People who have asthma know exactly how scary it must be when they have asthma attack. The breathing trouble can happen everywhere starting from just a few minutes until a few days. The asthma attack depends on the severity. This is why, if you have asthma, you should bring your inhaler every time. However, what happen if the attack begins and you can’t find your inhaler in your bag or it's empty? How can you reduce the severity of the asthma attack without your inhaler? Here are some interesting advices you may try if asthma attacks and you don’t have the inhaler with you.
DO YOU HAVE TO GO TO THE ER?
Firstly, you should decide whether you're in danger or not. Think about it quickly. You can check on how much air you can push out from your lungs with a peak-flow meter. Mostly, people who have asthma have this device at home. If the result is less than 25% off the usual mark, you can follow the next steps. However, if the number is more than that, you have to go to ER. The number indicates whether the asthma attack is serious or not. If you don’t handle it with more cautious, it can be life-threatening. Other way, when there's no a peak-flow meter, you can think about the symptoms. For instance, if your fingernails or lips turn blue, if you keep coughing, if you feel tightness or soreness on the ribs, if you feel like having panic attack or if you have difficulties in breathing which makes you can’t talk or stand up, then you have to go to ER as soon as possible.
HOW TO BREATHE EASIER
When you don’t think you're in danger, you can try these techniques. Some techniques will help right away in minutes, while others may take some hours to work. However, usually the attack will last for days, so you can try all of them. When the asthma attack happens, the airways are tightened. The muscles on your body are tense and your body creates extra mucus. Moreover, those things are the cause you'll breathe hard. The one who know your body the best is you. So if you have tried all these techniques but the attack is worse, then you should see the doctor.
Alter your location.
Normally, asthma is happened because of an irritant. It can be a toxin or an allergen. The irritant can block the airways. You should move yourself if you think your environment is not good for you. For example, your asthma will come if there are dusts, mold, pets or smoke. You have to leave those places as fast as you can. If not, you can breathe through scarf, sleeve or jacket collar to minimize the exposure.
Telling someone about your anxiety will reduce the possibility of asthma attack happens. It's really helpful because anxiety can worsen your asthma attack. Moreover, you may need a ride to hospital when your asthma is getting worse. That’s why to inform someone about your condition is a good thing. For medication, you should stock your counter with decongestant and expectorant or any drug which consists of those two. These medications can loosen mucus and make your coughs more productive. Then you can clean up your body from phlegm.
Drink hot coffee or nonherbal tea.
Drink one or two cups of hot coffee or tea directly. However, in one sitting, don’t drink more than that. Your heart rate will increase and it can happen to all people not only the one who has asthma. Caffeine on coffee has theophylline which is also a medicine to avoid and treat asthma. It can help to relax the airways and decrease the lungs’ reaction to irritants. Not only coffee, you can get caffeine from soda, supplement, energy drink, etc. However, tea and coffee provide other components which are similar to caffeine. Further, hot liquids will loosen mucus. That’s why having caffeine in this form really helpful.
Do breathing exercises.
Mostly, people will be panic if they have asthma attack. They begin to breathe quickly which actually only blocks the oxygen to the lungs. You can say that it can worsen the attack. You should breathe in through your nose and count to four and breathe out and count to six. Purse your lips when you exhale. It'll slow the exhalation and open the airways longer. Keep breathing with these techniques as long as you need in relieving the attack.
Press on some acupressure areas.
The lung areas of acupressure are on the front parts of inner shoulders. It's only above the armpits. One more area is on the outer edges of your elbows. You can find it when your elbows are bent. Press one area in one time for some minutes. It'll relax the muscles which have tightened up.
Warm things up.
Bath yourself with hot water in tub or take a hot shower. Warm and steam moisture is more effective that cold moisture. The warm moisture can loosen the mucus. Actually, when you use cool-air humidifier is helpful but not really effective.
Take magnesium and vitamin C but ask your doctor first.
If you're an adult, you should take 500 mg of magnesium and 1,000 mg of vitamin C. Those medications can help you during the asthma attack. For children ages 10 to 17, they should take half of the doses. While children ages 5 to 9 should take one-third of the doses. Vitamin C has a minor antihistamine effect. Magnesium can relax the breathing tubes.
For serious problem, you should get prescription on corticosteroid prednisone. It's available in pill. The serious problem can happen during an attack. The medication can decrease inflammation. If your doctor has ever given you, you can use it. You should know that this medication won't work as fast as inhaler. However, it can avoid other problem in case your attack will last long. It's better to call your doctor and let him or her know what medication you took so he or she can control your dose.