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Coping With Asthma

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.

If you, as a non-sufferer, have ever witnessed an asthma suffering enduring an asthma attack, you will know how terrifying an experience it can be. If you have never experienced an attack yourself, it is only natural for you to imagine the worst and panic. So, if you have a friend or family member who is prone to asthma attacks, read through this quick guide on to how best to help them when an attack sets in:

– Keep Calm.

This may sound obvious, but it is important. Asthma attacks are often distressing for the sufferer, and any anxiety or panic can actually make an attack worse. Therefore, if you are with someone when they suffer an attack, it is essential that you keep calm and don’t panic.

– Look For Their Inhalers.

Most asthmatics have the very tools they need to quell an attack close at hand: their inhalers. Asthmatics tend to keep these handy, so if you are going to the home of an asthmatic or going out in public with them, ask them where their inhalers are located – so you can grab them at short notice.

– Monitor The Situation

In rare instances, you may need to call for medical assistance if someone you know is suffering from an asthma attack. Call for emergency help if any of the following occur:

– Inhalers and other medications do not seem to be helping.

– The sufferer loses consciousness.

– The sufferer cannot use their medication and thus the attack is continuing for longer than it should.

Just be alert, aware and calm – and the vast majority of situations will need no outside help.

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