Can Asthma Patients Survive An Attack Without Inhalers?
What Is Asthma?
Asthma is a chronic long-term disease of the airways which is caused by
inflammation and narrowing of the bronchial tubes that supply airflow to the lungs.
The airways to our lungs are surrounded by muscles and contain mucus glands.
These muscles are usually relaxed but if you have asthma, they are very sensitive
and inflamed. The mucus produced makes the airways swell and this can make
breathing difficult and can lead to an asthma attack.
Symptoms Of Asthma
If you think you have asthma or are experiencing some of these symptoms, you should see a doctor or a healthcare provider, for proper diagnosis. It is very important that you never ignore your asthma symptoms; you never know when something could trigger a fatal asthma attack.
There is no known cure for asthma but once diagnosed, it can be managed properly. We have so many people living healthily and actively with asthma.
Common Symptoms of Asthma Include
Recurring cough: coughing is a main feature of asthma, especially in children
and can be the only symptom of asthma. When a recurring cough occurs at
night or early in the morning, it could be considered a symptom of asthma.
- A air into your lungs. It could make eating, sleeping, or talking very difficult.
- Chest tightness: chest tightness is an unpleasant feeling of pressure in the chest that can make breathing very difficult.
- Increased mucus production: high levels of thick phlegm accumulating in the airways are the characteristics of increased mucus being produced and this being a symptom of asthma causes a very difficult breathing pattern.
What To Do When Having An Asthma Attack
When you notice any of the symptoms mentioned, the first thing to do is, remain calm, ask yourself if you have been exposed to any trigger that might be affecting you currently, maybe cold, pollen, high fever, animals or pets, and if you can’t seem to wrap your head around that, remain calm and try to use an inhaler which your healthcare provider must have taught on how to use. Next, call someone for assistance or seek emerging medical treatment because your symptoms could be getting worse even after using your inhaler, and you might not be able to speak except in short words. The severity of the attack could make you feel drowsy or tired, and your lips or face may appear blue when not coughing, remain calm, then try sitting up straight because it helps your airways stay open while lying down could be a bad idea as it could make your symptoms worse by closing your airways. While you await medical assistance or for your symptoms to subside, it is helpful that you do not panic and if music helps, turn it on to calm you down. While maintaining the upright sitting position, try to take slow steady breathes as breathing exercise helps reduce asthma symptoms. Some breathing techniques include:
- Diaphragmatic breathing is described as breathing from the region around your diaphragm as opposed to your chest.
- The Papworth method: involves using your diaphragm and nose to breathe in a particular way.
- The Buteyko breathing technique involves breathing through your nose instead of your mouth.
- Pranayama breathing technique: this involves controlling the duration and timing of each breath.
Be sure to move away from things that may be triggering your attack(s), e.g. move away from the midst of smokers promptly.
ADVICE TO PATIENTS
The best way to prevent an asthma attack is to make sure your asthma is under control by using your medications, as there is no cure for asthma. These medications could include things like inhaled corticosteroids which could be dispensed using a nebulizer. In addition, try to work with your doctor to develop an asthma action plan, as this could help you better understand and manage your asthma. An asthma action plan includes your asthma triggers and how to avoid them, how and when to take your medications for quick relief, and symptom control—indicators of when you are controlling your asthma well and when you need to seek emergency medical assistance.
It is essential to give your family and those close to you a copy of your asthma action plan so that they will know what to do during an asthma attack. Additional phone references will be helpful too.
It is important to remember that asthma attacks could be severe and require emergency medical attention. If you are experiencing the symptoms of a severe asthma attack, like severe wheezing, severe shortness of breath, difficulty speaking, you should call the emergency line.
With all the points given, you can be sure to survive an asthma attack without an inhaler at hand.