How to cope with an asthma attack

Knowing what to do when someone is having an asthma attack can save their life. Many people around the world have asthma, yet it can easily be forgotten how serious it can be. The fact is, people die from asthma attacks, they just can’t breathe.

So if you learn to manage an asthma attack, you can save a life.

First, the symptoms of a worsening asthma attack are shortness of breath, coughing, wheezing, and tightness in the chest. Asthmatics will also use their inhaler much more than usual. This inhaler will usually relieve asthma symptoms and the asthmatic can continue normally. However, there are times when using an inhaler doesn’t work.

So how can you tell if the situation is serious? Well, there are certain symptoms you can look for, the reliever inhaler seems to have no effect, the asthmatic is pale, or his lips are turning blue. They may also appear confused or irritable, and too breathless to speak or eat. All of these symptoms are telltale signs that an asthma attack is occurring.

If you feel like the situation is out of control, you should call an ambulance or doctor immediately. Never be afraid to ask for help no matter what time or place. It can save someone’s life.

What to do in an asthma attack …

First, take two puffs from your asthma inhaler right away, the number of puffs can vary from person to person, so you should check with your doctor or nurse about asthma.

I know it is very distressing, but try to stay as calm as possible, stress itself can make asthma symptoms worse. Try to control your breathing as much as possible.

Do not lie down, sit with your hands on your knees for additional support. I know it is very difficult, but try to slow down your breathing so that you are less exhausted.

Continue to inhale your asthma inhaler every minute for five minutes or until symptoms disappear.

If after five minutes the symptoms have not improved, call a doctor or ambulance immediately for help and advice.

Until help arrives, keep taking your asthma inhaler every few minutes. Asthma UK advises that repeating the dose is safe until help arrives.

Don’t be afraid to reach out to your doctor or nurse for asthma help. They can advise you on how to deal with an asthma attack.

Written by Paddy Moogan

September 7, 2020
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