What to Do Immediately If I Have an Asthma Attack

This entry was posted on Monday, June 20th, 2016 and is filed under Blog by AENT Associates

While asthma attacks may range in severity from mild to severe, affected breathing can be scary. Fortunately, there are medications you can take to reduce airway inflammation. Even if you don’t have these handy, there are several things you can do to get your breathing on track after an asthma attack.

Step 1: Recognizing Your Attack

Not all asthma attacks have classic symptoms. Many of our Houston-area patients have experienced breathing difficulties for some time without realizing that asthma was the cause. The most common symptoms of an asthma attack are:

  • Coughing
  • Chest tightness
  • Severe shortness of breath
  • Wheezing, a high-pitched sound that occurs when your airways get tighter.

You may notice these symptoms come on with exercise, stress, or exposure to a particular allergen, like a dog, smoke, or a certain kind of plant.

According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, asthma attacks can last from minutes to several days.  Seeking help and treating the attack can help you breathe better – and be prepared if it happens again.

Step 2: Stay Calm

An asthma attack can trigger a sense of panic. But panic can keep you from working through the steps to reduce your symptoms and can worsen your symptoms. If you have a fast-acting inhaler or nebulizer, use this device. These usually contain albuterol, a medication that helps to reduce inflammation in your airways to help you breathe.

If your symptoms get worse instead of better, seek emergency medical treatment. An emergency center can administer additional medications to stop the inflammation that’s affecting your breathing.

Step 3: Remove Yourself from Your Trigger

Another key to getting your breathing under control is to remove yourself from the trigger. Otherwise, the trigger could worsen your symptoms. If you aren’t sure what is causing your trigger, see an asthma and allergy specialist, such as one of our physician team members at Allergy & ENT Associates.

Step 4: Create a Preventive Plan

The miracles of modern medicine mean that there are ways not only to treat asthma, but also to prevent attacks from coming on. Our doctors can prescribe medications that minimize inflammation in your airways, which reduces the risk you’ll have an asthma attack on a daily basis. Specifically identifying the causes of asthma attacks can also help you avoid triggers whenever possible.

If you do experience an asthma attack, having a short-acting inhaler on-hand can (literally) be a lifesaver. These are vital to always have on-hand when you experience an asthma attack.

It’s important to seek treatment for asthma symptoms because continued attacks can affect your lung function. When you have asthma, you have to especially take care of your lungs to ensure you can continue doing the activities you enjoy. With careful preventive maintenance, asthma control is possible.

If you struggle with asthma – or think you may have asthma – call (713) MY-SINUS. With offices conveniently located throughout the Greater Houston Area, we will have a location with caring professionals to serve you.

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Posted in: Asthma

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