If you are asthmatic or know someone who has asthma, then you would most probably know about sudden asthma attacks that can turn deadly within a matter of minutes if not taken care of immediately.
And even though rushing the person to the nearest available medical center would be the best option in these cases, it pays to know the basic first aid for asthma so that you can help the person in distress and keep his/her heart ticking until medical help arrives.
What Happens During An Asthma Attack?
Before getting to know about the basic first aid for asthma, you need to understand as to how a sudden asthma attack would affect an individual. Knowing this piece of basic information can help you out immensely during your first aid treatment.
Accordingly, an asthma attack is characterized by the persons’ inability to breathe properly. This can happen due to these specific reasons. A sudden asthma attack would cause the airways in the lungs to become inflamed and irritated. This would cause the cells in the same to produce thick mucus in larger quantities, thus clogging up the airways completely.
The muscles in the airways would also tighten up during an asthma attack, thus making the airways smaller, a factor that would cause labored breathing and lung inflammation. These symptoms can occur almost immediately after the first signs of an asthma attack, or could take their time to develop as the attack progresses.
Steps To Prevent An Asthma Attack
Preventing an asthma attack is possible only if you get yourself checked periodically for the condition. Getting a physical done once every two months can enable you to have control of your asthma and be able to handle sudden attacks.
It also pays to take your medication on time in addition to continuing the same till the stipulated time even if you feel you are much better half way in between.
Asthma can also act as a dormant disease and stay unnoticed in the body for several days until it jumps out when you least expect it to. So take your medications regularly and carry an inhaler at all times for unforeseen emergencies.
People with asthma are usually allergic to dust and smoke. So if you find yourself moving in an area covered with smoke or dust, cover your nose and mouth with a hand kerchief or a clean piece of cloth. Make sure that the cloth is thick enough to not let any dust particles through.
A better way to travel in highly polluted areas in case you are asthmatic is to wear a face mask. This could essentially protect you from dust, smoke and other factors that can trigger an asthma attack.
Be wary of the initial signs of an asthma attack and don’t neglect them as other issues. If you feel breathless, suffocated and start wheezing, chances are that a big attack is on its way. So be prepared for such situations and be mentally prepared to recognize and handle the same as and when they arise.
Steps To Provide First Aid For Asthma Attack
As mentioned above, you need to be very attentive of the initial signs of an asthma attack as and when they start occurring. These signs usually start developing when you are near something that acts as a trigger (like smoke, dust etc.). If you find out the reason for the issue, move away from it as far as possible. Head to an open area like a terrace or balcony immediately!
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Make it a point to never panic when you find yourself getting an asthma attack. Panic would worsen the symptoms and cause your mind to blank out, thus disrupting your rational thought process. So try to remain calm and imagine a pleasant scenario that would soothe your mind.
Keep an inhaler handy at all times. Take 2 puffs of the inhaler, wait for 2 minutes and take another 2 puffs. Try taking deep breaths in between until you start feeling better. If you still feel breathless after some time opt to seek medical help right away.
Remove any clothing that is wrapped around the neck or feels suffocative. This includes ties, bandanas, shawls, stoles etc. Remove the top 2 buttons of your shirt or dress and let some air in.
Never be wary of raising an alarm as and when you feel an asthma attack coming. Let someone near you know of your condition and ask him/her to help you deal with the same until you reach a doctor. If you find it too hard to talk, use hand gestures or write down the information on a piece of paper.