Asthma is one of the chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases. In the United Kingdom, asthma attacks kill at least three people each day. But many deaths caused by asthma attacks are preventable.
If you are undergoing asthma treatment aptly, your chance of suffering from an asthma attack reduces greatly. Hence, it is important that you keep regular follow up with your doctor if you are asthmatic.
Prior to knowing about the things you can do to avoid an attack, it is important that you be aware of the signs and symptoms of asthma, such as –
- Chest tightness
- Gasping for breath
How to tackle an asthma attack?
The signs and symptoms of asthma will not necessarily occur abruptly. In fact, they come on gradually after some time. If you suspect an asthma attack, you need to:
- Sit down and take slow & steady breaths
- Relax and do not panic; otherwise, things can go bad
- Take a single puff of your medicated inhaler every 60 seconds – maximum up to 10 puffs
- Call your medical professional if you do not have an inhaler or you do not feel better even after using an asthma inhaler
- Repeat the 3rd step if an ambulance has not arrived within 10 or 15 minutes
Make sure you keep your asthma medications with you when you go to hospital. If your symptoms ameliorate at home without any aggressive medical intervention, see your GP within 24 hours of the attack. People treated in hospital for asthma need medical care again plausibly after two weeks of hospitalisation. Hence, it is imperative to discuss how you can prevent asthma attacks in future.
The following steps can help prevent the risk of asthma attack:
- Follow your asthma treatment plan and take all the medicines as directed
- Have regular asthma check-up with your GP at least once or twice a year
- Check with your asthma nurse or doctor on how to use an inhaler aptly
- Stay away from things that trigger your asthma symptoms
Do not neglect your symptoms if they aggravate. Follow your asthma action plan and immediately see your GP if your symptoms get worse. It is also imperative that your family members and friends know how to manage this kind of an emergency situation. It can be useful to share your prescription medicines or asthma action plan with others so that they can be helpful when you have an asthma attack.