Asthma is a chronic disease that affects the lungs and your ability to breathe. Both children and adults can suffer from this common condition. While asthma can be properly managed with medication, there is always a risk of an “asthma attack.” An asthma attack involves the sudden narrowing of airways, which often causes symptoms that need immediate attention, such as severe shortness of breath, tightness or pain in your chest, coughing or wheezing and fast heart rate. If you’ve been diagnosed with asthma, do you know what to do if you experience an asthma attack?
Asthma Attacks Without an Inhaler Available
Fortunately, asthma attacks can be quickly treated with the use of a rescue inhaler. This is a short-term relief medication that can help to immediately expand the airways. However, many asthma sufferers are caught without their inhaler during an attack. In such cases, it is important to seek urgent care. While you wait for medical attention or for your symptoms to subside, here are some things you can do to promote better breathing:
Sit up straight. This keeps airways more open. Do not lie down.
Remain calm. Do your best to not panic, which can worse symptoms. Distract yourself by watching television or listening to music.
Steady your breathing. Work on taking slow and consistent breaths as much as you can during an asthma attack. (consider the Buteyko, Papworth or Yoga breathing techniques)
Move away from triggers. Whether it is cigarettes, grass or pets, it is crucial that you get away from the triggers that may have caused your asthma attack. It is equally important that you know your triggers upfront.
Seek urgent treatment. While asthma attacks can occur in different levels of severity, it is not uncommon for patients to need immediate medical care if they do not have their inhaler or are not finding relief of their symptoms. Asthma involves breathing so this is not a condition to be taken lightly.
At Clear Immediate Care, we proudly offer full-service urgent care services, which includes treating asthma attacks in patients of all ages. Let us help you or your loved one breathe easier! Call our Chicago clinic today.