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What To Do When You Have Asthma But No Inhaler

Clean Your Mdi Inhaler Once A Week

Stop an Asthma Attack Without an Inhaler

Yes! Even inhalers get dirty and need a good scrub every now and then.

Hydrofluoroalkane is the main propellant used to deliver medications in MDIs. HFAs were introduced in 2008 as a more environmentally friendly substitute for ozone-damaging chlorofluorocarbon -propelled MDIs. HFAs taste different and feel warmer and softer in the mouth than CFC inhalers; and research has shown that they are just as effective at delivering medication. Because HFA is a stickier substance than CFC, residual spray is more likely to build up and clog up the mouthpiece of the inhaler.

Clean your inhaler weekly by removing the metal canister from the mouthpiece . Rinse both the mouthpiece and cap under warm running water for 30 seconds, then allow to dry thoroughly before reassembling.

Clogged-up inhalers decrease the amount of medicine each puff delivers and can prevent you from receiving an accurate dose.

Video: Signs That Your Asthma Is Getting Worse

Transcript for Signs that your asthma is getting worse

0:00 Asthma attacks rarely happen out of the blue.

0:03 They often take a few days to build up.

0:07 Asthma is different for everybody.

0:10 By learning how to recognise when your asthma symptoms are getting worse,

0:14 itll help you to stay in control.

0:18 So, signs that your asthma is getting worse are variable.

0:23 The most common sort of signs are you may feel some wheezing,

0:26 you may have a cough, you may find a tightness in your chest.

0:32 If you keep a peak flow diary, you may find that your peak flow scores are reducing a bit.

0:38 You may also find that youre using your blue reliever inhaler more frequently than you usually would.

0:45 If your symptoms continue to be worse and youre using your blue inhaler a lot,

0:52 then please do call us on the helpline or contact us by email,

0:56 especially if youre not sure what to do next.

0:59 We can discuss whats been going on with you

1:01 and make a plan for a way forward.

1:05 If you are using your preventer inhaler as prescribed,

1:09 every day, even when youre well and using really good inhaler technique,

1:14 and despite this, your asthma symptoms are getting worse,

1:18 its a good idea to see your GP.

Related resources

Adult action plan

Using an asthma action plan will help you to stay well. Download and fill in with your GP.

What To Do When Having An Asthma Attack

If you have asthma, then its important that you know what to do and not do if you have an asthma attack.

  • Sit upright in a comfortable position and loosen any tight clothing. Leaning forward slightly or sitting backwards on a chair may help your breathing.
  • Breathe slowly and deeply.
  • If you dont have your inhaler with you, call an ambulance. Dial 999 in the UK, 911 in the US or 112 in the Europe Union.
  • If you do have your reliever inhaler , take one puff every 30-60 seconds up to a maximum of 10 puffs. If you have a spacer device to hand, use that to administer the inhaler, as it can help the medicine get into your airways more efficiently.
  • If youre using your inhaler and feel worse or you dont feel any better after youve had 10 puffs, call the emergency services.
  • If youre waiting for an ambulance and it hasnt arrived within 15 minutes, use your reliever inhaler again and take one puff every 30 to 60 seconds, up to a maximum of 10 puffs.
  • Stay as calm as you can, as panic and anxiety can make your symptoms worse.
  • Its hard to predict exactly when an asthma attack will occur, so its also important to discuss your condition with your family, friends and employer. Its essential that they all become better acquainted with what happens and how to react and help if you have an asthma attack.

    Recommended Reading: Do Chihuahuas Take Away Asthma

    Why Have Your Asthma Symptoms Got Worse

    Before your appointment, have a think about your symptoms and why you think theyve got worse. Itll help you and your GP to work out whats going on with your asthma.

    Ask yourself these questions to help you:

    Have I been taking my preventer inhaler every day?

    Preventer medicines stop inflammation building up in your airways. But they can only do this if you take them every day.

    If you stop taking them you wont have full protection. And your symptoms will come back.

    Have you been taking yours every day? Or have you found it hard to get into a good routine?

    Do I know the best way to take my inhalers?

    Even if youve been taking an inhaler for years, its easy to slip into bad habits. If you havent been taking your inhaler correctly you will have been missing out on the full dose of asthma medicine.

    Are you confident youre taking your inhalers in the right way? Watch our inhaler videos to see if youre doing it right. And ask your GP or asthma nurse to check it at your appointment.

    Have I been around more of my usual asthma triggers?

    Maybe youve caught a cold, or its pollen season and your hay fevers bad. Think about your usual triggers and if they might be affecting you more.

    Have I come across a new trigger?

    Have you been around an animal or pet? Did you start a new job, or go on holiday? Tell your doctor if youve spotted a new trigger. They can help you deal with it.

    What else has been going on in my life lately?

    Have I noticed hormonal changes?

