Home Remedies For Asthma Attacks
While some asthma attacks are mild, lasting just a few minutes, others are severe and may need immediate medical treatment. Many milder attacks can be handled at home. Heres what to try.
Avoid your triggers. If you know what your triggers are, try to stay away from them so you can avoid asthma attacks altogether. Sometimes, this isnt possiblebut if you find yourself having an asthma attack and you know why, do what you can to get away from the culprit.
If you walked into someones house with a cat, then get outside, says Dr. Rathkopf. If youre outside and its cold, then get inside or cover up your mouth with a scarf.
Follow your action plan. Every patient should leave their doctors office with an asthma action plan, says Dr. Li. These individualized plans will guide you through the best next steps during an asthma attack.
Preparation is key, says Dr. Li. Attacks happen.
That goes for everyoneeven if youve never had an asthma attack. Patients have felt like they cant really have asthma because theyve never had an attack, says Dr. Rathkopf. Thats fortunate for them, but it doesnt mean they couldnt have one.
The first step after getting away from your triggeror if you cant avoid your trigger or dont know what it isis usually medication.
Take anywhere from two to four puffs, advises Dr. Li.
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Research For Your Health
The NHLBI is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Institutes of Health the Nations biomedical;research;agency that makes important scientific discovery to improve health and save lives. We are committed to advancing science and translating discoveries into clinical practice to promote the prevention and treatment of heart, lung, blood, and sleep disorders, including asthma. Learn about the current and future NHLBI efforts to improve health through research and scientific discovery.
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 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.
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Consider Immunotherapy Allergy Shots
If your doctor finds that you have allergies, allergy shots may help prevent allergy symptoms and keep your asthma from getting worse. With allergy shots, the doctor injects small doses of allergens under your skin on a regular schedule. Over time, your body may get used to the allergen and respond less when youâre exposed. This can help keep your asthma under control.
Take Asthma Medications As Prescribed
Long-term asthma medications are designed to prevent symptoms and attacks. You need to take them every day, even if you donât have symptoms. Theyâll ease inflammation in your airways and keep your asthma under control, so itâs less likely to flare up. If side effects bother you, talk to your doctor about switching to another treatment.
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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.
Tips To Keep Your Asthma Under Control
May 4th, 2015
Almost three million Canadians and more than 300 million people worldwide have asthma, including many top athletes. Asthma is a common chronic lung disease that can make it difficult to breathe. ;Although there is no cure for asthma, those with the condition can live healthy, active lives if their asthma is under control.;
For World Asthma Day , the Canadian Lung Association has some helpful tips for people with asthma.;
1.;; ;Know your triggers and avoid themTriggers like allergens and irritants can make ;your asthma symptoms worse by irritating your airways. ;The best way to control your asthma is to know what your asthma triggers are and how to avoid them.
2.;; ;Take your asthma medication as prescribed by your doctorMany people think they can skip their asthma preventer medications when they don’t feel any symptoms that’s not true. Asthma is a chronic disease. If you have asthma, you have it all the time, even when you don’t feel symptoms. You have to manage your asthma every day, not just on days when you feel symptoms. Read more about asthma medications and how to use them.
3.;; ;Learn how to use your inhaler properlyYour health-care provider can show you how to use your inhaler properly so that ;your medicine reaches the airways. ;Ask him or her ;to watch you useyour inhaler. ;Your health-care provider may offer suggestions on how to improve your technique so that the medication gets to your airways. Watch our videos on how to properly use your inhalers.
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How Is Asthma Treated
Take your medicine exactly as your doctor tells you and stay away from things that can trigger an attack to control your asthma.
Everyone with asthma does not take the same medicine.
You can breathe in some medicines and take other medicines as a pill. Asthma medicines come in two typesquick-relief and long-term control. Quick-relief medicines control the symptoms of an asthma attack. If you need to use your quick-relief medicines more and more, visit your doctor to see if you need a different medicine. Long-term control medicines help you have fewer and milder attacks, but they dont help you while you are having an asthma attack.
Asthma medicines can have side effects, but most side effects are mild and soon go away. Ask your doctor about the side effects of your medicines.
Remember you can control your asthma. With your doctors help, make your own asthma action plan. Decide who should have a copy of your plan and where he or she should keep it. Take your long-term control medicine even when you dont have symptoms.
Diet To Follow For Asthma
The importance of a healthy diet cannot be contested. Incorporate fresh and organic fruits and vegetables in your daily diet and see the difference. Food rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals will ensure healthy functioning of the respiratory system. Some foods that are good for asthmatics are given below:
Fruits apples, cantaloupes, bananas, kiwi, pineapple, and berries.Vegetables carrots, garlic, avocado, Broccoli sprouts, spinach, sweet potatoes, ginger, tomatoes, kale, and Swiss chard.Juices make a healthy concoction by using any of the fruits and vegetables listed above.
Steer clear of junk food and fried fatty food that can act as a trigger for an asthma attack.
