Asthma is a breathing condition that a majority of people all around the world suffer from. Though we all like to believe that we're well prepared to handle any kind of emergency, it's always better to be acquainted with some things that we can do to stop an asthma attack, in case, God forbid, we're in a state of emergency with no medical assistance available. This HealthHearty article will give you a step-by-step instruction set on how to tackle an attack and bring the person back to a normal state.
Step #1: Calm Down
While this may seem very repetitive and practically impossible to do in the midst of an asthma attack, it is the first step that you need to take towards stopping an ongoing attack. Most often what happens is when a person feels the onset of an attack, he instantly panics. When he panics, it automatically increases the heart rate, which further contributes to the severity of the attack. So, when you're in the thick of one, first calm down and then follow the other instructions given below.
Step #2: Distance the Trigger
Once you have calmed down, you will be able to think clearly. Now, slowly look around and identify what has triggered off the attack. You will be well aware of the triggers that you get affected by. It could be dust, pollen, pollution, food, allergens, a particular scent, smoking, or even excess physical movement. If it's dust, pollen or such triggers, then immediately create a distance between yourself and the trigger. Go out of the room which contains the trigger and into an area that has ample supply of fresh air. If it's due to exercise or any other physical movement that has caused the attack, then stop the movement and rest your body to bring down the blood rate.
Step #3: Breathing Exercises
Once you have settled down away from the trigger of your attack, you can indulge in some simple breathing exercises that will help your breathing get back to normal and in turn, make the attack subside. A couple of these exercises have been given below.
- Sit down and hold your nose with your hand. Shut your mouth and hold your breath. Now, slowly shake your head in an up to down motion. Continue this until you feel suffocated. Then, slowly release your nose and slowly take in breath. If you cannot breathe through your nose, then let go of your nose, purse your lips and take in a little breath from the corner of the mouth. When you feel better, begin breathing slowly through your nose. Repeat this exercise after about a minute or two until your breathing reaches its regular pace.
- This second exercise involves sniffing in and out. You need to sit in an upright position with your hands on your knees. Bend forward a little and inhale 4 short sniffs. After you're done inhaling, you need to straighten up a bit and exhale one long breath. Then again bend a little and repeat the procedure twice before resting for about 10 seconds. Continue this exercise for about 10 minutes when you experience an attack, and you'll feel better.
Step #4: Get Assistance
If any of the steps given above fail and you feel like your symptoms are getting aggravated even after using an inhaler, check your peak flow meter to see what your respiratory condition is. If it reads below the required reading, rush to your doctor immediately. Waiting for an asthma attack to subside on its own can only be stretched for some time. You are the best judge of its severity. So, don't take any chances prolonging the period of discomfort.
The best way to stop an asthma attack is undoubtedly preventing one in the first place. So, stay away from all the possible triggers, take your medication regularly, keep your inhaler at hand and your emergency numbers with you all the time. Avoid too much physical and mental stress and live a healthy life.