    How To Help Someone With An Asthma Attack Without An Inhaler

    The anatomy of an asthma attack  the experience of a parent

    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.;

    Don’t Miss: What Does Asthma Do To You

    What Types Of Asthma Are There

    Healthcare providers identify asthma as intermittent or persistent . Persistent asthma can be mild, moderate or severe. Healthcare providers base asthma severity on how often you have attacks. They also consider how well you can do things during an attack.

    Asthma can be:

    • Allergic: Some peoples allergies can cause an asthma attack. Molds, pollens and other allergens can cause an attack.
    • Non-allergic: Outside factors can cause asthma to flare up. Exercise, stress, illness and weather may cause a flare.

    What Are The Most Common Triggers Of Asthma Attacks

    Common asthma attack triggers include:

    • Coming into contact with allergens, such as pollen, animal fur, mould or dust
    • Eating certain foods
    • Environmental factors, such as pollution, poor air quality or cold air
    • Taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen
    • Taking medication such as beta blockers
    • Stress or extreme emotion

    Recommended Reading: How Often Can You Use A Nebulizer For Asthma

    Take A Copy Of Your Childs Asthma Action Plan To Their School

    Most parents have enough to do at the start of the new school year, but parents of children with asthma have even more. If you havent already talked with the school or your childs teacher about their asthma action plan, then make an appointment to do it as soon as you can. Provide the school with written instructions and review their policies to ensure that you are satisfied that your childs specific needs will be addressed.

    Although all 50 states and the District of Columbia have passed laws allowing students with asthma to carry their inhalers, there are still a range of local policies and practices in some schools that make it difficult for some children to freely access these potentially lifesaving medicines during the school day.

    Organize for an in-date emergency supply to be kept in the nurses cabinet, just in case. Encourage your child to talk about their asthma to friends, classmates and teachers, and to let an adult know if they are experiencing any symptoms.

    New Asthma Guidelines Update Recommendations For Inhaler Use Add

    How to Use an Inhaler Without a Spacer Video

    The new guidelines come from two U.S. government health groups and are the first new recommendations since 2007. Experts say theyll affect a significant number of people with asthma.

    Two groups within the National Institutes of Health the National Asthma Education and Prevention Program and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute updated their asthma management guidelines in December. This update is the first one since 2007 and several topics were due for review. The guidelines were published in December in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology and on the NHLBI website.

    One significant change will affect adults and children ages 4 or older with moderate to severe persistent asthma who are using daily controller inhalers. According to the updated guideline, people in this group should now use a single inhaler containing both an inhaled corticosteroid and a bronchodilator daily as a preventive medication and for quick relief during an asthma attack.

    The inhaler use recommendation is going to have a huge impact, says Edward Brooks, MD, professor of pediatrics and the chief of pediatric immunology and infectious disease at UT Health in San Antonio, Texas, and a member of the expert panel that worked on the new guidelines.

    Research reviewed in preparation of the new guidelines suggests this change could help patients better manage asthma over the long term and reduce emergency room visits.

    Recommended Reading: How Many Kids In The Us Have Asthma

    Symptoms After An Asthma Attack

    How you feel after an asthma attack will depend on how severe the attack was and what triggered it.

    If the attack was triggered by an irritant, such as cold weather, pollutants or allergens such as pollen, animal fur or dust, you should recover relatively quickly.

    If your asthma attack was caused by an infection, such an upper airway infection, then it might take longer for you to recover. You may have symptoms such as fatigue and exhaustion after your asthma attack.

    Do follow any recovery guidance given to you by a doctor or medical professional. Rest, drink plenty of fluids, take your medication and attend any necessary follow-up appointments.

    If you havent seen your doctor or asthma nurse for a routine appointment recently, book one as soon as possible.

    What Causes Vocal Cord Dysfunction

    Common triggers that cause VCD include high-intensity exercise, postnasal drip and reflux. My primary VCD caseload consists of either respiratory patients, anxiety-ridden patients or athletes, Bettina says.

    Oftentimes, VCD attacks occur in high-stress situations, like when an athlete is training for a high-profile competition or being recruited to compete at the collegiate level. If you have a lot of anxiety on your plate, it can be more difficult to remember to relax, breathe properly using the diaphragm and keep your body up straight, Bettina says. Not doing these things can create upper-body tension and bring on VCD.

    VCD patients misdiagnosed with asthma often see their symptoms improve at first by using an inhaler. But the inhaler is causing a placebo effect, Bettina says. You relax because you think the inhaler is working, which reduces anxiety and helps you breathe properly. But eventually that inhaler isnt going to work.

    Bettina thinks she may have experienced VCD as a child. I was the one who could never run the mile in gym class, she says. Inhalers didnt help, and doctors kept calling it asthma. Years later, after I learned proper breathing techniques, I can do cardio without any problems.

