When you hear the term cancer, you rightly feel a sense of dread in the pit of your stomach. Cancer is a nasty disease that slowly weasels its way through a person’s body until they can no longer fight it off.
Asthma, on the other hand, doesn’t carry the same level of fear and dread for those who’ve never suffered from it. However, the condition, just like cancer, is potentially life-threatening and something that can create terrible bouts of anxiety. One of the horrible things about asthma is that you never know when the next episode is coming.
Asthma is, unfortunately, with most people for life. There is some evidence that dramatically reducing salt intake can reduce the frequency and severity of attacks, but you may never get rid of the condition entirely.
It’s vital, therefore, that you take steps to manage the condition. Asthma is a severe condition and one that we need to think about more carefully. We have first aid for those suffering a heart attack and stroke, but most of us don’t know what to do when either we or somebody else is having an asthma attack.
What Should You Do To Prevent An Asthma Attack?
Carry Your Inhaler At All Times
If you have asthma, you never know when the next attack could happen. Asthma is a condition which can flare up at random or in response to changes in the environment. It’s one of those conditions which requires around-the-clock management.
Medical professionals suggest that you carry your inhaler with you at all times. Doing this will not only put you at ease but also allow you to treat an attack before it develops into something more severe. Inhalers can be repeated online, so there’s no need to go to your doctor every time you want a new prescription.
Get Away From Any Obvious Triggers
If you’re stuck without your inhaler, then what?
The first thing to do is to scan your environment for possible triggers and get away from them. If you smell a chemical like sulphur or ammonia, leave the vicinity immediately. These chemicals smells can quickly induce an attack in susceptible people. You’ll also want to avoid cigarette smoke and dust.
If you’re in a city, one of the best things to do is find an air-conditioned shop. Not only are there plenty of people around to help you, but the air-con actively filters the air. The air in a shop is much purer than the road outside.
Drink A Caffeinated Beverage
Coffee and tea contain caffeine which can help to open up the arteries which supply the neck with oxygen. Drinking a caffeinated beverage can provide temporary relief, allowing you to find your inhaler and prepare yourself for the following hours, which could be critical.
Any caffeinated beverage will do, from a filter coffee in a plastic cup to a double mocha grande.
Practice Calming Techniques
Medical advice to “stay calm” is a little silly. Everyone knows that the best way to deal with an asthma attack is to stay calm, but the reality is that it’s not always possible. It’s a bit like trying not to blink as you prod your eye or not putting your hands down as you fall over. You can do it, but it’s a challenge.
Ideally, however, you’ll want to stay calm. The question is, how do you give yourself the best chance of doing so during an attack? A lot of it depends on training. You can condition yourself to respond calmly to an attack through a specific ritual. The ritual helps you to feel in control and maintain a sense of peace.
Get Help Immediately If Symptoms Do Not Subside
Most people with asthma experience a short period of wheezing or breathing difficulties, which subsides after a few minutes. It’s part and parcel of the condition. Problems start occurring, however, if an attack goes on longer than this. After a while, you can become severely oxygen-deprived and need to go on a ventilator to provide the oxygen you need to survive.
Failing to recover could also be a sign of a secondary complication which needs urgent medical attention.
Medical professionals believe that sitting upright is probably the optimal position for somebody going through an asthma attack. Laying down or sitting hunched over can constrict the available space in the chest cavity, making it harder to breathe.
Should You Worry About Asthma Attacks?
If you keep having asthma attacks, it’s a sign that your condition is not well controlled. With inhaled corticosteroids, you shouldn’t have chronic inflammation, which leads to most attacks. However, without the proper interventions, you may find yourself suffering from attacks more frequently than you’d like.
Those who find themselves worrying about their next attack should speak with their doctor immediately. The problem could be something simple, such as not administering treatment effectively, or it could be something more complicated. You may live close to a dangerous trigger but not realise it.
Long-term asthma medication is essential for people who suffer from the condition. Unless you make radical changes to your lifestyle, it’s usually the only way to keep the condition at bay and prevent it from flaring up.
There are three main types of drugs which asthma patients use to treat their condition. The first, as discussed, is the inhaled corticosteroids which reduce inflammation in the tubes of the lungs. The second is a class of drugs which opens up the airways. And a third, lesser-known category are the leukotriene modifier which cut inflammation and mucus production.
The combined effect of all of these remedies should be a remission of symptoms, even if the overall condition remains. With the correct regimen, asthma is relatively easy to manage.
Are you suffering from asthma? If so, then you know what it’s like to experience the fear of an attack. A combination of coping strategies and medical interventions should enable you to manage the condition and live your life free from fear.
*This is a collaborative post*