What To Do First
Every persons asthma action plan can be a bit different, but its likely that general steps are similar.
If you are having symptoms of a severe asthma emergency:
- Take 4 to 6 puffs of your rescue inhaler or use your nebulizer.
- Go to the hospital or call 911 for an ambulance.
If you have a severe or worsening asthma attack and dont have your inhaler or nebulizer:
- Try not to panic. Panic makes asthma worse.
- Sit up straight and take slow deep breaths.
If you are having warning symptoms of a possible asthma emergency:
- Take 2 to 6 puffs of your rescue inhaler or use your nebulizer.
- Sit upright, loosen any tight clothing.
- Try to stay calm. Take slow, steady breaths.
- Repeat the 2 to 6 puffs or nebulizer treatment after 20 minutes.
- If you still have symptoms, call 911 or get to urgent care.
How To Help In An Asthma Attack
If someone is having an asthma attack, always follow the instructions outlined on their medication. However, if they do not have them to hand, these are the steps to follow. These guidelines are suitable for both children and adults.
Be calm and reassuring as reducing the stress and keeping the casualty calm really helps them to control their symptoms. Panic can increase the severity of an attack. Take one to two puffs of the reliever inhaler , immediately using a spacer device if available.
- Stay as calm as you can and encourage them to stay calm too
- Sit them down, loosen any tight clothing and encourage them to take slow, steady breaths.
- If they do not start to feel better, they should take more puffs of their reliever inhaler
- If they do not start to feel better after taking their inhaler as above, or if you are worried at any time, call 999/112.
- They should keep taking the reliever inhaler whilst waiting for the paramedics to arrive
- If the person has been prescribed an adrenaline auto-injector and you suspect the asthma attack may be due to an allergic reaction and the reliever inhaler is not working administer the AAI. Five this injection into the upper, outer part of their thigh according to the instructions. If worried in any way, check with the emergency services and keep them informed and updated as to the casualtys condition.
DO NOT take them outside for fresh air if it is cold as cold air makes symptoms worse.
Also Check: Remedies For Asthma Attack Without Inhaler
Know Your Triggers And Get Away/stay Away From Them
Get Away: In case of an attack, ease symptoms by getting as far away as possible from whats triggering you. Dont be afraid to ask for help if you cant get there on your own.Stay Away: Avoid triggers by:
- Quitting smoking or staying away from smokers
- Finding out what you are allergic to and avoiding it
- Warming up slowly before exercise
- Avoiding emotional stress by learning relaxation techniques
See Dr. Mayank Shukla for asthma treatment in Queens to find out what your triggers are.
Also Check: Lakeland Allergy Asthma And Immunology
When To Call 999
Dont delay getting help if you have an asthma attack. Call 999 if your reliever isnt helping, or lasting four hours, or youre worried at any time.
An asthma attack is a real emergency, and could be life-threatening, says Asthma + Lung UKs in-house GP, Dr Andy Whittamore.
Getting help when you need it is so important, to make sure youre treated quickly. Never think youre wasting anyones time.
Asthma Symptoms In A Severe Allergic Reaction
People having a severe allergic reaction can also have asthma-like symptoms. If the person has an anaphylaxis action plan, follow the instructions.
Always give adrenaline injector first, then asthma reliever if someone with known asthma and allergy to food, insects or medication has sudden breathing difficulty even if there are no skin symptoms. In case of an emergency, call triple zero and ask for an ambulance.
Also Check: What Age Do You Grow Out Of Asthma
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.
Know The Signs Of An Asthma Attack
Youre having an asthma attack if:
- your blue reliever isn’t helping, or you need to use it more than every four hours
- you’re wheezing a lot, have a very tight chest, or you’re coughing a lot
- you’re breathless and find it difficult to walk or talk
- your breathing is getting faster and it feels like you can’t get your breath in properly
You may have all of these signs and symptoms. Or you may have just some of them. For example, you may not wheeze.
Know your early warning signs
An asthma attack happens when your symptoms get much worse. This can happen quite suddenly or can build up gradually over a few days.
You can stop an asthma attack before it happens, or make it less serious so you dont end up in hospital, by recognising when your symptoms are getting worse.
You May Like: How Does Asthma Affect Health
Tips For When You Dont Have An Inhaler
Mild to moderate asthma attacks can occur at inopportune times. You may be able to manage your asthma more effectively with these tips. If these dont work CALL AN AMBULANCE.
Things To Do If You Dont Have An Inhaler
Asthma is a chronic condition that affects the lungs. During an asthma attack, the airways become narrower, which makes it difficult to breathe. Most people with the condition dont want to be caught without an inhaler during an asthma attack. The preferred way of treating asthma is by using an inhaler that contains medication that expands your airways.
