People On Your Asthma Healthcare Team May Include:
- Your doctor you may have a family doctor and a respirologist
- Your nurse
- Your pharmacist
- Your certified asthma educator or certified respiratory educator : Certified asthma educators and certified respiratory educators are respiratory therapists, nurses, pharmacist, or physiotherapists who have special training to teach people about asthma. They are experts at explaining how asthma affects you and what you can do about it. To find a Certified Asthma Educator or Certified Respiratory Educator, ask your local Lung Association or your doctor. Or look for an asthma education clinic near you search our online database of asthma programs and clinics.
What Other Tools Can I Use For Monitoring Asthma Control
Peak Flow Meter
Sometimes doctors recommend a peak flow meter a handheld device that measures how well air moves out of your lungs. A peak flow meter, when used every day, can spot reduced airflow before you notice the signs and symptoms of an asthma episode.
Peak flow meter readings can help you monitor your asthma control. But they are just one tool. Your peak flow meter reading is not the only indicator of asthma control. Always follow your Asthma Action Plan.
Doctors use pulse oximeters to measure how much oxygen your blood is carrying. Some people with asthma may experience a drop in their oxygen levels in their blood.
Pulse oximeters you can buy online and use at home are not as accurate as medical grade devices. Monitoring your blood oxygen levels with pulse oximeters is not a recommended part of home management of asthma.
Lung Function Tests
Your allergist or pulmonologist may use different lung function tests to assess your asthma control. Learn more about the tests used to diagnose and monitor asthma.
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.
HOW TO DETERMINE THE SEVERITY OF AN ATTACK
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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:
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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Work With Your Healthcare Team To Control Your Asthma
Asthma is variable your asthma symptoms can get better or worse. If you know how to take care of your asthma every day, you can avoid getting asthma attacks.Your health-care team can teach you how to manage your asthma symptoms. They can help you fill out a written asthma action plan. Your asthma action plan tells you exactly how to treat your symptoms, and what to do when your symptoms get worse.
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How Can I Prevent And Treat Asthma Symptoms
There is no cure for asthma, but it can be managed. There are two steps to controlling asthma: taking medicines and avoiding or limiting asthma triggers.
To prevent asthma symptoms:
- Avoid or limit contact with your asthma triggers andallergens. Use AAFAs Healthier Home Checklist to identify asthma triggers and allergens in your home and make your indoor environment healthier.
- Get vaccinated. Respiratory infections like colds and the flu can worsen asthma. Get a flu vaccine every year. Keep your lungs healthy by getting other vaccinations as recommended.
- Create an Asthma Action Plan with your doctor. Follow it when you have symptoms. If you are having trouble staying in the Green/Go Zone, your asthma may not be well-controlled. Talk with your doctor about your treatment plan.
- Take your asthma medicines as directed. If your doctor prescribed a medicine to control your asthma, take it as directed. This may be as needed or every day. Follow your Asthma Action Plan.
- Take care of your general health. It can be hard to take care of your health but doing so can help you better manage asthma. Try to get plenty of sleep and exercise. Eat healthy foods as much as possible, stay hydrated, and find ways to manage stress.
To treat sudden asthma symptoms:
Asthma Medicines: Control and Quick-Relief or a Combination
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Learn More About What To Do During An Asthma Attack
It can be frightening to experience an asthma attack without a rescue inhaler. There are a couple of strategies to help, such as sitting straight, staying calm, and regaining control of your breathing. Asthma attacks are quite dangerous and require immediate medical assistance.
If you are suffering severe signs of asthma attacks, such as severe shortness of breath, severe wheezing, or trouble speaking, contact 911 immediately. If you want to learn more about asthma treatment, preventions, and types of inhalers, talk to your doctor today. You can even check out our other posts to learn more about what to do during an asthma attack.
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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 , 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 â and that could mean fewer asthma attacks in your future.
Emergency Asthma Treatment At Home In Case Of An Attack
- Do not lie down
- Sit up straight and try to calm down
- Take a puff from a reliever every 30 to 60 seconds
- Breathe in through the nose and out through pursed lips
- Breathe in through nose with hands placed on the belly and exhale
- Try sipping warm back tea or coffee
- Try to inhale the vapour of eucalyptus essential oil from a diffuser
Try natural home remedies and learn to cope with the symptoms of asthma. However, in case of a severe attack, you may need to consult a professional healthcare provider. Try to maintain an asthma diary. Write down about your symptoms when you experience them, foods that seem to trigger the symptoms, where you were and what you were doing before your asthma flared up, how often you have to use your inhaler, if at all, and other such details. It will help you and your doctor to get a better insight and control your asthmatic symptoms more effectively.
Disclaimer: The information included at this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the readers situation.
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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.
Move Away From Triggers
The presence of asthma triggers wont only cause an attack, they can also make your symptoms worse. Be sure to try to get away from things that may be triggering your asthma attack.
For example, if youre in an area where people are smoking cigarettes, you should move away promptly.