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Home Remedies For Asthma
1. Best Foods for Treating Asthma
Eating a healthy diet supplies asthma sufferers with antioxidants and nutrients to combat environmental toxins, control inflammatory responses and reduce dietary triggers. Eating a wide variety of foods can ensure that you or your child gets;all the nutrients needed to support strong immunity. There have been numerous studies that show consuming the right foods can be the one of the best home remedies for asthma.
Some of the most beneficial foods to include in your asthma diet plan are:
- Brightly colored;carotenoid;foods: This compound gives fruit and vegetables their orange or red color and can help reduce asthma attacks.;Carotenoids are the basis of vitamin A, which is involved in the maintenance of healthy mucous membranes that line the air passageways.;Severity of asthma correlates with low vitamin A, so increase your intake of things like root veggies, sweet potatoes, carrots, leafy greens and berries.;A study of 68,000 women showed that those who ate more tomatoes, carrots and leafy greens had much lower rates of asthma and that people prone to asthma tended to have low levels of circulating carotenoids in their blood.
- Foods with folate : Folate reduces allergic reactions and inflammation.;It might be capable of lowering wheezing by regulating inflammatory processes as well. ;High-folate foods include;green leafy vegetables, beans and nuts.
2. Avoid Foods that Can Make Asthma Attacks Worse
3. Supplements for Asthma
How Do Asthma Treatments Work
Asthma treatments work in these ways:;
Bronchodilators can be short- or long-acting. If you use short-acting bronchodilators more than two days a week, talk with your doctor about your asthma control. You may need to make changes to your treatment plan to better control your asthma.;
Anti-inflammatories come in many different forms. They are also called controllers because they help to control or prevent asthma symptoms. They reduce swelling and extra mucus inside the airways. They will not relieve sudden symptoms.;
Other Types of Medicines and Treatments;
Single Maintenance and Reliever Therapy ;
The 2020 Focused Updates to the Asthma Management Guidelines recommends single maintenance and reliever therapy, also known as SMART. SMART uses one inhaler that has two medicines as a quick-relief and controller medicine. When on SMART, you can either take your medicine only as needed to relieve sudden symptoms, or you can take it daily as a controller and as needed for quick relief. This is based on your age and the severity of your asthma.;
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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.
Can I Prevent Asthma Flare
You also have the power to prevent flare-ups, at least some of the time. Here’s what you can do:
- Always have your inhaler and spacer with you.
- Stay away from things that may cause flare-ups , such as tobacco smoke, cold air, pet dander, or pollen. If you don’t know your triggers, ask your parents or your doctor.
- Take your long-term control medicine as directed. Don’t skip it or take less of it because you’re feeling better.
- Work with your parents and doctor to follow an asthma action plan.
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Use A Home Peak Flow Meter
The meter shows how well air is moving through your lungs. During an attack, your airways narrow. The meter can let you know this is happening hours or days before you have any symptoms. This gives you time to take the medications listed in your treatment plan and possibly stop the attack before it starts.
Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America: “Asthma Overview: Prevention,” âPeak Flow Meters.â
National Asthma Education and Prevention Program. Expert Panel Report: Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Asthma, 2002.
National Institutes of Health publication number 02-5074, June, 2003.
Brostoff, J. and Gamlin, L., Asthma: The Complete Guide to Integrative Therapies, Healing Arts Press,1999.
Plaut T. and Jones, T., Dr. Tom Plaut’s Asthma Guide for People of All Ages, Pedipress Inc., 1999.
American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology: âAsthma Treatment,â âWhat Is An Asthma Action Plan?â
CDC: âLung Disease including Asthma and Adult Vaccination.â
Caffeinated Tea Or Coffee
The caffeine in black or green tea and coffee is believed to help treat asthma. It works similarly to the popular asthma medication theophylline, which opens up the airways.
A 2010 research review, the most recent available, found that caffeine may slightly improve breathing function in people with asthma for up to 4hours.
Still, there isnt enough evidence to show whether caffeine can improve asthma symptoms.
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What Should I Do If I Have A Flare
Get help if you feel like a flare-up is about to happen. Let people around you know what’s going on, and then remember your asthma action plan. That’s the written plan created with your doctor that tells you which medicine to take and what to do next. Don’t ignore the flare-up or hope it will go away on its own. It won’t and you might end up in the emergency room.
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:
- allergens, 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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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.
Side Effects Of Steroid Tablets
Oral steroids carry a risk if they are taken for more than three months or if they are taken frequently . Side effects can include:
- easy bruising ;
- muscle weakness
With the exception of increased appetite, which is very commonly experienced by people taking oral steroids, most of these unwanted effects are uncommon.
However, it is a good idea to keep an eye out for them regularly, especially side effects that are not immediately obvious, such as high blood pressure, thinning of the bones, diabetes and glaucoma.
You will need regular appointments to check for these.
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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.
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.
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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