Even infants these days know what asthma attacks look like. The moment they find you coughing intensively, they will run to get you the inhaler. But what if the inhaler is completely used up and you have forgotten to replace it? Given that either of them is a common possibility, even the thought of such a situation sends the spine a chill. So, it’s needless to say that one requires to be aware of what to do during an asthma attack without an inhaler, for themselves as well as their close ones.
Let’s begin from the beginning.
WHAT IS ASTHMA? WHAT ARE ITS SYMPTOMS
Asthma is a health condition where the airways of the lungs swell up and become narrow. It might also lead to incessant coughs, breathing difficulty, shortness of breath, and a whistling sound while one breathes out. The condition might range from being a mild one to being extremely severe and interfering with an individual’s daily activities, posing life threats. While Asthma cannot be completely cured but it can be controlled such that attacks become mild and less frequent.
Symptoms of Asthma
The symptoms of Asthma may differ from person to person. One might not have symptoms of the attack while having an attack. It is however essential for one to consult a doctor and have an action plan created mandatorily in worst-case scenarios.
Common Asthma attack symptoms include the following:
- Feeling fatigued easily
- Cold including a runny nose, or nasal congestion, or tickle in your throat.
- Tightening of chest
- Shortness of breath
- Difficulty in talking
A minor asthma attack might turn into a severe one if not treated quickly and will require medical treatment to prevent it from being life-threatening.
The symptoms of the asthma attack becoming severe includes:
- Non – stop coughing
- Blue lips- signifying lower levels of oxygen in the blood
- Low blood pressure
- Slow heart rate
- Silent chest meaning that the attack is worse enough for one to not even let the airflow for wheezing.
HOW TO PREVENT IT?
As mentioned earlier the disease cannot be completely cured bit the only and the best way to prevent an attack is to keep the condition in control. There are two types of medications involved in treating asthma:
- Rescue Medication – Referred to as bronchodilators, these medications are used to provide one a quick relief of the symptoms. It helps to open the airways and make breathing easier for the time being.
- Long Term Medication – This includes taking continuous medication every day to control the inflammation of air passages to lower and prevent the attacks. It also involves having a customized and detailed action plan which will include information
- Home Medication – Even though there isn’t any research showing that home remedies can cure asthma but it is believed to complement the above treatments in helping in reducing the attacks and the symptoms. Find some of the best home remedies for asthma here.
Similar to symptoms different people can be triggered to have an asthma attack through different things ranging from allergies to illnesses. However, some common triggers include:
- Respiratory Infections
- Keeping the house clean to reduce the dust
- Cold or dry air
- Tobacco smoke or Pollution
- Rigorous exercise
- Anxiety or Stress
- Allergens like pollen or pet dander
HOW TO SURVIVE THE ATTACK?
- Try Staying Calm
It will be difficult since you will be facing breathing issues but you have to tame your mind to win this because panic worsens the situation. Turn on the TV to divert your attention, listen to some calm music, think about places, people, or memories that make you happy.
- Sit Up
Lying down can worsen the symptoms, so always sit up when you anticipate an attack.
- Try Making Your Breath Steady.
Breathing exercises like the ones practiced during yoga helps in reducing the symptoms. The Buteyko breathing Technique which entails breathing through your nose gradually instead of your mouth. The Papworth Method involves using your nose or diaphragm to breathe in a specific way.
- Stay Away From Triggers
It goes without saying the presence of triggers will not only cause the attack but also worsen the symptoms. So, one should stay away from them at all times.
- Call The Emergency Medical Services
If you notice the symptoms getting worse as aforementioned, then be sure to seek emergency medical treatment.
Asthma attacks can disturb and interrupt your everyday life. Take the required medications, and be sure to avoid your triggers, and contact the emergency medical services if found necessary.