What to Do if You’re Having an Asthma Attack
If you are having an asthma attack, you have to stay calm. Getting anxious about your attack can make it worse. The key to staying anxiety-free when you have an asthma attack is to know the proper treatment. When you know exactly how to handle your attacks, you will be able to get through them without panicking. The following guide will take you through the steps you need to follow when you are having an asthma attack.
Recognize an Attack
Before you can treat an asthma attack, you need to be able to identify it. If any of the following occurs, you may be having an attack:
- Your normal asthma symptoms worsen
- Your inhaler doesn’t help
- You are too much out of breath to sleep, eat or do other normal activities
- Your breathing rate is accelerated and you feel like you cannot catch your breath
If you have any of the symptoms above and think you are having an asthma stack, the most important thing you need to do is to stay calm. Sit down and take slow, steady breaths. With your normal inhaler, take one puff every 30 seconds. You can take up to 10 puffs off your normal inhaler during this initial treatment to try to get your asthma attack under control. If this doesn’t work or you do not have an inhaler, then you will need to go to the emergency room to seek treatment.
Treating Asthma Attacks Without Medical Care
Asthma attacks can be deadly if they are not treated. That is why it is always best to get to medical care as soon as possible if your normal inhaler is not working to treat your asthma attack. However, you may suffer an attack somewhere that you cannot readily get to medical treatment. If this happens, it is crucial that you know how to treat asthma attacks without the aid of an ER.
Sitting upright is always the correct body position when you are having an asthma attack. Lying down or bending over can make it harder to breathe. Try to keep your breathing deep and slow. Try to stay as calm as possible. If you know what triggered your attack, try to get as far away from the source as you can. A building with air-conditioning or other space with filtered, clean air is the best place to head.
You should drink hot, caffeinated beverages. These can help to open up your airway and allow you to breathe easier. You can also get in a hot bath or shower as the steam will have the same airway-opening effect as a hot beverage.
If you have magnesium and vitamin C tablets handy, they can be used to treat an asthma attack. For adults, taking a combination of 1,000 milligrams of vitamin C and 500 milligrams of magnesium can help stop an asthma attack in its tracks. For children, halve the size of the dosages.
Anyone who suffers from asthma should always have a supply of a steroid like prednisone in pill form. When you have an acute attack far from medical treatment, taking an oral dose of prednisone can help you to keep the attack under control.
If you follow these tips, you will find that handling an asthma attack is no big deal. The key to always keep in mind is that staying calm is essential when you are suffering an attack. Practicing breathing exercises to calm yourself when you are well is a good idea. That will allow you to remain calm by using the same slow breathing exercises when you suffer an asthma attack.