    Also Check: Why Does Alcohol Trigger Asthma

    How Vocal Cord Dysfunction Is Treated

    With VCD, medications do not help. Only a specific relaxation regimen and breathing techniques can heal it.

    Bettinas typical treatment plan for VCD patients begins with an evaluation, where she asks questions to understand a patients anxiety and stress level. I try to see what situations might have led to the VCD symptom flareup, she says. I also watch them as theyre talking to me to see their posture and I feel their upper-body muscles.

    During subsequent sessions, Bettina teaches stretches and massages to help with relaxation, and shows proper breathing techniques where breathing is focused from the diaphragm. For athletes, she might even take them for a run outside or on a treadmill to put these techniques to practice.

    Typically VCD can be treated in two to six weeks, depending on the patient.

    Reduce Muscle Fatigue And Stay Active With Mountain Ice Sports Recovery Gel

    Asthma UK on Twitter: "Everyone needs to know what to do ...

    Avoid muscle fatigue and reach your peak performance. Mountain Ice Sports Recovery Gel is a unique formulation of high-quality, all-natural ingredients designed to reduce muscle, joint, tendon, and ligament soreness and strain after exercise! Our ingredients have been specially chosen to reduce inflammation and strain after physical activity:

    • Menthol: Its cooling sensation numbs pain, providing immediate relief, while it widens blood vessels to improve circulation and deliver more oxygen and nutrients to damaged areas.
    • MSM: Prevents breakdown of connective tissue like ligaments and reduces inflammation.
    • Spearmint: Soothes pain and muscle contractions, reducing stress on the foot.
    • Aloe Vera: Anti-inflammatory plant that promotes faster muscle recovery.
    • Camphor: Cooling pain reliever that reduces swelling from injury and increases circulation.
    • Vitamin E: Reduces muscle soreness and encourages muscle rebuilding, strengthening the foot’s support.
    • Green Tea Extract: Powerful antioxidant that reduces the oxidative stress that can cause inflammation.
    • Arnica Flower: Relieves inflammation and muscle soreness while improving circulation.
    • Turmeric: Inhibits inflammatory response while promoting deep absorption of ingredients, fighting pain at its source.

    Are you looking for pain relief from running injuries? today to get back on your feet!

    Please consult your doctor or other qualified medical professional before stopping or starting any medications, supplements, or health regimens.;

    Also Check: What Happens To The Alveoli During An Asthma Attack

    Check Your Inhaler Technique With Your Doctor Or Pharmacist

    The way you use your inhaler can make a huge difference to your asthma control. Even if you have had asthma for years, its not a bad idea to ask your doctor or pharmacist to check your technique next time you visit or pick up your supplies.

    Some metered dose inhalers need to be shaken for at least five seconds before use. They must also be primed before first use, or after dropping, which involves spraying up to 4 puffs into the air. Breath-activated inhalers don’t require shaking or priming. Ask your pharmacist if you are unsure which one you have.

    Before putting the inhaler in your mouth, breathe out normally. Sit or stand upright and place the mouthpiece between your teeth and seal with your lips. Press down on the canister with your index finger to release the medication while breathing in deeply and slowly through the mouth. Hold your breath for about 5-10 seconds. Wait half a minute before repeating if you need more than 1 puff.

    Ask your doctor or a pharmacist about a spacer if you have difficulty timing the spray with inhalation. These allow you to activate the MDI then inhale separately.

    Take Action Now To Lower Your Risk Of An Asthma Attack

    If youre getting more asthma symptoms its a sign that your airways are getting more inflamed and narrow. This makes it harder for air to get through and means an asthma attack is more likely.

    The sooner you can treat the inflammation in your airways, the sooner you can lower your risk of an asthma attack.

    See your doctor today

    • Ask the receptionist for an urgent same day appointment. Tell them your asthmas getting worse and you need to see a GP or asthma nurse for urgent advice to avoid having an asthma attack.
    • If you cant get an urgent same day appointment, or your GP surgery is closed, . They may be able to arrange for you to be seen at a walk-in centre or by an out of hours doctor.;

    Read Also: What Essential Oils Are Good For Asthma

    Cleaning Mold Off Chairs

    Basements sometimes get very hot and humid during the summer months. This creates a breeding ground for mold spores. One winter I was inspecting the antique furniture I had stored down there. I noticed they were covered in mold.

    My aunt informed me all I had to do was put a little bleach in a bucket of water. Then wipe the mold off using a rag. Of course, she said to do this in a well-ventilated area. She also recommended I wear a mask. I took the furniture into the garage and opened the garage door.

    This method worked great for getting the mold off the furniture. The downside is the mold triggered my asthma. Inhaling the bleach probably didnt help either. The solution here is to wear the darn mask. Another solution is to get someone else to do this task.

    Why Might Someone With Asthma Be Without An Inhaler

    Respiratory Therapy : How to Handle an Asthma Attack 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.;

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