma is always the asthma medicine. Caution: don’t use cough suppressants. If over 6 years old, cough drops may help a tickly cough.
  • Caution: if the inhaler hasn’t been used in over 7 days, prime it. Test spray it twice into the air before using it for treatment. Also, do this if it is new.
  • Use the medicine until your child has not wheezed or coughed for 48 hours.
  • Spacer. Always use inhalers with a spacer. It will get twice the amount of medicine into the lungs.
  • Asthma Controller Medicine:
  • Your child may have been told to use a controller drug. An example is an inhaled steroid.
  • It’s for preventing attacks and must be used daily.
  • During asthma attacks, keep giving this medicine to your child as ordered.
  • Allergy Medicine for Hay Fever:
  • Fluids – Offer More:
  • 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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    How Does Asthma Make You Feel

    When you think of asthma, the symptoms that most likely to come to mind are shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing, and tightness in the chest. Fatigue and exhaustion are not usually referenced as common asthma symptoms. However, people with asthma often report feeling tired. Asthma can cause fatigue.

    Cold Weather And Asthma

    Asthma Attack Help No Inhaler

    Cold weather is a common trigger for asthma symptoms. The following to help you control your symptoms in the cold:

    • carry your reliever inhaler with you at all times and keep taking your regular preventer inhaler as prescribed
    • if you need to use your inhaler more than usual, speak to your doctor about reviewing your treatment
    • keep warm and dry wear gloves, a scarf and a hat, and carry an umbrella
    • wrap a scarf loosely over your nose and mouth this will help warm up the air before you breathe it
    • try breathing in through your nose instead of your mouth your nose warms the air as you breathe

    Asthma Society of Ireland has more about weather and asthma.

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    Tips For Living With Asthma

    One of the best ways to manage asthma and decrease asthma attacks is to be proactive in your treatment.

    Asthma sufferers generally have triggers in which they may be more susceptible to having an asthma attack.

    A change of seasons increased pollen in the air, pollution, viral infections, and stress can also be factors that increase your chances of having an asthma attack.

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    • Have an asthma action plan in place which outlines what medications or actions should be taken when your asthma symptoms flare up.
    • Know which medication to take i.e., rescue inhaler or oral steroid, if necessary. Establish a backup plan if rescue medications dont help.
    • Know what triggers cause your asthma attacks i.e., allergens, smoke, chemicals, viral infections, etc.

    My daughter tends to have an increased amount of asthma episodes during the spring and fall, which we discovered, was caused by increased pollen in the air.

    You can do the same.

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    Knowing what to do in the event of an asthma attack and also working with your physician to have a treatment plan in place to manage your asthma can help you prepare.

    Having an asthma attack can be scary.

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    S To Take If You Have An Asthma Attack

    • Stay calm, sit up, and administer 1-2 puffs of your rescue inhaler. While doing so, take slow, steady breaths. If there is a trigger which has caused you to have an asthma attack e.g., smoke, perfume, etc., immediately remove this trigger.
    • If you still do not feel any better, take 2 additional puffs of your rescue inhaler, one puff at a time every 2 minutes. You can take up to 10 puffs.
    • If your symptoms worsen and you still do not feel any relief relating to your breathing, call 911 immediately. If the ambulance doesnt come within a;10-minute period of time, continue to repeat step 3.
    • Finally, follow up with your primary care physician. Schedule an appointment within 48 hours to ensure you are ok. Determine if any follow-up adjustments need to be made with regard to your asthma treatment plan.

    It is also important to recognize the signs of a severe asthma attack.

    In this situation, call an ambulance immediately.

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