Its also important to know your triggers. Common triggers include:
- , such as pet dander, pollen, or certain foods
You should always be sure to seek immediate emergency medical treatment if you experience any of the following symptoms during an asthma attack:
- your symptoms continue to get worse even after treatment
- you cant speak except in short words or phrases
- youre straining your chest muscles in an effort to breathe
- your shortness of breath or wheezing is severe, particularly in the early morning or late-night hours
- you begin to feel drowsy or tired
- your lips or face appear blue when youre not coughing
Symptoms that indicate that you could be experiencing an asthma attack include:
- severe shortness of breath
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How Does Asthma Affect The Lungs And Airways
The airways inside your lungs look like an upside-down tree. The respiratory system is in the chest and is made up of several different parts:
- Upper respiratory system This is the nose, sinuses, and the parts of the airway called the pharynx and the part of the larynx above the vocal chords.
- Lower respiratory system This is the portion of the larynx below the vocal chords, the trachea, bronchi and bronchioles
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The Process Involved In The Asthma Immune Response
I want to explain that the biological processes involved in the asthma immune response vary depending on what asthma subgroup you have. So, for our case, we are using an allergic asthmatic. Our asthmatic was exposed to dust mites, was sensitized, and experienced the early phase of an asthma attack. Now, our asthmatic enters the late phase.
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Why Does My Asthma Act Up At Night
Asthma can get worse at night. If you have symptoms at night, it’s called nighttime asthma. This is often a sign of uncontrolled asthma. It probably has to do with natural body rhythms and changes in your body’s hormones. With the right asthma management and treatment, you should be able to sleep through the night.
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.
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What To Do If Youre Having An Attack
Weve previously discussed what to do if youre having an asthma attack without your inhaler. Now lets talk about what to do if youre experiencing an asthma attack and do have your inhaler.
If youre having an asthma attack, take the following steps:
Its also important to see your doctor after an asthma attack, even if you feel better. Its possible that your asthma medications or asthma action plan may need to be adjusted. This can help to reduce your chances of having another asthma attack in the future.
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.
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Signs And Symptoms Of Flare Up
Mild to Moderate
What can you do to prevent this happening again?
If you have had an asthma attack or ended up in a hospital or an emergency department, it means that your asthma is not under your control.
When youve had an asthma flare-up you need to see your doctor within 3 days to review your asthma and update your Asthma Action Plan to discuss:
- What is your current level of asthma control how do we improve it?
- How well are your asthma medicines working can we improve their use?
- What triggered your asthma attack can you avoid the trigger, or how to respond better to the trigger next time to avoid an asthma attack?
- Are there any other factors that might be affecting your asthma control how do we reduce their impact on your asthma?
For more support about managing asthma, talk to us. 1800 ASTHMA is a no-charge service open Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm. You can get in touch with us through phone, or by booking in a call-back.
To help get back on track after your visit to the emergency department or hospital after an asthma attack visit our after hospital page.
Emergencies And Your Asthma Action Plan
You and your doctor need to create an asthma action plan that details what to do when you are in different zones green, yellow, or red:
- Green zone: You are free of symptoms and can do your usual activities. Peak flow readings are 80% to 100% of your personal best. Youre doing well. If you use daily control medicine, you should take it as usual.
- Yellow zone: You have symptoms of asthma. Or your peak flow readings are between 50% and 80% of your personal best. Your asthma is worsening. You may need medicine to prevent a more serious asthma attack.
- Red zone: You have symptoms of an asthma emergency. Peak flow readings are 50% or lower of your personal best. You are having a severe attack and need asthma emergency treatment.
Most important, your written asthma action plan spells out what you should do in an asthma emergency.
Since every persons asthma is different, you need to have a custom-tailored asthma emergency treatment plan.
Your plan might include the following steps:
- Use your emergency inhaler as prescribed.
- Take a peak flow reading if you can.
- Get to an emergency room or call 911.
Dont delay. Waiting too long to get asthma emergency treatment can be deadly.
An asthma action plan should also include:
- Your name
- The name and number of your family doctor
- The name and number of your local hospital
- Your personal best peak flow meter reading
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How To Help Someone Having An Asthma Attack
This article was medically reviewed by Daniel Wozniczka, MD, MPH. Dr. Wozniczka is an Internal Medicine Physician, who is focused on the intersection of medicine, economics, and policy. He has global healthcare experience in Sub Saharan Africa, Eastern Europe, and Southeast Asia. He serves currently as a Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Public Health Service and a Medical Officer for the Epidemic Intelligence Service in the CDC. He completed his MD at Jagiellonian University in 2014, and also holds an MBA and Masters in Public Health from the University of Illinois at Chicago.There are 12 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 24,686 times.
Having an asthma attack can be frightening. It can also be frightening to see someone you know, or even a stranger, have an asthma attack. The person may be panicking, especially if they do not have their inhaler. Fortunately, you can help! Assist someone having an asthma attack by getting the appropriate medical assistance, helping them to remain calm, and using simple techniques to help improve their breathing.