Asthma can be a very serious and potentially life threatening condition, so it is vital that one should know how to handle an asthma attack and also to be able to identify signs and symptoms that mean a trip to the emergency room.
It is vital to react appropriately when an attack occurs and also to control asthma in a way that an asthma sufferer can live a fuller, better life. Recognize if asthmasymptoms are getting worse or more frequent or if they disturb daily activities and sleep.
Recognize an asthma attack
An asthma attack occurs when the body’s airways going into spasm and the person finds breathing difficult and it could be a moderate, severe or life threatening attack.
A moderate attack is characterized by breathlessness, wheezing and feeling tired, and should be relieved by 4-6 puffs of an inhaler, but a doctor should be consulted nevertheless.
A severe attack is characterized by difficulties in speaking, gasping for air, and accelerated pulse and will require immediate medical attention. A life threatening attack is characterized by a bluish tint around the lips, erratic or slow pulse, fainting and being unable to use an inhaler.
Have an asthma attack treatment plan
Asthma attacks give little or no warning. So a reaction plan should be chalked out in advance, in consultation with a doctor. A treatment plan is important since it enables one to recognize the build-up to an attack and perhaps halt its progress.
Peak flow meter
A peak flow meter is an essential part of a person’s preparation against asthma. This device lets you record normal breathing patters and know if there is an alteration in that. Taking a reading from the peak flow meter can warn a person of any inconsistencies so that preventive or early treatment can help prevent a full blown asthma attack.
This is something else that asthmatics should include in their arsenal against the debilitating condition. These are the sort that you carry around with you wherever you go and which can be used when there is any wheezing. They can also help prevent an asthma attack. The device also gives you a danger warning – when the body doesn’t respond by recovering after a few puffs, it is a warning sign that medical attention and intervention may be required.
Use correct inhaler technique
In order to get the most benefit from an inhaler or asthma attack medication in other form, it is important to use and administer the medication correctly. After the first puff it is best to wait a minute or so before the second puff. Also it is important to exhale completely before inhaling and then inhaling long enough for the medicine to reach the airways.
Recognizing when to rush to ER
When several puffs of the inhaler seem to give no relief, it may be sign of danger. This could mean that there is a danger of suffocation, and even death!
So to recap, it is important to monitor and try prevent asthma attacks, to take any preventive medication as prescribed and act swiftly and quickly as required when an attack presents itself.