Before we get into the various options you have when you’re stuck without your inhaler and in a fit of coughs, let’s put out a disclaimer first. If you’re having an asthma attack, your priority should be getting emergency medical help. If that means calling an ambulance or driving to the emergency room yourself, then do so. Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s continue.
The Golden Rule
To make this entire article null, and to prevent you from ever being without your inhaler, follow one simple rule. Always take your inhaler with you everywhere. It’s not big, and the help it provides is of huge gain. Instead of having to scramble for alternative options when an asthma attack is flaring up, just draw your asthma inhaler.
Identifying An Asthma Attack
What you’re going to need to know, is if you’re truly having an asthma attack. So here are some basic symptoms that can help you out. You could feel tightness in your chest, excessive coughing, have difficulty breathing, and simply wheezing. Your heart rate will usually pick up, and in some cases a person’s nails and lips start to turn a bluish color. In the case of discoloration of body parts, emergency medical help is critical.
Asthma Attack Causes
You might be wondering what caused you to start coughing like a barking bulldog, so here are some factors you might want to consider. Air pollution, dust and other irritants, cigarette smoke, pet dander, over-exertion physically, and even emotional distress.
What You Can Do
There are six things you could do in the case of a sudden asthma attack, here they are:
– Sit upright – This allows your airways to open fully. Even if lying down or bending over feels more comfortable, it is actually obstructing your airways.
– Take long, deep breaths – By doing this you will slow down your breathing and your heart rate. This is a good way to prevent hyperventilating.
– Stay calm – Staying calm allows your muscles to relax, preventing any more strain to occur in your chest and throat.
– Separate yourself from the trigger – Whatever is causing your asthma attack, get away from it. Smokers near you? Leave the area.
– Drink a hot caffeinated beverage – Drinking hot coffee or another drink with caffeine can provide relief for up to two hours.
– Get emergency medical help – Again, your best option is to get the proper medical attention you need. An asthma attack can result in death; it is no joke.
Control Your Asthma
Asthma isn’t something that comes and goes so make sure you’re taking care of it properly. Constant attention to your asthma not only means that you can feel better every day, it could also mean the difference between life and death one day. Lesson of the day: take your inhaler everywhere you’d take your cellphone.