Asthma is a long-term disease affecting the lungs and the airways. In this kind of condition, the airways narrow and inflame. The common signs and symptoms of asthma include chest tightness, wheezing sound, coughing and shortness of breath. The coughing symptom often occurs early in the morning or late at night. In a situation of the asthma attack which is also referred to as an asthma exacerbation, the lining of your airways becomes inflamed. The muscles will contract to cause you to experience a narrowed breathing pattern. During an asthma exacerbation, you will cough a lot, wheeze and you may experience the difficulty of breathing. This kind of condition can be mild which can be managed at home. However, there are severe cases which need immediate attention because it can be a life-threatening situation.
Common signs of an asthma attack
Coughing – is a first signal that you can hear from afar.
- Wheezing – sometimes the wheezing is quit and sometimes it’s loud
- Being unusually quiet – happen most times with children
- Shortness of breath – like wheezing, do not get anxious if you hear it
- Feeling tight in the chest – because of huge efforts to breath
- Difficulty speaking in full sentences – again, because of huge efforts to breath
- Tummy ache (in most of the cases it happens in younger children)
What to do
- Keep calm – The last thing person under Asthma attack needs is pressure
- Encourage the person to sit up and slightly forward – do not hug or lie them down
- Make sure the person takes two puffs of his reliever inhaler immediately
- Loosen tight clothing – it will give him extra place for breath
- reassure the person – talk calm, put a relax expression on your face
If there is no immediate improvement
Continue to make sure the person takes one puff of reliever inhaler every minute for five minutes or until their symptoms improve (written from personal experience and not from doctor or specialist)
Call emergency or a doctor urgently if:
- The person’s symptoms do not improve in 5-10 minutes
- The person is too breathless or exhausted to talk
- The person’s lips are blue
- Or if you are in doubt
Continue to give the person one puff of his reliever inhaler every minute until the ambulance or doctor arrives (written from personal experience and not from doctor or specialist).
After a minor asthma attack
Minor attacks should not interrupt the involvement of a person with asthma in his life. When the person feels better he can return to his activities.
Important things to remember in an asthma attack
Visit A Doctor
It is very important to visit a doctor once you suspect or know that you have asthma because by doing so, precautionary measures and vital tips and advice will be given by your doctor.
Learn What Triggers The Asthma Attacks
Learning what triggers your asthma attacks is important so that you can avoid being exposed to them. Although some people may easily identify what triggers their asthma attacks, it is still highly suggested that asthmatics visit their doctor or an asthma specialist so that there will be a clear diagnosis of the triggering factors.
Take Medicines Faithfully
When you visit a doctor, you will usually be given medications that will help you live with your asthma. Some medicines are good for asthma attacks while some are preventive medicines. You should take these faithfully; never skip a dose and don’t under or overload yourself with the medicines. Take them as they are prescribed to achieve the maximum positive results.
Asthma Action Plan
Have you heard of this? Well, asthma action plans are usually applicable to children who are suffering from asthma but adults can also benefit from asthma action plans. Doctors and asthma specialists are usually the ones who design and create an asthma action plan that is specific and custom-made for each patient.
As we all know, the triggering factors, the intensity, and duration of the symptoms of asthma are greatly different from one person to another. That’s why having an asthma action plan designed especially for you can greatly help you to overcome and prevent future asthma attacks.
Cleanliness Is The Best Policy
As mentioned earlier, it is very important to get rid of the triggering factors so that there will be less chance of an asthma attack. Having and maintaining a house that is clean, dust-free and mold-free is a very advantageous thing for people who have asthma.