An asthma attack is an unexpected worsening of any of the asthma symptoms and it is caused when the muscles around the trachea gets tightened, a condition better known as bronchospasm. The lining of the trachea may get swollen or inflamed during asthma and more than normal mucus is produced. Some of the common symptoms of asthma attack include coughing, difficulty in breathing, wheezing, shortness of breath and the likes.
How to Understand an Asthma Attack?
Some people with asthma might go without an asthma attack for a long period of time and that might get interrupted due to excessive exercise or under the influence of asthma-triggers. Mild asthma attacks are common and the airways clear up minutes or hours after the treatment. In case of severe attack, the symptoms last longer and immediate medical help is needed.
The right treatment might save someone’s life and this is what you should do when you see someone having asthma attack:
- During such an attack, patients find it easier to breathe while sitting up and not by laying down. So, help the person to get into a comfortable sitting position.
- Most patients know what it is to be done during an attack. So, it is better to leave it to them. Ask if they have an inhaler or if you should call for help. Many a times, an asthma patient does not carry an inhaler but has instruction card. An asthma attack can prevent the person from talking properly. In such a situation, read the card to see what needs to be done.
- Help the patient use the inhaler. An inhaler is so designed that it can deliver a specific dose of asthma medication and can offer immediate relief by helping the patient to restore normal breathing. Generally, two to four puffs are enough and wait for about five minutes for the next dose. Place the mouthpiece of the inhaler in between the lips of the patient and tell him before giving a puff, so that he is ready to breathe that in at the same time. Wait for few seconds for the next puff.
- If the patient does not seem to response to the medication, then call the ambulance. Keep giving about four puffs of inhaler after every five minutes while waiting for the ambulance.
Stay calm so that you can deal an emergency situation in a proper way.