Most people who are dealing with asthma may wear their shoes wrong, but never miss the inhaler before stepping outdoors. It is necessary to note that the importance of carrying an inhaler can never be understated and therefore, one must carry it with himself/herself at all times. But, there is always something that can be done when you do not have the first aid in hand. Let's first know what really happens during an asthma attack.
During an asthma attack, the bronchial tubes or airways inside the lungs get inflamed and blocked by mucus, making it difficult for one to breathe. When the chest tightens, the lungs start to produce a wheezing sound. There can be different triggers for an asthma attack and these include air pollution, physical exertion, emotional outbursts and exposure to irritants such as cigarette smoke, dust and dander.
Here are six things that you can do when you have an asthma attack and do not have an inhaler handy.
Remember not to stop your asthma medications even if you feel that your condition has improved.
Asthma is not one of those medical conditions that recover completely post medication. Asthma has to be given constant care and management at all times. Your life depends on how you manage asthma and how far you try to prevent the attacks.
The moment you feel your chest is tightening up, stop doing everything and sit upright. If you bend down or lie down, the breathing may get constricted.
Take long and deep breaths
Taking long as well as deep breaths will slow your breathing down and prevent hyperventilation. Breathe in through your nose and breathe out through your mouth.
Do not panic
Make sure you stay calm during the asthma attack. Panicking can cause further tightening of the chest muscles, making breathing more difficult. This may be a difficult thing to do because during an asthma attack, the first reflex is to panic, especially on realising that the inhaler is not available. But, think about what staying calm can do during the attack and work on it.
Move away from the trigger
Every asthma patient would know what triggers their attacks. It could be moving into a newly painted home where granules of dust linger, crossing a field full of weed or pushing the body too hard at the gym. Whatever causes your asthma attack, stay away from it. You could move into an air-conditioned atmosphere or one where there is clean air to ease the symptoms.
Seek emergency help
If the heavy breathing, coughing and wheezing does not stop despite a long period of rest, call for an emergency ambulance or go to the nearest hospital by yourself.
Drink a hot beverage
Certain hot caffeinated beverages such as coffee can make the airways to open up slightly, thus providing immediate relief for about an hour or more.
If you regularly experience the asthma attacks, it implies that you are not controlling your condition well. You may be in the need for stronger medication so that your condition does not get worse.