But what if youre having an asthma attack and you dont have your inhaler? What can you do? There are several things you can do while you wait for the symptoms to subside or for medical help to arrive:
You May Like: Can You Have Acute Asthma
What Are The Chances Of My Child Outgrowing Asthma
Most children who have asthma will outgrow the condition by the time they reach their late teens. There is even a chance that they will outgrow it by the time they reach their early teens. There is no way to tell if your child will outgrow asthma until it starts to get better on its own. In some cases, a child who has outgrown one type of asthma will develop another type later on.
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.
Also Check: How To Get Over An Asthma Attack Without Inhaler
Contact Doctor During Office Hours
- 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
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.
Recommended Reading: How To Treat Bronchial Asthma At Home
Preventing An Asthma Attack
The best way to prevent having an asthma attack is to make sure that your asthma is under control. People with asthma typically use two types of medication:
- Long-term. This involves medication that you take every day to control airway inflammation and prevent asthma attacks. These medications can include things like inhaled corticosteroids, leukotriene modifiers and long-acting bronchodilators.
- Quick-relief. This is rescue medication that you take for short-term relief of asthma symptoms. These medications are referred to as short-acting bronchodilators and work to open your airways.
You should also work with your doctor to develop a personalized asthma action plan. This can help you to better understand and control your asthma. An asthma action plan includes:
- your asthma triggers and how to avoid them
- how and when to take your medications, both for symptom control and for quick relief
- indicators of when youre controlling your asthma well and when you need to seek emergency medical attention
Your family and those close to you should have a copy of your asthma action plan so that theyll know what to do if you have an asthma attack. Additionally, it may be helpful to keep it on your phone as well, in case you need to reference it quickly.
Its possible that you may still have some questions regarding asthma attacks. Well try to answer some of these now.
Is It True That You Can Stop An Asthma Attack With Water
Yes, its true that you can stop your asthma attack with water. Most people with asthma usually dont drink enough water and become dehydrated. Drinking water can help you get relief from your asthma attack. Water in general is good for people. You should drink more water and fresh juices every day to stay healthy.
Recommended Reading: How Do You Diagnose Asthma
How Can I Open My Airways Naturally
The most effective way to breathe easier is to use a neti pot to flush out the nasal passages. This is a common procedure in Ayurvedic medicine. There are many neti pots on the market, but I prefer the Netti Pot from Yogi Tea. It comes with complete instructions. All you have to do is use warm water and follow their suggested procedure. A neti pot clears the nasal passages and opens up the airways. The salts in the water are very effective at ridding you of allergies and killing any bacteria or viruses that may have taken up residence in the nasal passages. This is what you want to be sure you breathe in and out of your body. Try this once a day first thing in the morning. Youll feel better, I promise..
What Are The Long
There are many long-term effects of breathing problems. Some of these include low self-esteem, social isolation and even depression. If your asthma is not properly managed, you are also at higher risk of developing other complications such as sleep apnea, chronic bronchitis and even a heart attack.
Recommended Reading: Why Is My Asthma Worse At Night
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.
Signs That You Need To Use Asthma First Aid
If you are experiencing any of the following signs, follow your asthma action plan. If you do not have an asthma action plan, or you are assisting someone who is experiencing an asthma attack, start asthma first aid. Do not wait until asthma is severe.
Mild to moderate asthma signs :
- able to talk in full sentences
- able to walk or move around
- may have a cough or wheeze.
Severe asthma signs :
- cannot speak a full sentence in one breath
- tugging of the skin between ribs or at base of neck
- may have cough or wheeze
- reliever medication not lasting as long as usual.
Life-threatening asthma signs :
- getting little or no relief from reliever inhaler
- may no longer have wheeze or cough.
In asthma emergencies, follow your asthma action plan.
You May Like: Which Air Pollutant Most Contributes To Asthma
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
Complementary And Alternative Medicine
Alternative medicine practitioners may turn to any of several approaches to relieve wheezing or prevent spasms and constriction of the airways that lead to acute respiratory symptoms.
Its important to note that most have little scientific evidence to support their use. If you decide to incorporate complementary medicine into your treatment plan, let your doctor know so they can track any side effects and prevent drug interactions.
Read Also: What Helps Breathing With Asthma
What To Do If You Have An Asthma Attack
If you think youre having an asthma attack, you should:
Never be frightened of calling for help in an emergency.
Try to take the details of your medicines with you to hospital if possible.
If your symptoms improve and you do not need to call 999, get an urgent same-day appointment to see a GP or asthma nurse.
This advice is not for people on SMART or MART treatment. If this applies to you, ask a GP or asthma nurse what to do if you have an asthma attack.
Recommended Reading: Propranolol Weight Gain
What Is The Difference Between Shortness Of Breath And Chest Pain
There are many differences between shortness of breath and chest pain. The most noticeable difference is location. Shortness of breath is mainly a breathing disorder while chest pain is a cardiovascular disorder. Chest pain is felt in the center of the chest while shortness of breath can be felt anywhere in the chest or throat area. Chest pain is also usually a symptom of a heart attack or other serious heart condition.
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