If you suffer from asthma or someone you know does, then you probably know how scary asthma attack is. People with asthma have problems with breathing which can last from a few minutes to a few days, depending on how severe the attack is.
So people with asthma always keep the rescue inhaler- in case of an emergency.
But what will happen if an attack starts and you don’t have the inhaler with you or is empty?
So how can you save yourself if you are without you inhaler?
Richard Firshein, DO, director and founder of The Firshein Center for Integrative Medicine in New York City and author of Reversing Asthma: Breathe Easier with This Revolutionary New Program has some quite interesting advice…
Firstly, you must determine if you are in great danger. If you have it, use peak-flow meter- a device which can determine how much air you can expel from your lungs. If it shows less than 25% off your normal mark you can try the below mentioned methods but if it shows more then immediately go to the emergency room- the doctor says. It may be dangerous. If you don’t have this device, then think about the symptoms. If your lips and fingernails are blue, if you have a persistent cough, if you feel tightness and soreness in the area around the ribs, if you experience a panic attack and if you cannot breath properly so you cannot finish a sentence or stand up- visit a doctor immediately!
HOW TO BREATHE EASIER
If you are not in a greater danger, try the tricks below. Some methods can help you immediately and some will need a few hours. The best advice is to try them all, just to be sure. When asthma attack occurs, the airways are constricted, muscles all over your body become tense and your body produces extra mucus, all of which affects your breathing. If these tips cannot help, go to a doctor.
Change your location.
Allergen or toxins are usually the cause of asthma attack as they inflame the airways. So change the environment if you think that it contains allergens and toxins like: pets, mold, smoke or dust. If you can’t go out at least breathe through a scarf or a sleeve to reduce the exposure.
Talking with someone can help you to reduce your anxiety as it can worsen the asthma attack. You will also need help if the asthma attack becomes severer so your friend could give you a ride to the hospital
Sip hot coffee
Drink one or two cups immediately but be careful as it may accelerate your heart rate. Caffeine is metabolized into theophylline which helps in treating and preventing asthma as it relaxes the airways. You can get caffeine from different sources as soda, energy drink etc. but coffee is still the best option.
Practice breathing exercises.
When asthma attack occurs, people start to breathe quickly which reduces the oxygen level in the lungs and makes the condition even worse. So try breathing through your nose to the count of four and then breathe out to the count of six. Also pursing your lips when you exhale will slow the exhalation and keep the airways open longer. Continue as long as it is needed..
Press on some acupressure points
“Lung points “are the outer edges of the creases of your elbows (when your elbows are bent) and the inner shoulders (just above the armpits). If you make a pressure on these areas for a few minutes it will relax muscles which are tightened up.
Steam things up
Take a hot shower or just stay in the bathroom while hot water is running from the showerhead. The hot steam will loosen the mucus.
Magnesium and vitamin C
If you are an adult, 1,000 mg of vitamin C and 500 milligrams (mg) of magnesium may help during the asthma attack. Children between ages 10 – 17 should take half the doses and children between the ages 5-9 should take one-third of the doses. Magnesium helps in relaxing the breathing tubes as it is bronchodilator and vitamin C has a slight antihistamine effect.
Corticosteroid prednisone, found in pill form is used for acute problems. That is why it can be used during an attack as it reduces inflammation. So use it if you have it. “This medication will not work as quickly as an inhaler, but it may prevent the problem from getting out of hand if you’re having a lengthy attack,” claims Dr. Firshein. But you must call your doctor and inform him/her that you are taking it.