As anyone with asthma will know, worrying about suffering an asthma attack (medically known as an “acute exacerbation” of asthma) is something that prevails throughout life. When an attack hits, dealing with it effectively is an absolute essential. While the vast majority of the work will be done by your prescribed medication, there are things you can do to shorten and hopefully cease an attack:
— Remain Calm.
No one is disputing that asthma attacks – no matter how familiar they are – are frightening. It is a natural human instinct to want to be able to breathe, and when as asthma attack prevents this, we naturally panic. However, this can actually may an attack worse. A side effect of panic itself is shortness of breath – something that you don’t need when you’re already suffering an asthma attack! Try and keep calm throughout, wherever possible.
— Don’t Snatch For Breath.
As part of the panic response, we are inclined to ‘snatch’ for breath – that is, short and sharp breaths that do not actually meet our oxygen needs. As these breaths do not actually help an attack, all they can do is increase panic – and you don’t want that. Try breathing in for three seconds, and then out for three seconds, until you and in a regular pattern of breathing.
— Use Your Medication
That’s what it’s there for. As soon as you feel an attack coming on, reach for your inhalers or any other medical equipment you have to relieve an attack. Always keep your inhalers close by just in case you should suffer an attack unexpectedly.