How To Deal With Asthma Attack

How To Deal With Asthma AttackMillions of people suffer from asthma attack every year across the globe. In present times, asthma attack has become more common than it was expected.

Asthma has been defined as an inflammatory and chronic disease in which airways inside the body become sensitive to different types of substances called as allergens. Allergens trigger the asthma attack, which causes a lot of discomfort.

During asthma attack, many things happen inside the body that make breathing very difficult. For example, lining of air tracts becomes inflamed and swollen. Muscles located around the air tract also become tightened considerably. Mucus plugs also form due to excessive secretion of mucus. Due to these, passing of air in and out of lungs very difficult and it is said that asthma attack has occurred.

It is to be understood that inflammation in the airways occurs due to release of histamine in the body as a response to asthma triggers. Symptoms of asthma are somewhat similar to the symptoms of other respiratory diseases. For example, breathing difficulties are felt in bronchitis, emphysema and lower RTI also. This is also the reason why asthma remains under-diagnosed in many cases. Mostly, it is diagnosed when chronic cough is reported.

Dealing with asthma requires a proper action plan. For dealing with this disease, it is very necessary that causes are taken care of in a better way. Some causes like heredity cannot be controlled but other ones are manageable. For example, environmental and infectious conditions can easily be taken care of for preventing and dealing asthma. Dealing with asthma requires action as two stages.

In the first stage, which follows encountering of triggers by the body, narrowing and swelling of air tract is dealt with so that breathing does not become difficult and in the second stage, obstruction and inflammation of airways is dealt with, which usually occurs four to eight hours after exposure of body to allergens. In children, asthma attack is generally limited to those who have a family history of asthma or who suffer from different types of allergies. Sometimes, due to inhalation of tobacco smoke also, asthma attack occurs.

How to Deal With Asthma Attack

For dealing with asthma attack, it is very necessary that early warning signs of asthma attack are recognized so that it can be prevented from worsening. First important symptom that signals asthma attack is a drop in the peak expiratory flow rate. This rate is determined with the help of Peak Flow Meter. This is a widely used gadget that provides important information about the severity of the symptoms.

Increased peak flow expiratory rate is generally accompanied by increasing coughing and wheezing and tightness in chest. As soon as asthma attack is encountered, reliever inhaler should be used instantly. This guideline works well for adults as well as for children.

Reliever inhaler is usually of blue color. Deep and steady breathing actions should be made with this gadget for getting relief from asthma attack. The patient must be allowed to sit and if tight clothes are being worn, these must be loosened so as to allow easy breathing.

How To Deal With Asthma Attack

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Normally, the symptoms improve within five minutes of using a reliever inhaler. It is recommended that patient should take the puff once in a minute for getting relief. However, if relief is not felt, two puffs should be taken every two minutes. Maximum ten puffs can be taken from inhaler at a time. However, if no relief is felt by using the inhaler, it is the time to be serious.

Ambulance must be called if difficulty in breathing increases greatly or if wheezing occurs during inhaling and exhaling of air. Similarly, if coughing becomes continuous and breathing becomes fast, it is the time to rush to the hospital.

Emergency medical care should also be called if fingernails or lips of patient become blue. This condition is called as cyanosis. Other symptoms that require immediate medical attention include paleness of body, difficulty in sentence completion and retraction of skin during breathing.

For dealing with asthma attack, family members and friends must know about preventive care. They should be well prepared for dealing with an emergency condition. As soon as attack starts, family members must help patient in sitting up comfortably.

They must talk with him so as to calm him. During the use of reliever inhaler also, help should be extended. In most of cases, warning signs of asthma attack appear few days before it actually happens. Thus, they must be well prepared to face the situation.

For example, reliever inhaler must have adequate levels of inhalation, as it would be used quite often in coming days. They must note the changes in the peak flow meter readings regularly. Patients of asthma generally start waking up in the night before the attack.

If all these warning signs are not understood and if preventive measures are not adopted, it may lead to severe asthma attack and in such conditions, emergency medical care is the only alternative. As patient will use the reliever inhaler frequently after the attack, it is better if its dose is re-adjusted by a health care provider. In some cases, oral corticosteroids are also prescribed after asthma attack.

It has been found that if symptoms of asthma are identified and treated in time, a great improvement in the peak flow is felt. For dealing with asthma attack efficiently, it is necessary that asthma action plan is prepared with the help of a health care provider.

Asthma action plan is normally made for providing relief against asthma attacks. However, if it asthma treatment is stepped up frequently or if peak flows become worse or if frequent asthma attacks occur, it is the time for re-adjusting the asthma action plan as per requirement. This is normally done by a health care provider.

Preventing further asthma attacks is also an integral part of overall asthma action plan. Since allergens are one of major triggers of attack, these must be kept at bay. Patient as well as family members must ensure that allergens are not encountered. Some of the commonest triggers include pollens, molds, house dust, dust mites, animal proteins secreted through urine and oil secreted by skin. Certain food substances and cockroaches may also act as trigger and thus, must be dealt with accordingly.

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